With almost 2 billion active users, Facebook is the place to start for most upstart races and events. It is free to set-up a page for your event. The trick is getting the right people to find your page and follow it. Posting content about your event on a regular basis is a great place to start. It may also help to ask other groups to share your page on their Facebook wall. Local running groups, running stores, and other related local businesses are good groups to ask to help spread the word about your event's page. Be sure and check out our article on How to Build Excitement for Your Race for more tips on sharing details about your event as the big date approaches.
Of course Facebook would be more than happy to have you buy some ads to promote your page and event. You can target the ads very specifically based on geography, age, gender, and numerous other variables. You can create a budget for your ad based on the number of people it will reach. For example: A $25 ad might reach 30,000 people between ages 18-54, men and women, who are interesting in running. You can test the waters with some targeted ads, but do not do so until you have all the free elements in place first.
Twitter is the quick hit version of Facebook. You get 140 characters to get your message out with some snippets of video or pictures included. Hash-tagging keywords related to your event that people in your demographic are interested in will help get your event into the mix of conversations on the Twitter platform. Retweeting or tagging influencers will also help you get the exposure that you seek. Influencers are Twitter users with large numbers of followers in the space. Create engaged conversation with them and all their followers will see it as well. The best way to get a feel for Twitter is to just start tweeting and mixing it up. Tweet a few times a day for a month solid and you will see how it might work for you.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Instagram puts the power of your images into the social media space with some nice filters to boot. Hashtags work the same here as well. Owned by Facebook, Instagram recently created an option to create an account as a business as opposed to an individual. Utilizing the business option will give you access to analytics and other tools that will help you get your message out and see what is working the best.
Snapchat is very popular with Millennials. The best way to describe Snapchat is a 10-second video snippet that disappears after 24-hours. It has some filter options and other twists that make it fun for the kids. 10-seconds does not sound like a very long time, but in our fast moving world, that is about the attention span of our popcorn brains. This form of video can give you an opportunity to say something directly to your audience. Facebook and Instagram have recently added updated video options that mimic the sensation that Snapchat created.
So there is an overview of the most current social media platforms available today. All of these platforms have free options to get started without paid ads. That means there is no reason not to give each of these a try on some level and see which combination works best for your event. RaceDirector has tools to help integrate your social media efforts as well. Read more about how RaceDirector makes Social Media Sharing simple.