So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and have a go at promoting your race online.
Good call: there’s huge dividends coming your way, if you do it right. And to help you do just that, here’s our short and sweet set of rules for your digital career.
1. All roads lead to…
Your website, of course. In everything you do, ask yourself this: ‘How can this help steer interest to my website?’ Every asset you own online, from your Facebook page to your Twitter account should be a feeder for your website. Always keep that in mind.
When it comes to your online presence, do not make the mistake to spread yourself too thin. Put all your energy in developing one or two social media channels and invest the time required to build them out properly. It’s infinitely better to be strong on one platform than weak or non-existent in a dozen.
3. Always choose quality over quantity
That goes for many things in life and certainly online content is one of them. Try to resist the urge to post weak content on your social media just in order to maintain a high posting frequency. Post quality stuff that is relevant and makes an impact. If in doubt, leave it out.
4. Hashtag it
Step 1, come up with hashtags for your races (e.g. #my_marathon). Step 2, use them wherever you can. Use them on email signatures and newsletters, so your fans pick them up and start using them too. Use them on promo images both on- and off-line. Use them on your flyers, business cards and even race materials and participant give-aways. Just use them.
5. Be responsive
Make sure you or a member of your crew are available to respond to incoming messages from your website and social media. Don’t let your fans hanging. The success of your race depends on them and their opinion of you.
Bind your online assets together with references between them. Add your website, Facebook page, Twitter username etc on your email signature and newsletter footer. Add links to your social media on your website, and your website to your social media ‘About’ sections.
7. Do not spam
By all means promote your race any way you can and definitely look for new ways to reach out to the right audience – ideally – for free. But do so sparingly and do not spam. It will backfire horribly and it will tarnish the one precious asset that is the most difficult to rebuild: your reputation.
If you are going to be posting on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere, be the most effective you can be. Learn when your audience is most active and choose to post then (hint: optimal posting times change from one platform to another). Split test your campaigns and learn from your content’s engagement what works and what doesn’t: treat social media as one big lab with your race’s promotion as the one big goal.
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