10 Tips to Grow Your Racing Fanbase

 As a driver, social media is the most powerful tool you have to grow your racing brand. If you can master it, you'll open up countless opportunities on and off the track.  The following ten tips are designed to help you get the most out of your social media efforts.   

 

1. CREATE A BRAND PAGE

If you read our last post then you know Facebook caps a personal page at 5,000 fans. You also know that a brand page gives you access to Facebook analytics and allows you to boost posts through paid ads. And you know you need to use a professional photo, proper grammar, spelling and make sure your contact info is easily accessible. So since you already know these things, let’s move to tip #2.

 

2. PROMOTE YOUR SPONSORS THE RIGHT WAY

It should go without saying, but you should ABSOLUTELY feature and link to your sponsors in your bio. If you have the means, you should also design a cover photo featuring their logos. But those are just the basics. Where you’ll set yourself apart is if you can find ways to post relevant content about your sponsors that’s interesting to your audience.

Here’s an example. If you’re sponsored by Lucas Oil, you could post a photo of the Lucas Oil logo, with a “Thanks to my sponsor” message.  But that’s boring. It feels like an ad, and people hate ads. Instead do something creative. You could use your phone to make a time lapse video the next time you change the oil in your car. It takes a little more work, but it's way more interesting to fans and more beneficial to your sponsor. And be sure to tag Lucas Oil when you post it. It will set you apart from all the drivers posting logos (or doing nothing) and really show your sponsor you’re committed to upholding your end of the agreement.

 

3. INVITE THE RIGHT FRIENDS

If all of your friends like racing, invite all of your friends to like your page. But if you’re like most people, you probably have at least a few friends who are not racing fans. If they’re not going to be interested in your racing, DO NOT invite them to your like page. Here’s why: each time you post, Facebook limits the number of people who see it. If the first few people ignore your post, Facebook stops serving it in everyone else’s newsfeeds.

So it's imperative that you only invite people who are going to engage with your content - especially when you're just starting out. A smaller fan base of people who really care about your racing is MUCH better than a big fan base of people who ignore everything you post. Social media is about quality, not quantity.   

 

4. BE LIKEABLE

Each time you post ask yourself, will people enjoy this? Is this post useful or entertaining to my audience? Will it make their day better or just clutter their newsfeed? If you’re Kyle Larson, you can probably get away with posting a selfie at the grocery store. But if you’re Joe Sport Mod, chances are you need to try a little harder to be interesting. Don’t be afraid to try new things, but always learn from them. If people love seeing pictures of your car on the track, but ignore pictures of you in the shop, shift your content strategy to include more action shots and get rid of the shop shots.  

 

5. BUY A GOPRO (OR ANY ACTION CAMERA)

If you read the last post you also know an in car action camera is one of the most powerful tools you can use to grow your fan base. One quick tip for GoPro videos: cut the video so your car is up to full speed in no more than 5 second from the start. A little bit of pacing is fine, especially if you have some intro titles that say your name and where/what you’re racing. But no one is going to sit through 6 pace laps before you get on the gas.

 

6. USE FACEBOOK LIVE

Some tracks don’t allow Facebook Live streaming of their races. Those promoters are completely missing the ball on digital media, but that’s for another blog. Live streaming is one of best ways to get exposure and fans on Facebook. Use it and use it well. If your track allows you to stream your races then you should absolutely find someone who’s willing to be your camera man (or woman). Even if your track doesn’t allow live streaming of the races, do a couple quick updates from the pits during every race. You’ll be amazed at how many people tune in and appreciate it.

 

7. DON'T BEG FOR LIKES AND SHARES

If people like what you’re posting, they’ll like it. If people love what you’re posting, they just might share it. But no matter how many times you say “Share it up!!” you’re not going to convince someone who’s not interested in your content. Instead focus your energy on making content people naturally want to share. BONUS TIP: Don’t tag a bunch of people each time you post, either. It’s spammy, annoying and makes you look desperate. If your content is good, rest assured, the right people will see it.

 

8. ENGAGE WITH YOUR FANS

This was mentioned in the last post, too. But it bears repeating again. Social media is a two way street. If someone take the time to congratulate you, thank them. If they have a question, answer it. If they send you a private message, respond promptly. It’s hard enough to attract new fans, don’t burn the ones you already have.

 

9. BE CONSISTENT AND PERSISTENT

Social media is a journey, not a destination. You’re not going to build your fan base overnight. Post regularly, but also post with a purpose. It’s better to take a day or two off from posting than it is to post bad, boring content that's going to drive people away. Also, don’t post more than once a day. Facebook will begin dividing your reach among your posts, making each post less impactful.

 

10. BOOST YOUR BEST POSTS

I could write a whole blog (or 10) about paid media strategies on Facebook. But in the interest of keeping this simple and accessible, I will just tell you to only boost 1 out of every 5-10 posts you make. You only want to put your money behind the very, very best, most engaging content. And spread your budget out as much as possible. If you have $10 to spend on Facebook ads, don’t set your budget go through all $10 in one day. Set it for $1 per day for 10 days. This will give Facebook enough time to give your post the most reach for each dollar you spend.

 

Jeremy Cross is the founder/owner of Dirt Collective and an advertising creative director for one of the nation's largest digital advertising agencies.  He's developed social and digital ad campaigns for clients including Samsung, Motorola, Dove, Phillips 66, Minute Maid, Mazda and Chili's to name a few. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or drop him a line at dirtcollectiveapparel@gmail.com.

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