Photo: American Flat Track
I was going to wait a few more days before I sat down and put something together for Part 2 of these offseason off-track tips, but as I was scrolling through social media this morning, I got frustrated enough that I decided today was the day.
Social media is extremely important in today’s world. Not only is it free marketing, but there are other valuable aspects of it that make it essential not only for businesses, but for athletes also, which includes motorcycle racers (Hey, that’s you!)
Social media is a great way to market yourself within the industry, build relationships with the fans, and seek sponsorship opportunities. Social media can be your best friend or your worst enemy. I have learned so much through past experiences with social media. Everything I am about to mention on here is something that I have screwed up at one point or another. I have learned from my failures and hopefully I can point you away from the mud puddle before you step in it and have to clean your shoes.
One of most irritating things I personally see on social media is atrocious spelling. I understand if you spell something wrong occasionally. Autocorrect on an iPhone can be a pain in the rear sometimes, but if you are continuously spelling things wrong because you are too lazy to research or use spell check, then that is unacceptable. Take the time and write your post or caption in Microsoft Word before posting it so you can take advantage of spell check. I understand some people just aren’t as good at writing as others, but if you are a racer who is reaching out to your fans and sponsors via social media, you need to take the time to make it look good.
The next tip has to do with social media usernames. Instead of having something like @RacRBoyFltTrack65, just use your name @CoryTexter, so it’s easier for fans and sponsors to find you. Don’t have your username as @CTexter65 on Twitter and @Cory65Texter on Instagram, because that makes it confusing. Keep them the same throughout all the social media channels and keep them simple.
Being a racer should be considered a part-time job. With that being said, create a business page on Facebook for your racing updates. There are several benefits in doing this rather than using your personal page. First off, your personal page is only limited to 5,000 people. Second, there is so much useful data you can access through a business page. Facebook Insights is a very valuable tool that provide a variety of data you can use when creating posts and sharing your reach with potential sponsors. Third, it just looks better. It brings a professional look to what you are trying to do and yes companies do take notice.
Another pet peeve of mine is when riders take a photo from a photographers website with the watermark across the center of the photo, or a screen shot of said photo and post it on their page. Not only does it look terrible, but it’s basically stealing. The only time this is acceptable is if that photo is shared on a photographer’s social media page and you get permission to use it. When using their photo, make sure you include photo credit. This is important. Photographers don’t make nearly enough money to do what they do, so at the very least, supply them with photo credit so the fans know where to go if they would like to purchase a print. If you can’t find good quality photos to post on your page, send an email to a photographer and ask them to purchase a digital copy of the image for social media. Most of the time, it’s cheap ($5-$10 a photo) and you can use that photo on social media and for other promotional things like autograph sheets and your resume.
How often should you post? Don’t post too much (3+ times a day) and don’t post too little (Once every two weeks or longer). I try and post something every 1-2 days, but it all depends on what time of year it is. As a racer, it’s hard to find good content to post in the winter because nothing cool is going on. Stay relevant, but don’t be annoying.
When I started putting this together, I realized I could write a book about social media, but I better save some content for a later date. We still have almost four months until Daytona. This should help put you on the right path.
Until next time,