It is hard to imagine what people did before the internet. Once more, what they did without social media. Social media is primarily the way that people communicate both near and far distance. Quite arguably it is the best tool that you have at your disposal to give would-be participants information about your race and to create hype for your event. If you aren’t using it, you are doing yourself a huge disservice!
There are many different platforms that people use to connect with others on the internet. But, not all of them are the same, nor do they provide the same advertising for a race event. If you want to up your participation rates, get people to pre-register, and use word of mouth to spread exposure for your race, then using the right social media platform is essential.
Facebook is like a moped. People say they don’t like to ride them because they aren’t cool, but when no one is looking, guess what? They are idling down the road for hours. Facebook is an excellent way to build a static page with information about your race and to add links to places to register and pre-register for your event.
If you are going to use Facebook to market, don’t use the “boost” function. Due to the way that Facebook is limiting advertising on people’s feed, it won’t get your marketing anywhere. If you want to use Facebook to advertise your event, then create a Facebook ad. They are economical, and if you target the right audience, they are highly useful to drive people to your website to sign up.
People have become very visual and want instant gratification. For that reason, Instagram is one of the most popular forms of social media out there. It is a great way to advertise health and beauty or fashion.
Additionally, Instagram is a great way to build your race brand. If you grow your brand and gain enough exposure, then familiarity breeds loyalty. If you use Instagram to market your event, it will become familiar with runners. And, if they have a connection to it, you increase the likelihood that they will choose your race over your competition.
Post your logo, paste pictures of your event, and of participant's smiling faces as they race to the finish line. You want to show the world how amazing and fun your race is, so they want to join in next year.
LinkedIn is a network of professionals who are looking for other like-minded professionals. If you think that it isn’t going to reach your niche market of potential racers, you might be right. But, it is good not to discount it either.
LinkedIn is an excellent way to form alliances with other industries that you might need to sponsor, raise funds for a charity event, or to conjure up volunteers who are looking for business experience. It might not directly target race participants, but it is an excellent marketing tool to hire the right people to help out with your race. And, it might potentially lead to businesses wanting to help, donate, or to donate their time to your cause or event.
A social media forum that is absolutely priceless to your race event is YouTube. People want to see the specifics of the race itself. If you want to attract people to your event, YouTube is an excellent way to show them the course ahead of time and the finishers as they cross the yellow line.
You can also post live feeds from race day and give out training tips that will increase the potential that participants will register and pre-register. Just like Instagram, it helps to build your race brand. The more that people see your brand, the more that they will form a connection with it and consider it a must on their race circuit.
Although social media is the tool to build brand awareness and familiarity as well as give out information about your upcoming event, it only works when you use it correctly. These social media forums will help to enhance your participation rates, but only if you link them to your website.
The ultimate goal of using social media is to drive people to your site so that they sign up and register. Social media is a highly useful tool, but don’t lose sight of what it is for by not structuring your social media marketing to tie into your search engine optimization.
Whether you are holding a small charity race or want to build a worldwide race series, social media is a must to target runners to come to your race event. The more exposure you gain through different mediums, the more exposure you will gain, and the more participation will climb.
Use multiple streams of marketing to increase your bottom line, including joining forces with world marathons. To reach the most significant audience, you have to put yourself in the line of sight as much, and as many times, as you can!