Facebook isn’t new, and neither is the idea that every business needs a Facebook presence. However, a lot has changed since Facebook first entered the marketing scene.
Facebook isn’t new, and neither is the idea that every business needs a Facebook presence. However, a lot has changed since Facebook first entered the marketing scene. 1.56 billion people on average log onto Facebook daily and are considered daily active users. This represents an 8 percent increase year over year (Source: Facebook as 4/24/19).
For many, Facebook is the internet. If used to your advantage, it can be extremely rewarding to your events, to help increase awareness of them and gain a loyal following of committed race goers who can help you spread the word and create a community around you.
It’s not about being spammy, annoying, or deceiving. If you’re building a Facebook Page just to check one more thing off the branding to-do list, think again. Facebook marketing requires a consistent, long-term commitment. But we promise, the awareness and demand will be worth it.
As you probably know, the majority of Facebook is made up of personal profiles. However, if you’re looking to establish your presence as a race organiser on the social network, you’ll need to create a Page instead. Pages are Facebook’s equivalent of a business profile. Pages look similar to profile pages but show specific information only applicable to businesses, organizations, and causes. Whereas you connect with a profile by adding them as a friend, you connect with a business Facebook Page by “liking” it and becoming a fan. If you create a personal profile for your business instead of a Page, you run the risk of getting it shut down by Facebook. By creating a business page for your race organiser profile, you can establish a business presence which can be decoupled from you as an individual giving it professionalism. Posts that you create and messages that you reply to will come from the page, rather than your personal account.
To get the most out of your facebook page, we recommend:
Add a Profile Picture
This will serve as the primary visual for your Page, appearing in search results and alongside any of your content that shows up in a user’s News Feed. Most publishers suggest creating a photo that’s 180 x 180 pixels, however increasing this slightly will help maintain quality. If you don’t upload an image that is already square, you’ll be prompted to crop. Think of your profile picture as your first impression, and be sure to choose something immediately recognizable like your logo.
Add a Cover Photo
This is the large, horizontal image that spans the top of your Page. It should express your Page’s identity and can be updated often based on special offerings, campaigns, or seasons. To upload a cover photo, click the “Add a Cover Photo” option in the welcome menu. The official dimensions of a cover photo are 851 x 315 pixels. However, if your photo is not exact, you’ll have the option to drag to reposition the photo. Press "Save". If your cover photo can express some of the experience you’re able to provide in your races, it will be the most representative of your events.
In the section “Add a Short Description” under "Welcome to Your New Page", you can give visitors a flavour of your company and your events. Add one to two sentences (or 255 characters max) about your company. Include key facts, like your main event locations, types of races and maybe clubs and charities you support. This description will appear both on your Page and in search results, so keep it descriptive but succinct. But don’t be afraid to show a bit of your brand’s personality! Alternatively, you can edit your description by clicking on “About” in the left menu. There you’ll find the option to include a phone number, website, email, mission, and more.
Wether you organise weekly or monthly races which are part of a series, or a couple of large annual events, having a facebook event for each of them is extremely useful. They showcase important information like date, location, and type of event, allowing people to calendarize them and link directly to your tickets. For more information on how to create and manage these, go to ‘Optimising your Event on Facebook’.
Promoting your Facebook page
Now, obviously, you want your page to be successful. The goal of creating a facebook page for your profile as a race organiser is to increase awareness of your races and increase ticket sales. But regardless of what your page is for, likes are important to give your page credibility. A “like” is how a user raises their hand and intentionally chooses to see updates from your business in their News Feed.
If you’re building a Page from scratch, consider sharing it with people you’re already connected to on Facebook. From your Page's main screen on the right column, check out the Community section and click Invite Friends.
But promoting your Page doesn’t end on Facebook. Include social media follow buttons on your website to make it easy for your audience to connect with you on Facebook.
For example, you could add a Facebook link in your website footer at the bottom of each page. Your Eventrac page can also help you do this via the share and recommend functions under the organiser details on your page.
Promote your page via your emails, so that your customers can see your updates in their newsfeeds and RSVP to your events.
The best way to increase your following on Facebook is by treating your fans like people -- and that means consistently delivering content that is valuable to them. Delivering value really comes into play with the content you create and share with your fans, and how you interact with them.
It's all about building long-term relationships with your Facebook fans. They might not remember one individual post to Facebook, but if they notice you consistently publish high quality, helpful, and relevant posts to Facebook, they'll think of you as a valuable resource.
Make sure to post about what makes your race special. What is unique about it? Is there anything local to your race that you can get elsewhere? Share experiences had by your runners and good footage from your events to build a buzz around them.
Being active regularly on facebook can be time-consuming. But one way of making things easier is to use the ‘Schedule Post’ function which automates your posting.
To schedule a post on Facebook, start by creating a post in the white box near the top of your Page’s timeline. Instead of clicking “Share Now,” select the small arrow next to it and select “Schedule”. Select a time and date, and click "Schedule Now".
You can draft a couple of posts all at once, and schedule them to be posted at different times. For example, if you are organising a race on Sunday, you might want to schedule posts on Thursday to ease the load over the weekend. Such as a post scheduled for Friday reminding people of the registration details, and a post scheduled for Sunday morning saying good luck to all participants. If you can add pictures to these then even better! For more on how to time your posts, see our Guide To Content Timing.
Cross-posting across all your social platforms like Twitter and Instagram can save you time too. You can do this by selecting the ‘post to Facebook’ option when on Twitter and Instagram.
Growing your Facebook Likes organically is the best way to drive engagement and, ultimately, convert fans into customers. But if you have the budget for it, incorporating some paid advertising into your Facebook strategy can help augment the hard work you're already putting in.
For more on creating adverts to suit your audience, see Using Facebook Ads for your Event.
The team at eventrac are on hand to assist with all components of your event. From advice on promoting your event through low cost channels such as social media, to a guided tutorial on a specific feature of eventrac. We are here to help.