Whether you’re on a legendary road trip or heading off to an event, ensure you maximise the memories of your journey by using the H.O.G.® social channels to spread the word
Connecting with your H.O.G.® community can be further enhanced via the official social media channels, allowing your fellow members to see what adventures you’re up to. Check out our simple guide to how you can get the best out of each channel for maximum impact!
Most of you will be familiar with Facebook from a personal perspective, and on a ‘group’ page, the principles are the same.
Facebook is something of a ‘one-stop-shop’ platform – it does a bit of everything! You can use it to share photos, videos and stories from your rides, promote rallies and events, share important news and information and link people to your website.
You can also control who sees your posts using the audience settings, and you can also use hashtags (see below) to share content beyond your immediate network of Facebook friends.
Put simply, Instagram is designed to share your photos and videos with a like-minded audience. It’s great for sharing your rides and events, but not as effective as Facebook for sharing important information.
However, it’s still well worth using as you can reach a different (and potentially very wide) audience. The vast majority of Instagram usage takes place through the mobile app. It is possible to browse from a computer, but you can’t upload images, and the layout is very much geared towards use on mobile.
It’s very easy to use and there’s an immediacy to posting, meaning you can update your adventures in real time as they progress.
Hashtags are specific words or phrases that you ‘tag’ at the end of your post with the ‘#’ symbol at the beginning that relate to the post’s theme. They can be used on both Facebook and Instagram.
They are designed to help your posts reach a wider audience, as those interested in a certain theme or content will search via designated ‘tag’.
If you use a hashtag regularly or see one that you are interested in keeping up with as it used over time, you can search to find all posts that include it by just using the search function on Facebook. Try searching #HOGUKandIreland, for example. And use it so that others who may not be on your friend list can see what you've posted, even if it's not on the HOG Facebook page.
You can also click on a hashtag within a post to see all posts in which it appears. This is a great way to see all content online for a particular topic, ie #sparkletour2019 or #hogdogs. Good advice for H.O.G. Chapters is to have a standard hashtag all members can use and anyone can search on so that members can keep up with all Chapter-related activity and non-members can see all the Chapter gets up to.
A good strategy is generally to use a combination of broad and specific hashtags. If you only use very broad tags (eg. #harleydavidson), there will be more people searching for the term, but your post will fall down the list quicker because of the volume of posts with that hashtag.
On the other hand, if you only use very specific tags (for example, #thunderintheglens2019), your post will be more visible to people following that particular hashtag, but fewer people will be doing so in the first place. By using a combination of broader and more specific hashtags, you can therefore cover more bases and maximise the potential audience for your posts! Make sure you don't use any punctuation, spaces or symbols in your hashtags, however, otherwise they won't work.
*NB. If your Instagram account is set to private, or your Facebook post settings are set to ‘friends only’, only existing followers/friends will see your hashtagged posts, and they won’t appear in the public results for the applicable hashtags.
Planning a journey? Then plan a social strategy
Whether you’re off on a personal odyssey or hitting the high road with your crew on a fantastic journey, ensure your experiences are captured for posterity and shared with those who couldn’t make it. And that means planning a social media strategy that fits in with your ride.
So before you set off on that road trip or host that event, research the relevant hashtags to establish which ones will work best for you. This may be one you invent especially that’s tailored to the adventure or it could be a more generic one designed to broaden your audience. If you’re attending an event or rally, see if there are any ‘official’ hashtags being shared by the organisers, or check what has been used for previous editions.
Before hitting the road, you may want to inform fellow H.O.G. members of your mission via a Facebook post to highlight that you’ll be making regular updates on the official social channels. Once on the road, try to use Facebook once a day if you can to provide an update of your journey (any more will reduce the reach due to Facebook’s algorithms). With Instagram, you can post as often as you like; however, it’s best to stick to five or six posts a day to avoid saturation. Try to only use eye-catching photos for maximum impact.
Here are a few useful hashtags to get you started...