We can’t stress enough how important social media is today in recruiting runners – take it from us, we know!
All types of social media are extremely helpful in getting your message out to potential runners but above all, we recommend using Facebook for effective advertising and image-based inspiring communication.
Having a Facebook page and using it regularly to recruit your runners with accurately targeted organic content and advertising can make a world of difference. Facebook can easily help to build your audience, which you can then promote your places to in the build-up to the event. Read on for some of our best practices.
If you don’t already have a Facebook page for your charity, then create one today.
The best way to get started is to use the Facebook guides – they are the experts!
You can find out how to create a page here
Twitter is also a powerful tool in reaching out. It is a great way to consistently interact with your followers and chat with them about your events get them excited about joining your team.
You can learn more about Twitter and creating your profile here
Our best advice is make sure you coin your own hashtag! e.g. #CrossCancerOut (Cancer Research UK) A hashtag is important to include on as many of your tweets as possible, to make sure people can search and follow your activity around the world.
You can read more about the importance of hashtags here
Get snapping! Create an Instagram account and share photos of events you fundraise at or organise, as well as of your supporters. It’s a fantastic way to share what actually goes on behind your charity and to depict your message, as well as to get your followers posting and sharing your message. For example, people who run for you in the marathon can post their pictures of their training and their run on Instagram and tag your charity, as well as using that all-important hashtag as above. There is now also opportunity to post on stories to engage with all of your follows, you can post images, videos or even do live streams!
What to post
Organic posts on Facebook means ‘not paid for’ and that naturally reach people just by simply posting your message and image on your timeline.
When you create a post on Facebook, we advise that you always include:
- Happy, smiley runners
- Emotional runners at the finish line, emanating glory and success
- Brighton landmarks that show the city off at its best (sea, pier, pavilion)
- Finish line crowds and blue skies
(You can find a range of these images available for you to use in our toolkit.)
Always try and include an inspiring call to action with a URL that they can click through to e.g. “Let’s beat cancer together at Brighton Marathon”. Standard phrases such as ‘join our team’ are fine but won’t inspire people as much.
Use testimonials from runners who have previously run for you about their achievement and their positive experience of taking part. Create a page on your web site about inspirational stories from people who have taken part in Brighton before and link through to it.
Offer them a REASON to run for you (incentives for signing up such as a free welcome pack or t-shirt).
Use words like ‘guaranteed place’, ‘fun’, ‘fantastic atmosphere’, ‘huge crowd support’
Unfortunately, the way Facebook works these days means that just because you post something on your page, doesn’t mean everyone who follows you sees your message. This is because Facebook is set to only put items in the news feeds of people who actively engage with, or visit your page regularly. So, in order to reach everyone else and beyond, paid-for advertising is key. You can set as little or as much as you’d like to spend.
When you place an advert, the best targeting to use for Brighton Marathon is:
Male and Female age 18 – 55
Who live within a 50 mile radius of LONDON and BRIGHTON
Keywords you might want to use as another metric for targeting could include ‘interests’ such as other similar events, running magazines, distances of running events, charities and so on.
In Facebook the best type of advertising campaigns are ‘traffic ads’, which will optimise to send traffic to your website and sign up:
If you are starting out, then you will also need to generate some fans for your page to communicate with and this will require an ‘engagement’ advertising campaign.
You can also promote one of your posts on the page, to get people engaging with the content – these are best targeted to ‘fans and friends of fans’.
A full and helpful guide to creating ad campaigns in Facebook is available here
- Brighton Marathon Weekend is the event umbrella name. Always use the full name of the event in a post that talks about the whole event. Not just Brighton Marathon (unless your post is race specific).
- The correct name for the BM10k is just that. Please do not refer to it as the Brighton Marathon 10k.
- Please try not to use images of another event when promoting your places in the Brighton Marathon or BM10k. There are many you can use in our Dropbox folder here.