Well, I hope you have been following the past two weeks of this new column? The importance of having social media was discussed in week one, as well as how it can benefit you positively, then in week two we went into a bit more detail with Facebook as a social media platform and how you could get more from it.
Next week I’ll have an absolute scorcher for you where you will be able to hear insights direct from some of the biggest motocross companies in the world. I’ve asked these guys how important social media is for sponsorship. You all know my opinion on the subject, but what about the people you are trying to get support from? We have opinions from FMF, Talon, Seven, Olfi, Enjoy and FLY to name a few. I’m hoping to get feedback from up to ten companies in total, so you can quickly see how important it is for you to make sure you are getting your social in order.
This week I’m going to focus on content for your social media. That is the most important factor in getting people to follow you. I’ve been scouting through all the pages I have been invited to lately; there is some good work going on and I understand it’s difficult balancing racing, work, life and training. Content doesn't just have to revolve around the weekend though. If you are posting on a Friday and Monday then, yes, you are ticking the boxes by tagging sponsors, but we want to give people a reason to keep coming back to your page to follow you.
Content examples mid-week could be the following…
– Tagging in your favourite bike cleaner company in a before and after photo of your pride and joy. The same goes for boots, helmets etc.
– Oil change with product placement.
– Training at the gym and in circuit classes etc.
– Uploading your weekly training schedule for other people to share or engage on.
– Upload some video footage of you riding from the weekend. Just because you’re not the fastest doesn't mean it is not entertaining and, hey, if you have a crash in there, make sure you leave it in.
– Mention any physio you are working with, what rehab you are doing and some information about the injury.
Make sure you appreciate the photographers at the tracks. Those guys are out there spending thousands on equipment, leave their family and use their free days to shoot their passion at local tracks. I can tell you for a fact that most of those guys give up the above but, just like you, spend money to be there each weekend. Let that sink in, firstly, then introduce yourself to the photographers. Say hello and maybe even offer them a cup of tea in your van/camper, as this will be appreciated more often than not. You are then on their radar and not in a one-way relationship.
You need the photographers more than they need you. The pictures they take will be fantastic for your social media and will make you look more professional than other riders, who are trying to cut corners. There are some amazing photographers out there on a Sunday, who deserve to be paid top money for their time and work. The problem, however, is there is just not enough money to go around in motocross. If you are from the United Kingdom, then you know what I’m saying.
Strike up a deal with photographers at your meeting and ask them how much they would charge for five or ten photos from a weekend. These don’t need to just be on-track shots, as lifestyle images that show off your sponsors are just as important in this game. Whatever you do, make sure that you credit these guys and respect their work. If a great shot is acquired, tag your sponsor in. They may want to also use the photo and pay for the use. You don't have to be a professional to act like one.
Well, good luck with that one! The good videographers, who are hard to come by, are not going to get out of bed for credit. What I would suggest is look into something like the Olfi Camera and start to put some footage together using some basic software. I’ll warn you though, you will need to invest a lot of time to learn this and make something look good.
Did you get an interview? What about a mention on a website or magazine? Get it on your Facebook page. Scan in the article from the magazine or ask them to send you a digital version. Alternatively, if they have a digital copy, paste the URL to the exact page and post to your Facebook account. It is tough for an amateur rider to get an interview, as mentioned last week, so always look for a way of creating an intriguing story that someone would be interested in. If not, just keep knocking on the door until someone opens it. Journalists are often working on countless stories at any given time and will eventually find a slot for you.
What we are trying to achieve here is a steady flow of content through the week that will keep people interested about your chosen lifestyle or profession, but also show enough engagement and reach for sponsors or potential sponsors. I would advise you to focus on engagement this week and talk to those who comment or share your post. Engagement (talking to people) is one of the biggest reasons why MX Vice has grown to the size it is now.
Make sure you engage with everyone on your page and make sure that, if someone shares a post, you say thanks and like their shared post. Engagement requires more than a paragraph or two, so we’ll look into this in the fifth edition of ‘Social Scoop’ in a few weeks. Just make sure that you do the basics above.
Words: James Burfield | Lead Image: MX Vice