Facebook 101 for Race Directors

When most people think of Facebook, they think of cat videos, vacation photos, and that one friend who overshares. But when it comes to race promotion, Facebook can be a powerful tool – if you use it right. Whether you’re new to the endurance industry or just new to Facebook, this article will take you step-by-step through creating a killer Facebook page for race promotion.

Step 1: Create Your Page

facebook-101-for-race-promotion_1First, click here. You’re going to create a business page for your race; this is NOT a personal profile and NOT a group. This is a very important distinction as a business page will let you do things that the other profile types will not. From there, select “Company, Organization or Institution” and follow the prompts to create your page.

Upload your event’s logo as your profile photo and an eye-catching cover photo, such as a fun snap from last year’s race. Consider getting creative with free tools like Canva to add key details to your cover photo like the race name, date, website and location.

You should also customize your Facebook URL to Facebook.com/YOUREVENTNAME to make it easier for customers to find your page. Use the same username, language and imagery when creating other social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram. Consistency is key!

Step 2: Create an Event Page

facebook-101-for-race-promotion_2Let’s be clear: your business page is what you just created. This will be the ‘home’ for your race over the years whereas your event page is temporary. It is linked to your business page and allows people to RSVP, add the event to their calendar, and invite their friends. It will become inactive once the event is over, so you will need to create an event page for each year you host your race or for each location, if applicable.

In creating your event page, be sure to include a link to registration and clearly state that a ‘Yes’ RSVP on Facebook does not equal registration; you’d be surprised at how many people might think this!

Step 3: Start Posting!

Now your pages are up and running and you’re ready to start attracting customers! You want to accomplish two things with your posts: you want to get people pumped for your race, but you also want to give them a reason to follow you beyond race day. So before the race, share details like how to register, what to expect, previous years’ photos, swag sneak peeks and sponsor shout-outs. Beyond that, share content relevant to customers like training tips and running playlists.

Keep in mind that you won’t want to post everything to your event pages; most people receive a notification when something is posted in an event, which means the more you post, the more annoying you become. Instead, only post what is important to potential/registered athletes, such as registration reminders and packet pick-up info.

You can also schedule posts in advance and follow companies with similar audiences; by engaging with their posts through likes and comments, you can increase your exposure while keeping an eye on the competition and staying up to date with the industry.

Step 4: Go One Step Further

Once you have your posts down, it’s time to start experimenting with the other race promotion tools Facebook has to offer. The first is paid advertising. You can boost a post that’s doing well, create a new ad, or boost the business or event page itself. The beauty of Facebook advertising is that you only pay what you want – so if you can only afford to spend $10, that’s OK! Furthermore, you can select the demographics you wish to target (or not target!) such as age, sex, location and interests. Take advantage of Facebook’s Page Insights to see what kind of people are already following you.

You can also share exclusive discounts directly from Facebook like 20% off or BOGO registration. This is a great method for race promotion: not only does it drive registration, but it gives folks just one more reason to follow you!

Finally, use Facebook Live to show off the excitement of your event on race day! We have a whole blog on tips and tricks.

Step 5: A Few Final Notes

We can’t say it enough: link to your Facebook EVERYWHERE! Consider it part of your contact information: list it on your website, your confirmation emails, and any other marketing materials.

Once your Facebook is looking fly, go ahead and read our other blogs on how to use Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube for race promotion! After getting each platform set up, dive in with our Race Directors’ Guide to Social Media, followed by the Advanced version. It’s worth a read, trust us!

And that’s it! You’re social!

For more race management tips, contact ChronoTrack!