Most people are on social media nowadays and in this digital age it is much easier to promote your motocross career to a wider audience. This is not a discussion about one platform being better than another. Nor, is it a "how-to" guide for setting up a social media account. I want to share with you some tips on maximizing your brand as a motocross racer using social media.
Tip #1 - Keep it clean!
I see social media as a bit like what you see in the movies where a police officer arresting the criminal says "anything you say or do can be used against you in a court of law..." What you put on your social media platform is there forever, for all to see, and can come back to bite you if you have posted something you shouldn't really have posted.
You can have all the privacy settings in the world, but "stupid", "bad", "controversial" or even "illegal" things have a habit of becoming front page news. Just take a look at any number of professional athletes or celebrities who have mucked up and been caught in some scandal over the years as a result of posting something bad on the internet.
All I can say is just take a moment and think before posting something online. Ask yourself a couple of questions:
- Is what I'm about to post likely to be hurtful to somebody or be seen as "mean" or an act of "bullying"?
- Is my comment just NEGATIVE in nature and serves no purpose to promote myself as an aspiring motocross racer?
Although, I believe social media doesn't have to be all "serious" I do feel that it is important to be positive with your comments (even if you are trying to be funny about something.)
If you aren't a fan of mixing your personal life with your sporting career, the solution is simple - set up a dedicated Page (as distinct from a personal profile) just for promoting your brand as a motocross racer. Consult the help section of your social media platform on how to create a Page (or just Google it!)
Tip #2 - Be professional, but personal
As a motocross racer you don't want to appear too casual with fans, but you also don't want your Page to read like a text book.
Try to find a balance and allow your fans to see you as a human being rather than a robot.
Take a look at some successful sportspeople to see what their Pages look like, how they interact with fans and the way they promote their sponsors. You might like to check out the Pages of Craig Lowndes and Chad Reed - two champion athletes and great ambassadors of their respective sports.
Craig Lowndes - Professional Racing Driver, Supercars Championship
Chad Reed - Professional Motocross & Supercross Rider
Tip #3 - Check your spelling
Your brand as a motocross racer is important. That's why what you put on social media reflects the entire brand and should be checked for spelling, grammar and factual information before publishing.
Even after you've posted something re-read it and, if necessary, go back and edit the post.
Tip #4 - Consistently post on your Pages
The internet is flooded with information on how to maximize followers and get the most fan engagements. Consistency is probably the best advice.
Facebook: Post at least once a day (no more than twice.) Okay, maybe sometimes you can get away with three times if you have something that you really, really, really want to let your fans know about! But, try not to make a habit of this otherwise you may see fans switching off if they receive too much content from you.
When should you post? Well, if you search the internet, most sites will tell you the best times that you will get the most engagements/likes. Don't get too caught up with this as there are so many things to consider such as the location of your fans, their ages, when they are on social media and so on and so on. You don't have to be rigid. They are just guidelines. It is probably more a case of trial and error. Consistency is the key in the world of social media.
Twitter: Strive to tweet every couple of hours including weekends. Again, the internet is full of recommendations and this can get very confusing. Maybe take another look at our sports stars' Pages above and see how often and when they post content to give you something to aim for.
Instagram: Try to post at least once a day.
Instagram is great for posting photos and videos taken from behind the scenes. They are great for providing an authentic voice to your brand. Try to post interesting content that your fans will engage with. Instagram is a very visual medium so look to post your best photos/videos while taking fans on your journey as an aspiring motocross racer.
Tip #5 - Use images
Posts with images seem to get more fan engagements than just words alone. You don't always have to use images, but in the whole it is a good idea to have a photo or video with an intriguing caption most times you post.
This blog is not designed to be a huge sales ploy, but I know a professional motocross photographer who takes great images lol and can supply a library of race images you can use with your social media sites for a very small investment each round.
Tip #6 - Build relationships
Getting lots of followers is one thing, but as a budding motocross star you want to focus on building relationships, generating conversations and providing entertaining content. Build alliances by teaming up with local businesses that compliment your brand as a motocross racer. The more businesses that you follow and the more engagements you have with their content, the more likely they are to do the same for you. It may open the door to new sponsorship opportunities.
Tip #7 - Monitor your competitors
Take a look to see what your competitors are saying or doing on their social media platforms. This also applies to checking out your sports idols/mentors. It may give you some idea on things to talk about on your own Pages without directly copying their content.