A long long time ago, way back in 2011, it seemed that the most important thing to do on social media was sharing (not-so) funny cat videos. My oh my has social media matured over the years. Today, social media is the go-to means for establishing a strong brand voice, developing trust with your audience and, ultimately, driving race registrations.
But let's face facts, this whole Insta-Twit-Pin-Face stuff is still a very young medium. Most people still have questions on how to best use social media. In fact we hear questions a lot from our clients as they try to determine best practices.
Some of the more popular questions include: How do you engage your audience? How do you create value? What social sites do I need to use? And how many hashtags is TOO many hashtags?
In order to help everybody out with some best practices, here are imATHLETE's 6 Important Do’s and Dont’s for using social media to compliment your race registration.
DO: Share diverse content to bring value to your audience
Variety is the spice of life. To keep your audience engaged and wanting more, share a range of content that’s of interest to them, like training tips, product reviews and event details. Got a connection with a coach or an elite athlete? How's about having them post some interesting info.
DON’T: Share ONLY about your event
If you were trying to woo a date, you wouldn’t ONLY talk about yourself, would you? (Well, maybe you would… but I guarantee your date would have a strong desire to bite your face off.)
The same rules apply to social media. Social media is a CONVERSATION, and you’re not going to be successful if the conversation is one-sided. So unless you want your audience to completely tune out, don’t strictly post links to your online race registration three times a day. It’s not all about you.
DO: Use it to deliver key information to athletes
Social media is an awesome tool for race participant management - it’s a quick and easy way to deliver key messaging about your event to your athletes, like where to pick up their bibs, details for the expo and any last minute weather changes.
If your athletes know that you’re posting important information on social media, they’re going to keep checking back to make sure they don’t miss anything
DON’T: Use it as the ONLY way to deliver key information to athletes
Even though pretty much everyone and their mother are on social media these days, that doesn’t mean that everyone is checking ALL of their social media feeds on the regular (except millennials… they can’t tear themselves away from social media long enough to tie their shoes). So if you’re relying on social media as the only avenue to get important messaging out to your athletes, things are going to slip through the cracks.
Make sure to cover your bases. Have a last minute time change for on-site race registration? Post it on social media, but also send a mass text message (yes, you can do this for free with imATHLETE), send an email, post it on your website and include the information in your event registration pages. Don’t think social media is the only race participant management system you need.
DO write to your audience.
The secret to keeping a captive audience is knowing who your audience IS, and developing content for THEM.
The writing style you would use on social media channels for an obstacle race is completely different than what you would use on a charity race which is completely different than what you would use for a marathon.
Different events = different audiences = different voice and content.
Understanding your audience and why they would be interested in YOUR event and then using that information to create a compelling voice and content is the key to keeping your audience engaged and successfully leveraging social media to drive race registrations.
DON’T write like a robot.
We mentioned it before, but social media is a CONVERSATION. Don’t be too corporate, stuffy, uptight or unnatural. People respond to personality and authenticity on social media, and if you sound like a robot, no one is going to want to hear what you have to say.
Write the way you would talk to your athletes.
Social media is an incredible tool for connecting with your audience, building rapport with your athletes and creating a strong brand, but you need to use social media responsibly.
However you decide to use it, make sure you're always thinking of the end goal and developing content that gets you there. If you can rock your social media and keep a captive audience, you're going to create brand loyalty and keep your athletes coming back for years to come.
If you want to know more about how to use social media to increase your revenues, check out imATHLETE's social media networking tools to engage your audience and increase ROI.