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Analysis: How social stories were used at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020

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Analysis: How social stories were used at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020

Erin Fry

Erin Fry
Mar 25, 2020

Recently, more than 130,000 individuals met in Las Vegas for CONEXPO-CON/AGG. Held every three years, this is a must-attend event for professionals in the construction industry. Although this year was impacted by COVID-19 concerns, the show went on — and we, as a leading B2B agency that works with world-class brands in the construction equipment industry, audited and observed trends.

As a social media strategist, I was intrigued by how exhibitors were using Facebook and Instagram Stories during the show. With the help of my teammates (thank you!), we were able to collect several examples throughout the week that I have analyzed. If you’re curious what your competitors were doing or how you can leverage Instagram and Facebook Story functionality for your next trade show, read on.

How creativity was utilized in the social story samples

Together, we monitored a total of 17 out of more than 2,300 exhibitors, 12 of whom used Stories. From that, I was able to analyze a total of 335 story cards based on the channel it was posted to, creative, platform functionalities used, and high-level topics.

Out of the 12 exhibitors who used stories, all of them posted to Instagram while only 4 of them also posted to Facebook. Overall, the majority of Facebook and Instagram Stories were the same, with one exhibitor creating unique post copy for each platform and incorporating more content on Instagram compared to Facebook. When looking at the creative copy, most of the cards consisted of images rather than video, and only one exhibitor went live from the trade show.

data visualization of how creativity was utilized in samples from CONEXPO-CON/AGG

Looking further into this creative work, I found that some exhibitors were focused more on gathering and curating content from the show, whereas some brands came prepared with produced videos and graphics to share to their Stories during CONEXPO/CON-AGG.

58.33% of exhibitors primarily sharedin the moment content that was created or curated at Conexpo
21.49% of total stories were curated
4.18% of exhibitors primarily shared in-the-moment content that was created or curated at Conexpo
2.09% of stories were designed graphics

For most, messaging focused on what was going on during the show like promoting their booth and equipment to help engage attendees and non-attendees. We also some exhibitors share content that focused on their journey leading up to the trade show.

91.67% of exhibitors used during-show messaging

How engagement functionalities were used in the social story samples

Something that surprised me was the degree to which reach-enhancing functionalities were not being used. I would have anticipated brands using hashtags and mentions more to help increase the discoverability of their content, but found that this isn’t something that’s being widely adopted yet.

Data visualization of how engagement functionalities were used in the social story samples

I was also surprised by the lower use of in-platform engagement functionalities. When thinking about the range of ways users can engage with Stories content, I had anticipated companies would use features to better capture the attention and engagement of attendees and non-attendees. I did enjoy the amount of custom sticker/gif use I saw and think more brands could take advantage of this functionality.

data visualization of sticker/gif use

How promotions were used in the social story samples

The last thing I examined was how exhibitors used Stories to show off their booth, products, and experts. Most of the in-the-moment creative shared featured equipment, experts, or attendees of CONEXPO/CON-AGG. Of the posts that focused on sharing in-the-moment creative, I found that a few exhibitors used it in a variety of ways — from product reveals to showcasing an influencer relationship to featuring their experts. The few exhibitors who used Stories in these ways stood out from the others, because so few took advantage of these opportunities.

data visualization of social story samples

So, what should you take away from all of this information? Although I’m seeing healthy adoption of Stories, there is still a lot of untapped potential. From curating content to driving website traffic to engaging with users, brands have countless options when it comes to using Stories. If you’re ready to partner with a social media team with ample experience supporting world-class brands’ integrated communications, including social media, contact us.


Erin Fry
Get to know Erin

Erin is a social media strategist who enjoys strategizing how to effectively use social media in marketing campaigns. When she’s not working at Two Rivers Marketing, she is testing new recipes in the kitchen or cheering on the Cyclones. Reach out to Erin.