If you’re here, you’re probably already familiar with some of the reasons that social media can benefit your team. But, I still get tons of questions about the value of social media from drivers and team owners, tertiary team members – family, friends, crew and lurkers, marketing partners, and traditional media members who see it as fun and games at best or narcissistic and hurtful at worst.
If you take a look around, social media can be all of those things: valuable, harmful, self-absorbed, and fun.
But if you want to take the negative stand on it, here’s what I have to say:
It’s generally more harmful to let others talk about you than to do it yourself.
Detractors will argue that others will still talk about you. I agree. People will always gossip. It’s just a question of whether you want to chime in with your version of the story or not.
If you go down this path one more step, here’s a kicker for you: I argue that if all you care about is controlling the gossip, you only care about what your peers think. And if all you care about is what your peers think about you, you’re in the wrong business.
Because your competitors don’t pay your bills.
Social media doesn’t just put your message out to your gossiping peers. It allows you to connect with fans, marketing partners, media members and other influencers. You might change the talk in the pits, for better or for worse, with social media. But that’s a side benefit in the grand scheme of bettering your racing program.
At the end of the day, social media can:
- Introduce you to new sponsorship and marketing partner leads,
- Activate your current marketing partnerships to help your sponsors grow their businesses (i.e. what they’re paying you for),
- Increase your positive PR presence, which will help you, and your sponsors more press.
- Increase your fan base which, in turn, can*:
- *Attract marketing partners who want to reach those fans,
- *Help you sell merchandise, experiences and tickets,
- *Help you share your message, on and off the track.
Notice something beautiful in there? Having a public presence helps you grow, which helps you gain a bigger public presence, which helps you grow.
It’s the circle of (racing) life.
And that’s much more profitable than just changing a conversation.