Social media sites are great if you want to keep up with friends, relatives, or your favorite brands or bands, but what, exactly, does social media do for motorsports? Well, for one, it helps teams, drivers, and everyone involved stay in touch with fans, you know, figure out what the former likes and wants to see more of. Also, social media is really handy for delivering race news, photos, and race videos as they happen, rather than the day after an event.
Websites like Twitter are really handy for all sports personalities and teams, but for auto racing in particular. Both teams and racers have pages that offer often up to the minute updates on what’s what in their world, and updates on what’s happening on the track. Not only is this a fantastic look behind the scenes, but it’s a way for teams to see exactly how popular they really are.
Twitter teams up really well with Youtube and Flickr, which host videos and photos respectively. Twitter itself doesn’t handle images very well, but they do let you link to the two arguably most popular media sharing social media sites around. Teams like to use Youtube to host promo and introduction videos, like BMW RLL’s intro video for their brand new Z4, racing in ALMS this year. Meanwhile, Flickr is a great avenue to share photos of the car and the people that helped build it on the racer account.
Myspace and Facebook are also handy tools that teams and drivers use to get in touch with their fans. Unlike Twitter, Myspace and Facebook are more long-form, as in, you can write a lot more and post more media to them. Both are handy for posting race results and garage photos, both of which are always awesome, but they also are handy for another thing: plugs. A lot of corporate, or at least business-affiliated Facebook pages periodically post deals on various products. A good example would be a team posting a discount code for buying tickets to an event online. Even if it is just 10%, that is still $10 in your pocket if you were planning to go to Sebring or Long Beach, or whatever event is your pleasure.
Any conversation about social media is incomplete without a mention of Linkedin. As a professional social site, it has exploded in popularity, and if you don’t have an account and care about your professional career, then you’re already behind the curve. Racing teams and series usually have profiles, but they aren’t as active as their other social media accounts because they are designed for one thing: getting more talent. Teams don’t post their job openings on Craigslist, but they do recruit through Linkedin. If you’re looking for an in, or want to see if you know anyone that knows anyone that works in motorsports, then Linkedin is the ticket.
Social media is a huge thing right now, and for good reason. Teams, racers, and series sanctioning bodies are all on the bandwagon because they can get in touch directly with their fans, to show them behind the scenes goods, to share news and upcoming events, and to recruit the most talented of the bunch.