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This article was first published in the November 2018 issue of British Dealer News.

Motorcycle Live beckons. How will you apply what you’ve learned in the last 12 months to make it a social media success for your business?

The largest show of the year returns to the NEC from the 17th of this month. I’ll be there. You’ll be there. One way or another, just about everyone involved in the motorcycle industry will be there at some point. But whether you’ll be visiting for just a few hours or sticking it out for the whole nine days, what’s your social media plan for the show?

Whatever your objectives may be, using the exhibition as a rich source of social media content should be at the heart of your approach. Review what photo and video content you and others produced last year and take note of which posts triggered the highest (and lowest) levels of engagement. Give some thought to how you might emulate successful posts, avoid the failing ones, and be a little different in the process. Get creative.

One tactic you might like to try is dividing types of content between your social timelines and “Your Story” (or “Moments” on Twitter). For instance, you could upload your most engaging, high quality content as regular timeline posts, while adding the more generic or random kinds of images and video you’ll likely capture to your story. Story/moment content uses portrait orientation, whereas landscape orientation best suits everything else.

By the way, if your social media activity related to Motorcycle Live hasn’t already started by the time you’re reading this, you’re missing a trick. Find ways to create momentum in the run-up to the show, make the most of the show itself, and then follow through during the week or two after it’s all over.

As that well-known social media revolutionary, Benjamin Franklin, put it so well, “either post something worth sharing or do something worth posting.”

The potential for reaching a much wider audience than usual peaks during a big event, so capitalise on the opportunity. Mention @motorcyclelive and tag #MotorcycleLive in all your posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get the attention of the show’s social media team. They won’t share or retweet everything by any means, but if they do share one of your posts it could be seen by tens of thousands. The same applies to appropriate mentioning and tagging of manufacturers, exhibitors and biking personalities. That kind of exposure will lead to audience growth and, if you’re exhibiting, more people coming to your stand.

Don’t expect everyone to share your stuff if you’re not prepared to return the favour, of course. Keep a watchful eye on the #MotorcycleLive hashtag, especially on Twitter and Instagram, and be generous with your sharing.

Also make sure you respond quickly to everyone who mentions your brand during the show. Maybe a visitor has tagged you in a photo, or asked a question about a product, or posted glowing praise for the quality of your customer service? Hit that ‘Like’ button, reply with at least a thank-you, and share the post too.

If you know you should be doing all this, but don’t think you have the time, inclination or know-how, please do get in touch.

On the subject of know-how, the Motorcycle Industry Accreditation Centre (MCIAC) has expanded the range of benefits offered to motorcycle training schools that become Approved Training Bodies (ATBs). Social media training and discounted social media management via the Full Chat Agency are now included.

An initial training day has been organised at the MCIA’s offices in Coventry on 4th December. It’ll cover the core principles of effective social media marketing, how to coordinate activity across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, involving staff and customers, and understanding performance. There’ll be a practical workshop on creating engaging video content as well. If you’re already an ATB and would like to improve your social media skills, make contact with Libby McLaren at the MCIAC to book your place.