Rodeo committees of all sizes are learning that social media is a must. But are they using it correctly? We’ll help with a few tricks and tips to create a great social media presence.

Social media is not something that you do the month before your rodeo.  You must learn to build your audience and become a source for the “3 Major Rodeo Groups”:

The Rodeo Fans

The Rodeo Sponsors

The Rodeo Contestants

Remember the 3 Major Groups, we’ll be talking about them throughout this post.  You’ll also see the words “social media platform”.  If you are new to social media, this is just a quick way of saying “Facebook, Instagram,Twitter, Snapchat” and so on.

Should the Platform be for the Rodeo or Our Group?

This is the first and upmost important to decision to make.  If you are a group like a riding club, a chamber of commerce, or a school that is hosting a rodeo, you may have an easier time holding on to your rodeo 3 Major Rodeo Groups by creating pages for just the rodeo.  Why?  Your rodeo’s persona should be of a Professional Rodeo Show.  When you use the same platform to advertise local events, you tend to personify your rodeo as “local”, and how many “local” jackpots have a Sold Out Crowd?  In a perfect scenario, your group has it’s own social media platforms and the rodeo has their own social media platforms.  The Group can share posts from the rodeo’s platform, but the rodeo should only share posts from the group that will honestly help draw in more of the 3 Major Rodeo Groups.

Make a commitment to Social Media

Your social media must have a plan, and you must stick to the plan that is agreed upon by your committee.  Plan out your posts leading up to your rodeo. Remember holidays and important dates, such as entries for your contestants, ticket sale days, and more. Plan for sponsored posts and budget for paid advertising on social media platforms.

Put Someone In Charge

Choose someone that can take the lead of your social media.  Make sure the person understands the way the tools of social media work, and that as a rodeo committee, you are trying to draw in the 3 Major Rodeo Groups.  The person that is taking the lead of your social media must be accountable and be able to give  the members reports of how the pages are being seen and who is seeing the page.  They need to be able to choose the right content and have access to every area of the rodeo.  In some cases, this person has their own sub-committee.  All of these people meet regularly and drive towards the same goal and plan of your social media strategy.  The social media committee must be fluent as a group in at least three social media platforms. LIMIT the amount of users of your social media. This allows you to keep a handle on the posts.

Create Your Rodeo’s Style

Your social media person or group should come up with a style for all your social media platforms.  This is usually a style that bleeds over into your printed material and non digital advertisements.   The other thing to consider when styling your social media is your rodeo’s personality.  Are you a traditional western style rodeo, an upbeat rocking rodeo, or something different?  Just like the clothes you wear, your social media style is a reflection of your rodeo. One of our clients, the Post Stampede, sticks to a style with their social media throughout the year, as you can see below. In 2017 they had a blue leather color scheme, in 2018 they switched up to a black and red floral theme.

What Platform is Best?

Your style is also a way to gather your target audience.  Are you trying to reach older married people, twenty year olds or young school kids in your post?  Think of your posts and decide what platform would be better served for that particular post.  If you need a younger crowd, your posts should be more on Instagram with more pictures and less text. If you are needing an older crowd, use more Facebook posts that allow more words and in-depth posts.

6 Do’s and Don’t of Rodeo Posting

The one thing that we notice from rodeo committees is that they do not understand the importance of quality posts.  If you are posting poor, or unprofessional posts, it will reflect on your committee and more importantly, your rodeo.  Below, we have listed 6 Do’s and Don’ts for Rodeo Committee Social media posts:

1) DO share photos of your facility often.  DON’T show the unkept areas.

Your facility is your face.  You want the public to see those places and want to come and visit it.  If you show a pen that has no paint, tall grass, and trash on the ground, that is not a very “eye pleasing” sight. When you are updating any structure on site, let the fans know. The new Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas is coming together famously. The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo hasn’t wasted anytime providing fans with a sneak peak of this new facility.

2) DO post from your sanctioning body.  DON’T post non-sanctioning events.

Remember your contestants are a very important part to a successful rodeo.  Do not get them confused as to who your rodeo is sanctioned by. You want to send clear messages about your rodeo’s identity. Confirming your sanctioned identity also assists with the contestant’s questions about entry information and added money. There is another advantage of displaying your sanctions, based on our own in-house study.  Rodeos that are sanctioned by recordable associations tend to get more sponsor dollars and larger crowds.  Think of buying groceries.  Which is more expensive, the name brand, or the store brand?  Remember to search your association’s social media and share posts of their videos, images and stories on your platform.  It’s also great to ask the sanctioning association for a digital version of their logo or your graphic designer. Preferable a .png file with no background.   Below is great post from the PRCA that you could share if you were a PRCA sanctioned rodeo.

3) DO post quality content.  DON’T post without thinking of the content.

If you are truly a rodeo fan, you know there is a difference in an 85pt ride in the Saddle Bronc and a 60pt ride. Your posted content should show the most wild or highest marked rides, the prettiest loops in the roping, and barrel racers close to the barrels.  Help give your rodeo an image of TOP Rodeo Contestants.  It’s always a good idea to work with a professional photographer or videographer that knows the sport. Also very important, stay alert to images that can be attacked by activist.

Below, look at these two images of team roping. Remember, we are not saying one team is better than the other, but, based on images alone, one is perceived better than the other.

Notice the loop that the header made. Notice the crowd. Notice that the heeler doesn’t have his cowboy hat on his head. Look at the position of the header, he’s not setting up and in the forward position.
Notice the bleachers are full. Both ropers are wearing their full arena dress code. The position of the ropers and horses give the perception of speed.

4) DO Post your print ads.  DON’T Post a picture of a piece of paper.

You are trying to show how professional your rodeo is.  If you invest time in social media, don’t waste that time by printing a poster and using your phone to take a picture of the poster, then posting the picture.  Fans notice these things.  Ask the designer of the poster to send you a “Social Media Friendly File”  If they can’t do that, than consider changing graphic designers. Actually, we know a “Marketing Company”

5) DO post Pictures of the Crowd. DON’T Post empty Bleachers.

We all know that bleachers fill more in certain areas.  Before snapping a picture, make sure the crowd is full in the background.  You could have 5,000 people behind you, but if your photos or videos only show 4 spectators in the post, your audience assumes it was a bust in ticket sales. The social media director of your committee should also be instructing this little tip to your official rodeo photographer. You know who really loves a big crowd? Your sponsors. Below you can see how some rodeos highlight their fans.

6) DO post to the 3 Major Rodeo Groups. DON’T post messages to your committee

As we have been saying throughout this post, your rodeo’s social media should be geared to the 3 Major Rodeo Groups. Period. The person in charge of your social media should understand that above all. Your rodeo’s social media platform is not a place to communicate within your group about “group talk”.  Things like workdays, committee meetings, disagreements, private events and non-rodeo related business should not be on the rodeo’s platform. The fans and sponsors do not need to see any weakness, drama or inside scuffles.  Believe us, we’ve seen it all. These kind of things deter fans from your platform.  Sponsors will wonder why they are sending funds to an un-organized group.  If you need to talk to your committee, do it behind closed doors, in a group text or email them all at once.  For Facebook user, you might think about setting up your own private group. Learn how to do that here. If someone in your committee is posting content not geared to the 3 Major Rodeo Groups, remove them immediately.  They are hindering your progress.

DO ask for help.

If any of this seems overwhelming to you or unattainable, remember that Rockin H Marketing has Social Media Services available.  Contact us at info@rockinhmarketing.com and let know how we can help. We offer complete Social Media management as well as overall rodeo marketing consulting. We can provide you with a list of references.

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