Eleven years after Facebook was conceived, we won’t try to sell you on the merits of social media. The power of instant publishing to connect, inspire and add to the bottom line of businesses of all stripes is well-documented.
The challenge for race directors, though, is figuring out how to make sense of the social media maze for the endurance industry. Social media strategies are not one-size-fits-all because audiences are so diverse and wanting of different engagement. All of which leaves race directors to ask “What kinds of tactics are important for me to employ (and how often) so I’ll see a return on my investment?”
In our webinar last week, we discussed that very topic with Will Bowman, head of ACTIVE’s launch consultant program.
We wanted to give you a sneak peek at what to expect, so we sat down with Will to talk social media and race directors.
Q: You helped to create the launch consultant program at ACTIVE while you were in a sales role. What were you seeing that piqued your interest?
A: I wanted to find ways to connect the gaps between race directors’ goals and the different steps it takes to get there. One race might start out with a goal of 2,000 participants, which is great, but it will be difficult to meet that goal if you’re not looking at all the different ways that you can reach people to hit that target.
There’s social media, email marketing and all the different digital promotion channels that race directors have to wade through—I wanted to help with that.
Q: How do launch consultants help ACTIVE customers?
A: We’re able to look at an organization from the outside, identify ways to spend resources more efficiently and close those gaps. It’s a personal assessment of your business, your goals and the tools available. That can take many forms, from making sure your website is optimized and clearly displays a registration button—rather than having it buried deep in the pages—to teaching you how to boost posts on Facebook.
We offer industry-specific marketing advice, too, so it’s not just “how to use Facebook,” but how does a race director need to use Facebook to get people registered for an event.
Q: What are some of the most common social media challenges for race directors?
A: Just knowing how to use the different platforms and tailoring their message to the different networks. Facebook, for example, functions as a mini-website, so making sure that you’re adding a registration button right on your page, just like you have on your website, and keeping it updated with compelling content that isn’t just selling your event. Or Instagram, which is all about creating excitement for your event with great visuals.
Some race directors are also a bit confused about analytics—how do I measure my results on social media and know that it’s working? That sort of thing.
Q: I think a lot of people think you have to be a social media guru to make it work for your event. What advice do you give race directors?
A: You definitely don’t have to be a guru, and you don’t even have to spend a lot of time with it. The trick is to make the time you do spend worthwhile by tailoring those messages and using your analytics to get better with each post.
Don’t miss Will’s valuable social media lessons. View the 20-minute webinar, “Understanding the Basics of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.”