Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Social Media Strategy Driving Attendance, Tourism
– By #Jerry W. Cole
STURGIS – During three weeks spanning the 2016 Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™, the City of Sturgis’ rally events department reported record social media traffic.
Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™ reports that between July 22 and August 18, the official rally Facebook page reached 2,951,000 people and Twitter reached 432,000 people. Both numbers surpassed social media numbers recorded over the same time period during the 75th rally in 2015.
"We're very pleased with the response our efforts have gotten on social media," Jerry Cole, Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™ Director, said. "It's obvious the rally is a worldwide event hosted by the 7,000 residents in Sturgis and the 850,000 in South Dakota."
Cole said that social media numbers continue to increase each year which speaks to a successful social media strategy bringing people to the rally and year round to numerous tourist attractions, hotels and restaurants throughout the Black Hills and Western South Dakota.
The Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™ social media strategy includes:
- Facebook, reached 2,951,000 during the 2016 event. The average post reached 99,163 people and engaged 1.2 million. Facebook live video reached 313,465.
- Twitter impression rates and mentions increased over last year and saw a 25 percent increase in followers in 2016.
- Instagram, new in 2016, grew from 1,000 followers to more than 4,000.
- SturgisMotorcycleRally.com had 1.1 million visitors from 219 countries in the past year.
"Social media is becoming the most effective way to reach people interested the rally," said Tony Dodd, Robert Sharp & Associates' online manager for the Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™ with the City of Sturgis. "Social media is allowing a real time conversation to take place during the event. It's driving not only rally participation but tourism to South Dakota year round."