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In the run up to this year’s superb Motorcycle Live show at the NEC, we looked at making a social media plan (equally applicable to any event) and why it makes commercial sense to do a proper job with Twitter.

We also monitored activity on Twitter before and during the show by the 116 Twitter accounts (57% of exhibitors) linked to from exhibitor profile pages on the Motorcycle Live website, and we’ve examined the overall nature of social media integration at the event. Here’s a summary of what we discovered…

Twitter Activity

During the week before Motorcycle Live opened:

The top 10 most active Twitter accounts (in descending order by tweet volume) were:

@IAMRoadSmart
@DatatagID
@LexhamInsurance
@energicamotor
@DucatiUK
@DevittInsurance
@striderbikeuk
@norton_ceo
@BMWMotorradUK
@NoLimitsOnTrack

The average daily tweet volume for all the exhibitors was 1.4, compared to 4.9 for those in the top 10 above.

33 exhibitors (29%) with Twitter accounts didn’t tweet at all. Six of those are manufacturers.

During the first weekend of the show:

The top 10 most active Twitter accounts (in descending order by tweet volume) were:

@HondaUKBikes
@insidebikes
@Kawasaki_News
@norton_ceo
@Adventure_Bikes
@striderbikeuk
@JofamaMC
@DucatiUK
@IAMRoadSmart
@BMWMotorradUK

The average daily tweet volume for all the exhibitors was 3.6, compared to 10.8 for those in the top 10 above.

59 exhibitors (51%) with Twitter accounts didn’t tweet at all. Eight of those are manufacturers.

During the Monday to Friday period:

The top 10 most active Twitter accounts (in descending order by tweet volume) were:

@IAMRoadSmart
@HondaUKBikes
@NoLimitsOnTrack
@striderbikeuk
@infinitymoto
@DucatiUK
@LexhamInsurance
@JofamaMC
@norton_ceo
@Adventure_Bikes

The average daily tweet volume for all the exhibitors was 2.4, compared to 7.6 for those in the top 10 above.

40 exhibitors (35%) with Twitter accounts didn’t tweet at all. Eight of those are manufacturers.

During the second weekend:

The top 10 most active Twitter accounts (in descending order by tweet volume) were:

@IAMRoadSmart
@Kawasaki_News
@DucatiUK
@HondaUKBikes
@BMWMotorradUK
@iom_tt
@JofamaMC
@MyAfricaBikeT
@NoLimitsOnTrack
@norton_ceo

The average daily tweet volume for all the exhibitors was 3.3, compared to 8.7 for those in the top 10 above.

69 exhibitors (60%) with Twitter accounts didn’t tweet at all. 14 of those are manufacturers!

During the show as a whole:

The top 10 most active Twitter accounts (in descending order by tweet volume) were:

@IAMRoadSmart
@HondaUKBikes
@DucatiUK
@Kawasaki_News
@JofamaMC
@norton_ceo
@striderbikeuk
@BMWMotorradUK
@Adventure_Bikes
@NoLimitsOnTrack

The average daily tweet volume for all the exhibitors was 2.3, compared to 7.9 for those in the top 10 above.

37 exhibitors (32%) with Twitter accounts didn’t tweet at all. Seven of those are manufacturers.

Social Media Integration

By ‘integration’ we mean the way exhibitors cross-promoted their social media channels via advertising and their physical presence at the event (in order to grow those channels and further engage visitors during and after the show).

Not counting the ‘A-Z Listing’ (which mirrored the information on exhibitors’ profile pages on the show website), 40 exhibitors advertised in one way or another within the Official Motorcycle Live Programme (free to press, £5 to visitors).

Of those 40, only 15 (37.5%) promoted one or more social media channel. Two mentioned only one channel. Seven mentioned two channels. Six mentioned three channels.

Six of the 40 exhibitors (15%) promoted one or more hashtags in their adverts. Two of those didn’t also mention their social media channels. Two of the hashtags promoted were not unique to the brands using them, and therefore not particularly useful. Not including those two, the advertised hashtags were used 13 times during the show on Instagram, nine times on Twitter, and three times (in public posts) on Facebook.

Prior to the show, 213 exhibitors were listed on the Motorcycle Live website. It’s those that have formed the basis of this research, though the final number in attendance may have been slightly more.

Only 15 of those 213 (7%) promoted their social media channels on their stand displays at the show, of which three also promoted a hashtag.

Only 14 (6.6%) promoted a hashtag on their stand displays. Half of them didn’t also promote their social media channels.

Best Social Media Integration

Based on a combination of data analysis and subjective opinion, kudos for the best implementation of social media integration at Motorcycle Live 2017 goes to the Herald Motor Company.

Visitor Engagement Devices

Eight exhibitors (3.8%) had thought to include some sort of device/gimmick on their stand to engage show visitors in an interactive way.

The Dark Custom Tour part of the Harley-Davidson stand and the Principal Insurance stand both featured a ‘selfie booth’ where visitors could get a polaroid-style print of their photo. A weakness of this approach (or at least its implementation) is that none of the photos were uploaded to either of the brands social media channels. However, a strength of the Principal example is that the booth acted as a mechanism for data capture in the form of visitors’ email addresses.

Other devices included ‘Instagram Frames’ and social media-based competitions to win a motorcycle or merchandise.

The most notable examples were from the Herald Motor Company (#heraldriders), Kawasaki (#kawacamera) and KTM (#ktmface).

Most Successful Visitor Engagement on Social Media

Based only on volume of social media posts, with 34 tweets and 194 Instagram posts, Kawasaki’s #kawacamera implementation was the most successful of the show.

Visitors were simply encouraged to have their photo taken on a Kawasaki bike and post it to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag. In return, apart from the fun of doing it, all the hashtagged photos were printed out in polaroid-style and pinned to a board on the Kawasaki stand for collection.

Plan For Next Time

If you’d like access to the data behind this research, or help with evolving your approach to social media in general and event integration in particular, please do get in touch.