We’re big believers in social media as a wonderful marketing tool—duh. One of the things we’re constantly preaching is that your social efforts should have a strategy and should not just contain self-promotional posts.
Nowhere is that more true than on Facebook, which actively works to keep promotional posts out of the News Feed. According to Facebook for Business, these types of posts are too much like ads to belong in the News Feed:
“There are some consistent traits that make organic posts feel too promotional:
1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads”
What You Should Post on Facebook
This doesn’t mean you can’t promote your event. Chances are, that’s how you’re measuring Facebook ROI—how many folks the page is pushing to your registration page.
It does mean that you should pepper your Facebook page with posts that are of real value to your followers, who are probably a mix of registrants, past participants and looky-loos who are thinking about registering.
ACTIVE has spent a lot of time researching what we call the “participant journey.” Simply put, it’s all of the ways a participant will dart in and out of the buying cycle before and after completing an endurance event. This buying cycle can be hugely educational to you as you plan your Facebook posts.
For example, in the discovery phase, potential registrants are doing lots of online research and reading endurance articles. Sharing informational articles from ACTIVE.com or Runner’s World is adding tons of value for those followers.
If you need to better understand the participant journey, watch this short, free webinar.
6 Types of (Non-Promotional) Posts to Share on Facebook
1. Fitness and nutrition tips. How many of those squat challenge graphics have you emailed to yourself? Screenshoted on your phone? Promised to complete? Exactly. Folks love a good fitness or nutrition tip.
Whether you find (or create) a fun graphic yourself (like Wicked Wine Run’s hilarious wine-bottle squat) or grab a stock photo, your followers who are training for an event will find real value in a new or interesting way to get motivated.
2. Major holiday-themed posts. Holidays are content gold, both in terms of the way you can tie your brand to the holiday and the in-Facebook search opportunity that some holidays may bring.
Add major holidays like New Year’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Labor Day to your social media content calendar so you can plan ahead what your posts will be and how they’ll relate back to your event brand.
3. Inspirational stories about athletes. Tapping into the culture of running, cycling, swimming and endurance sports in general is a great way to mix up your Facebook content to keep your followers engaged.
Don’t shy away from re-posting stories from your network or posting stories that you come across. During big sporting events, you can even set a Google alert to be notified of many of the inspirational stories that come out of those events.
4. Wacky holiday-themed posts. Ever heard of National Space Day? What about May the Fourth aka Star Wars Day? FYI, Sunday is Tiara Day. There are so many non-traditional official “days” that can have pretty interesting lives on social media.
Add a few of these holidays that make sense for your brand to your social media content calendar and plan for how you might capitalize on them to inform and entertain your Facebook fans.
5. Motivation Monday, HumpDay, Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday.
A bit obvious, but it’s still bears repeating that it can be really beneficial to the reach of your Facebook page to participate in the daily social media trends. These posts can be great regular content that you can plan (and schedule) weeks in advance.
Monitor Twitter and Facebook for emerging trends and changes to current trends (like #MotivationMonday morphing into #MondayMotivation) to stay on top and get the most out of your efforts.
6. Show off your finishers’ swag. You put a lot of thought into what your participants will take home after the event is over, so show it off. Post images of the medals, t-shirts or other items participants will get for free or have the opportunity to purchase.
To make it less promotional, write a blog post about the items, like Colfax Marathon did for the story behind their medal design.
Of course, these types of posts are just ideas. The takeaway is to be create in how you’re engaging your Facebook fans and think about what value you’re adding to their News Feeds.