Using Twitter to Market your Race

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Twitter is a great channel to promote your events on because people look to Twitter for live news, updates, and engaging content. If you follow the right strategy, your event can reach masses of people who are interested in what’s going on.

Why should I Tweet? 

Yes, it is another social media platform to manage, but…. 

  1. It does have over 330 million people that turn to it for live updates about trending topics and news. 
  2. You can message anyone and start a discussion with anyone, whether they follow you or not
  3. Your tweets get through to everyone who follows you, unlike your Facebook posts whose reach is limited by Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm (the flip-side of this is that your tweets stay at the top of a follower’s feed for only a very small time)
  4. With its paid advertising service too Twitter offers some unique features that may be useful in some cases, like the ability to target followers of other (large) races. However, it seems that the reach and cost-effectiveness of Twitter ads fall short of its social media competitors, particularly Facebook.
  5. It has live streaming features to help you capture your day, which has high engagement rates. This can in turn help your race gain traction, increase sales and awareness.

But like with all social channels, there is a large time consumption element to Twitter. If you commit to any social channel, do so 100%. So if you want to add Twitter to your social mix, do so only if you’ve got the bandwidth to do it right.

So here are some tips for you to start using Twitter to your advantage, to help increase awareness of your event. 

Build anticipation for your race

It’s important to build anticipation and excitement months before your event takes place. Work on creating content that you can post to develop a strong pre-event strategy that will help you increase awareness and ticket registrations. This is your chance to explain why your race will be worthwhile to attend and encourage people to register.

For some more ideas on what type of content to post on your channels, before, during and after your race, see our guide on ‘Communicating with your Participants’. If you can afford to develop branded designs and videos, we highly recommend doing so, so that you get some brand recognition and your event becomes recognizable on Twitter. Photos are shareable content and can improve your reach, especially if you receive retweets.

Create the Perfect Hashtag

Creating the perfect hashtag is really important and can improve your chances of being a trending topic on the day of your event. Your hashtag should be short, easy to remember, and fun. Remember, relevance is key.

People who attend your event will use this hashtag before, during and after, so you want to make sure that it is simple, but still stands out. Tweets with hashtags receive much more engagement than those without hashtags, a good example of a race hashtag is to use your race name followed by the year: #NottinghamMarathon2019

Keeping it relevant to the event, straightforward, short, and easy to remember is the formula. 

Managing Your Twitter Account on Race Day

It’s important to create a build-up to your race, but it's a wasted opportunity not to use your account during your event, as this is when the most engagement will happen and you’ll be able to ride the wave of content created by your participants. 

As a race director you’ll most likely be far too busy to manage this. So find someone in your team who can! Choose someone (or multiple people) who will be responsible for all of the coverage during the event. They should be social media savvy, have access to all aspects of the event, and be outgoing.

They will enable anyone who couldn’t attend the event, to feel like they are a part of it, and they will interact with race winners, sponsors, and everyone who could make it. Use live photos, behind-the-scenes content, as well as video interviews and live video streaming.

To make this process easier, you can design a plan for how the event will be promoted on the actual day. Perhaps you want to interview race winners after they collect their medal — this individual can schedule a time for them to sit down together for quick 5 minute video interviews, which can all just be done on their smartphones. 

Videos, photos, and tweets will help keep everyone engaged during the event and they should be posted in real-time. Another responsibility they will have is to reply to each tweet within an hour. The more timely you are with feedback, the more engaged your Twitter followers will be.

Give All Of Your Tweets An Informative Angle

It goes without saying, but don’t post useless stuff on your feed. Write tweets that add value and information to the reader. Like training articles, event updates or useful links, to get people sharing and asking questions to each other, building a buzz. It is a great way to get information to your event tweeters. And it’s easy to leverage engagement. 

Get Everyone Involved

Now that you have the perfect hashtag in place and staff who will cover the event on social, make sure to get everyone else involved too. Speak with aid station volunteers, marshalls, vendors, sponsors, special guests, and obviously race goers. Encourage them to live-tweet the event. 

Create incentives to get everyone involved. For example, you could offer the chance to be entered in to win tickets to the following year to members who live tweet withy your race hashtag for you to keep track of entries. Or, you can tweet about your sponsors and ask them to re-tweet your posts. 

In sum... 

Twitter is a powerful channel to promote your event on and can transform the way you plan, execute and share all event updates.

On Hand To Help

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.

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