by: Rebecca Potzner
It’s no secret that social media is ever changing and always growing. With 37,000+ participants, 6,000+ volunteers and around 250 entertainers accessing information, social outlets played a key role in the Flying Pig Marathon’s customer service and offered a sense of community beyond race weekend. So, when it came time to start planning for the Flying Pig Marathon and its weekend events, we knew there needed to be more emphasis on our social media presence.
Our 2015 social media lounge initiative was to execute real-time engagement and to bring the sense of community to life both on and off line by offering P&G Health and Fitness Expo guests a unique experience to share their excitement for the weekend. Here’s how we executed it.
- A lounge was set up in the middle of the Expo complete with two couches, six tables, televisions and a silver Mylar balloon arch that spelled out #runflyingpig, the official hashtag for the Flying Pig Marathon. Many participants used the arch as a photo opp and the GDC team was right there to snap a shot. #runflyingpig became a trending topic in Cincinnati on Twitter.
- Constant Monitoring
- Before, during and after, social outlets were monitored through Sprout Social and direct outlets to answer questions and reply to enthusiastic participants in a timely manner
- A large screen TV showcased a waterfall of the #runflyingpig hashtag usage through Tagboard.
- This allowed participants to sit back, relax and check out what others had to say about the “pigtivities”
- WLWT-NBC content for weather reports and a course tour
- WLWT-NBC, the official TV partner of the Flying Pig Marathon, provided two videos to air on TV screens in the lounge. One featured the very important weather forecast by WLWT meteorologist Randi Rico and the other a time lapse of the full marathon course.
- Offered on-site help with the app, participant tracking and PassPork Program.
- We had staff in the social media lounge both days helping participants with downloading the official app. More than 10,000 people downloaded the app this year.
- Engaging activity
- A banner reading “I fly with the Pig because…” invited Expo attendees to share why they participate or volunteer with the Flying Pig, truly bringing that sense of community to life. We snapped photos of our favorites and shared them through social outlets.
- Guest speaker streamed through Periscope
- Harvey Lewis, an Ultrarunner and Flying Pig Streaker (one of the 90 runners who have completed all 17 Flying Pig Marathons), spoke to those in the lounge about motivation. We used Periscope to live stream the chat for those who couldn’t make it the Expo or lounge area.
Overall, the social media lounge was a big Pig success! We saw a constant flow of participants stop by, take photos, put up a post-it, sign up for the app, and more.