Facebook marketing has become a significant part of most company's digital marketing strategy and it's not going away anytime soon. However, marketers are facing increasing challenges due to Facebook's frequent algorithm changes and the recent drop in organic reach.
Many of the top brands on Facebook are seeing their engagement plummet, in real time. In fact, only two of 10 top brands in a recent Simply Measured analysis are actually seeing a steady increase in engagement. Harley-Davidson is one of the two brands still holding on, but the question is how do they do it?
1. Sell the Lifestyle Not the Product
Harley-Davidson has seen almost an 18 percent increase in engagement year over year, while their counterparts are seeing as much as a 95 percent decrease. Even at first glance you can see that Harley is focused on creating a community of people that have a similar interest or lifestyle, not selling motorcycles. In their "About" section, you'll see that their mission sums it all up.
"We ride with our customers and apply this deep connection in every market we serve to create superior value for all of our stakeholders."
2. Create Consistency & Encourage Participation
Harley has gotten in the habit of posting a "Photo of the day". This photo could be of a particular motorcycle, someone out riding his or her motorcycle, or a motorcycle with a unique paint job.
You will notice that fans of the page immediately begin uploading pictures of their own motorcycles if it is the same model that appears in the "Photo of the day". Fans will also gush about how much they love that particular motorcycle, or other fans sharing their interest in purchasing one.
What Harley-Davidson has done is create an expectation that there will be a new photo each day which in-turn encourages fans to visit daily in hopes that they'll see their motorcycle in the image or perhaps a new motorcycle that they may be interested in purchasing.
3. Offer Free Swag
Because Harley-Davidson is such a lifestyle product, their fans are constantly on the hunt for ways to boast or share that they are part of the elite group of motorcycle owners.
Harley offers small items such as free wallpapers for your phone or free custom stickers. While both of these ideas are simple marketing tools, they extend the reach of their brand far beyond the time customers actually spend riding their motorcycles.
4. Make Events Relevant (Even After They're Over)
At the beginning of June, Harley participated in ESPN's X Games. In honor of the event, they created the hashtag #XGamesFlatTrack as part of their campaign to get Flat Track Motorcycle Racing into the 2015 X Games.
A number of articles were written, as well as pictures and opinions shared on the topic from a number of different organizations. Harley-Davidson is encouraging their fans to join the movement and support their campaign. Which as I‘m sure you've guessed, they're more than happy to do.
Not every brand will have the cult following that Harley-Davidson has boasted for decades. However, brands can take a few pages from Harley's book on creating a culture around their brand or products that speaks to their current and potential customers.
What other brands do you follow that you believe have taken the "Harley" approach?