Don't 'drop everything' for social media, says Hornsby

Publish Date: 
Feb 17, 2013
By Cynthia Furey

DEALER EXPO, Indianapolis, Ind. - To wrap up a successful run of seminars over Dealer Expo weekend, EVP of Powersports Marketing Tory Hornsby closed the marketing track with a recap of the best and worst social media options for dealers in his Sunday morning session, “Social Media for Powersports Dealerships.”

The following are key points from the presentation:

Social media is not a silver marketing bullet. “There seems to be a trend in dealerships where dealers think they should drop everything and just do social media,” Hornsby said. In fact, social media on its own is not an effective marketing tool because, among other things, it tends to skew to the younger crowd — the Generation Xers and Mellenials, or those born from the late ‘60s to present.

To drive this point home, Hornsby explained that within the next four years, a whopping 50 percent of the adult U.S. population will be over the age of 60. “And 70 percent of discretionary spending will be in their hands,” he continued. So if you’re just using social media in lieu of traditional marketing tactics, you’re missing the chance to spread your message to a wide swath of the buying market.

Facebook is the most important social media site for dealers — but only if you’re using it correctly. “I still talk to people all the time who when they created a page, they created it as a user account,” Hornsby said. This way, Facebook users have to physically “Friend” you —and have proven to be passive in doing so. Not only that, but you’re limited to 5,000 friends, and you can’t advertise. “You need to create a business page,” Hornsby said, so that Facebook users can “Like” you instead.

When posting onto your own business page, keep in mind that plain text is worst type of post. You will garner a higher number of views from people who Like you if you post a photo, video, or link. “So you can make a post a picture,” Hornsby said, using the annual Ride to Work day as an example. “Stuff like that you can post, and as a picture, post the logo to Ride to Work,” Hornsby said. “And you can even tell [your Facebook fans] what to do: ‘Like’ this if you are planning to ride to work.”

Do all of your fans see you post? The answer is unfortunately no. The average post only reaches 17 percent of your fans, due to Facebook’s employment of an algorithm called EdgeRank that ranks objects in the Facebook news feed. Pages with higher scores are more likely to show up in a news feed. You can increase the likelihood of this by adding photos, video, and other interesting, visual content. (continued)