Social media: Tapping Into a brave new world

Publish Date: 
Mar 5, 2009

Hello dealer personnel, have you Twittered today? Friended somebody on Facebook? Updated your Myspace page? No? Well, there's a good chance many of your customers have done any or all of the above.

Welcome to the new media landscape, where virtual social interaction is just as common as face-to-face meetings.

It's no secret that a large chunk of society is now spending an inordinate amount of time online where they can do everything from shop to listen to programmable "radio stations." The motorcycling world even has its regular stops like, SuperBikePlanet and a host other Internet-specific Web sites.

Looking to hook into this online world with a natural mix of music and motorcycling, the Motorcycle Industry Council's (MIC) public relations arm, Discover Today's Motorcycling has launched Rockmoto. Designed as a social networking site, RockMoto offers a unique niche for motophiles and musicophiles alike to express themselves.

The site's main goal is to "turn Gen. Yers onto motorcycling through the power of music," says Jessica Prokup, DTM's director of emerging markets. "Music and motorcycling aren't just past times; they're a defining part of our psyche," Prokup says. "We're looking to build a community of two-wheel and music enthusiasts who bring that passion to life."

Much like other networking sites, users RockMoto users can create profiles, send messages and make comments. The site also has something called MotoMatch, a program that matches up users based on answers to questions in their profiles. Registered users can upload their own videos and music playlists.

MIC staffers such as Prokup are keeping a RockMoto blog, which allows them to connect with users. Sure it's another social networking site, but what's in it for powersports dealerships? Prokup suggests that dealers can link to RockMoto through their shop's website or Myspace page to help market their business to new or potential customers.

"RockMoto is really about getting young people deeper into the lifestyle of motorcycling, which could ultimately lead them to buy more bikes, gear or accessories, and participate in more motorcycle events and activities," Prokup says in an e-mail message to Dealernews.