Friday, April 25, 2014

Running Events - Facebook Group or Facebook Fan Page? How bout' Twitter?

There was a time when Facebook seemed like more of a social forum for the younger generation, but the day has progressed to Facebook being a necessary tool for businesses, and most definitely the running race community.  If you are managing a race, and you don't have a Facebook "Page", you are missing out on race entries without a doubt.

For race organizers new to Facebook, it may be overwhelming at first, and you'll likely try to determine if you should create calendar event on Facebook, a group on Facebook, or a Fan Page.  While a Facebook Calendar event is a nice "extra"to have, it should not be your only or primary presence on Facebook.  Additionally, a group is also a nice "extra" to have, maybe used for specific year events, but not as an alternative to the Facebook Fan Page.  Every half marathon, or any other distance running event, should absolutely have a Facebook Fan Page.  The fans will grow as years go forward, and race organizers will build a camaraderie and online relationship with their runners, and the page will never change.  Runners can always know to come back to the same page, and will see your announcements and shout outs in their feeds.  It's a great place to post scenic pictures of your events, fun fan pictures, pictures of your swag, and your annual bling coming out for your next race.

Additionally, building relationships with national running clubs and local running clubs is important, to be able to monetize on the cross-marketing relationships, which usually can be a great cross promotional marketing tool on Facebook, if you "give" as much as you "take".  Those that expect a shout out from a club, should do the same on their page, as a cross promotional trade and help give visibility to the clubs that are putting the effort in to help share and promote your event.  They shouldn't have to ask, this should be offered.  You will build stronger race community partnerships and relationships that way.

Twitter is also another nice means of growing an online relationship with your runners and draw in more participants.  If you're not a big Twitter user, you can automate all your facebook posts to automatically post to your twitter, by logging into twitter (in a different tab in the same browser), and then go back on Facebook tab and click which will allow you to connect your facebook page to post everything you post on your facebook wall, to your twitter.  Walla!  If you have achieved having a Facebook Fan Page and a, now, more active Twitter page, you are now on your way to creating a great social media presence!

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