In September 2017, the Full Chat Agency conducted an independent, quantitative research study to provide a series of social media benchmarks for the UK motorcycle trade. Nearly 12 months on from that original report, we’ve repeated the research to see how things have changed.
A striking, unintended finding of the research was the number of dealers that appear to have gone out of business since this time last year. The 2017 report was based on an investigation into 363 motorcycle dealers, retailers, and training providers. 26 of those (7.2%) no longer seem to be trading.
40% of businesses in the study do not link to any social media channels from their websites and have therefore been excluded from the rest of the research. That proportion represents a slight improvement on the 44% reported last year.
The research study once again focused on the use of the ‘Big 3’ social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
99% of motorcycle dealers have a presence on Facebook. 54% have a Twitter account. 22% have an Instagram account. 17% have all three.
Although usage of Facebook and Twitter has grown slightly, there has been a more notable increase (up 9%) in the adoption of Instagram as a channel. This also has a bearing on the proportion of dealers using all three networks (up 7%).
Average audience size on Facebook has grown by 24% since last year, while post recency has improved by 15 days. The proportion of Facebook Pages active within the last week has remained exactly the same.
Average number of ‘Likes’ (audience size) on a Facebook Page: 3,351
Average post (activity) recency on Facebook: 25 days
Shortest: Less than 24 hours (31% of businesses with Facebook Pages)
Longest: 957 days (2.6 years)
Proportion of Facebook Pages active within the last week: 68%
Although there has been marginal growth in audience size and activity on Twitter over the last year, in general this channel’s use by the motorcycle trade seems to have stagnated (unwisely). That said, the proportion of dealers cross-posting from either Facebook or Instagram has reduced, which is a positive indication that more businesses are learning to use Twitter properly.
It’s important to note that the average audience size of Twitter accounts cross-posting from Instagram is less than half the overall average. Facebook cross-posters retain a slightly larger audience size, but this has fallen by 50% since last year. In other words, people are increasingly turned off by the truncated, image-less tweets generated by cross-posting.
Average number of ‘Followers’ (audience size) on a Twitter account: 794
Average tweet (activity) recency on Twitter: 197 days
Shortest: Less than 24 hours (14% of businesses with Twitter accounts)
Longest: 2,067 days (5.7 years)
Proportion of Twitter accounts active within the last week: 35%
Average Twitter account age: 2,324 days (6.4 years)
Average number of total tweets per account: 1,120
Average number of tweets posted per day: 0.47
Average number of other Twitter accounts being ‘Followed’: 376
Proportion of businesses cross-posting to Twitter from Facebook: 18%
Average number of Twitter ‘Followers’ (audience size) for those accounts: 1,018 (28% higher than overall average)
Proportion of businesses cross-posting to Twitter from Instagram: 6%
Average number of Twitter ‘Followers’ (audience size) for those accounts: 362 (54% lower than overall average)
Average audience size on Instagram has nearly doubled in the last year. Some of the following benchmarks appear at first glance to show a drop in usage, however this is skewed by the increase in the number of businesses who’ve started using the channel.
Average number of ‘Followers’ (audience size) on an Instagram account: 954
Average post (activity) recency on Instagram: 85 days
Shortest: Less than 24 hours (11% of businesses with Instagram accounts)
Longest: 1,257 days (3.4 years)
Proportion of Instagram accounts active within the last week: 22%
Average number of total posts per Instagram account: 181
Average number of other Instagram accounts being ‘Followed’: 312
As was the case last year, the research shows that there is a very direct correlation between social media activity and audience size (i.e. more active, social businesses tend to attract larger audiences), especially on Instagram and Twitter.
337 websites representing businesses in the motorcycle trade across the UK were visited. The vast majority belonged to dealerships. Some retailers and training service providers were also included in the sample.
Social media data was only collected for the 202 (60%) businesses that link to their social channels from their websites.
Social media audience size and post recency data was collected on 9th August 2018.
Averages quoted in this report are calculated after excluding the single highest and lowest figures in each dataset.
Some businesses in the study are also making use of YouTube, Google+ and/or Pinterest. Those social media networks were not analysed as part of this research.