How to Boost Audience Engagement Both Online and at the Track

Last week, I wrote about why engagement matters more than ever in racing. Engagement at the race track and engagement in your online community.

The more engaged your audience is, the more consistently committed they are to you and your brand.

If you read last week’s post, you know why engagement matters, I want to talk about how to boost your online engagement, whether you run a race team, series, track or brand.

When you think about engagement, I want you to think about specific actions. Reading a piece of content, whether that’s on your Facebook account, Twitter feed or your scoreboard, is not engagement. That’s consumption.

Engagement, by quantifiable standards, means taking action. Let’s talk about two of the most popular platforms: Facebook and Twitter.

On Facebook, engagement means a:
• Like,
• Share,
• Comment, or
• Click on a link.

On Twitter, engagement means a:
• Retweet,
• Favorite,
• Reply,
• Click on a link.

You can imagine what engagement looks like on the rest of the interwebs – for example, on Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and your email newsletter.

What you probably already know is that Facebook treats engagement differently. Your content is ‘edge-ranked’ by Facebook’s algorithm based on a number of factors that influence who sees your content and how often. Engagement is a major factor in that equation.

And while the other networks – including race tracks – don’t use engagement to determine your level of exposure to your fans, it’s just as important.

The more action fans take with your content – whether that’s what you do at the track or online – the more trust they feel with you. The more trust they feel, the more invested they are in your relationship.

And relationships mean everything to customers.

That’s why you have to get your fans to take action.

In order to boost engagement and get people to take action, you have to tell them to. In fact, that’s my number one tip for boosting engagement: give them a simple call to action. Tell them what you want them to do – click, like, share, join – even if it’s subtle.

If you don’t tell your audience what to do, they’ll do nothing.

Real life example: do you hear a lot more applause and cheers in the stands when the announcer asks the crowd to root on their favorite driver? Of course. Because they’ve been directed. Engagement rises when you make the ask.

Another way to boost engagement is to respect their time. Users move fast, and that means you have to make it easy for them to take the action. Asking a question? Think, before you post, what the potential answers might be. Instead of asking for a story, ask questions that require a sentence or less. Even just a word or a number. You’ll get a much higher engagement rate.

On that note, users find content that’s easy to consume most action-worthy. Optimize your content to be user-friendly and actionable. What qualifies? I recommend content with text that’s short and well-formatted – use punctuation and spacing to your advantage – and an image that’s both beautiful and simple. Make sure your links have descriptive headlines and also have nice images – did you know you could change these manually?

Finally, consider advertising. On every channel, not just Facebook, you’ll see a huge spike in reach and engagement by using ads effectively. What’s even better? With the current targeting capabilities on social media platforms, you’ll be prompting engagement from the fans that matter most to your business.

That should give you four factors to consider when creating massively engaging content, whether you’re at the track or supporting your business online.

Best of luck.


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About the author

Kristin Swartzlander Kristin Swartzlander is passionate about applying business sense to racing 'nonsense' in hopes of growing the sport of dirt track racing. She is a business strategist who works with entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them learn how to use public relations, marketing and social media to achieve their goals. Learn more about social media, marketing and racing sponsorship on the DirtyMouth blog.