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Social media: Reaching new audiences

By Kate Swanson

KateFaceIn February, managing editor Liz Keener wrote a blog post on encouraging younger generations to ride. It’s important for the powersports industry to expand and cater to individual customer’s needs. A 22-year-old will approach buying a new motorcycle from a different standpoint than a 42-year-old. Understandably, the same 22-year-old may also find out about the dealership or sale from a different source. The point is that the sources and marketing that you use to get customers into your dealership needs to be varied.



If your desire as a dealership is to pull in younger customers, remember that social media can be your friend. One tool that has become more popular in recent months is the use of GIFs (Graphics Interchange Formats) on social media sites to generate more views, likes and retweets. These short video clips use a more condensed image format to play on continuous loop without the click of a button — a valuable way to catch potential customers’ eyes as they scroll through their various feeds!

Hootsuite was recently tasked with the need to increase its own Twitter interaction rate and did so by releasing a clever GIF of some of its employees. The response to this new form of marketing was a 180 percent increase in Hootsuite’s Twitter engagement rate in two months (80 retweets, over 80 favorites and 760 link clicks on that post alone)! With the Internet, the options are endless. You can find GIFs on multiple websites such as Giphy, Reddit or Reaction GIFs, or make them on imgflip or GIFmaker.me.

Want another way to engage a wider, younger audience on social media? Add GIFs to some of your Facebook posts to generate more views and likes. Examples include clips from dealership events, gatherings or even your service department at work. Whatever you choose, make sure that it promotes your own brand awareness. 


According to this Global Web Index (GWI) report by Jason Mander, Snapchat was the fastest growing social app of 2014 — up 57 percent — over Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and others. While its beginnings were somewhat questionable, more advertisers are seeking out Snappers to promote their business. The average age of users range 13 to 25 years old, a younger demographic than Facebook (average age of 40). Imagine being able to send out direct marketing to each of your customers’ phones. Convince them that the new rider’s program is worth checking out by sending a short video or picture from an event. It may still be a year or two away, but making the effort to increase your marketing through all social media outlets will save you time — and customers — later.

So, what’s the end game? Send some snapshots that show your customers your products and get your name out there. Perhaps post a GIF of your service department installing a new LED light? Are you connecting with your audience on Facebook on a regular basis to promote your business? Social media has become just as important as direct mail or emails. Remember to reinforce, reengage and you’ll get the reward: More customers.

Kate Swanson is the assistant editor of Powersports Business, a trade magazine for the powersports industry. She reports on the powersports industry through Powersports Business’ varied media, including in the magazine and online. She helps assemble the brand’s three-times-a-week e-news. Powersports Business is known for its exclusive national dealer surveys, in-depth industry analysis, Power 50 dealership honors program and dealership conference, Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo.

Contact: kswanson@powersportsbusiness.com

Website: www.powersportsbusiness.com

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