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Growing a business takes more than just a great product and reasonable price; it means looking at your business through your customers’ eyes, and learning about your customer so you can engage them where it matters. Crelogix works with thousands of merchants every day, many of them industry leaders, innovators and disruptors. Some businesses have unique perspectives on what it takes to succeed, and excel within their industry in innovative ways. Crelogix’s Success Series highlights the success of these innovators to share their stories with other small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to help them learn, grow and, succeed.

We launch this series with Cycle Works Motorsports, an Alberta-based power sports dealership that excels at engaging with customers, especially over social media. We talked with Cycle Works President Jim Roth about how his company mastered platforms many others struggle with.

Business Name Location Area of Business No. of employees Annual Revenue
Cycle Works Motorsports 5 Alberta dealerships: Edmonton, Acheson, Calgary, Okotoks, Red Deer Power Sports including: motorcycles, ATVs & snowmobiles 130 employees across 5 dealerships $70 M

Many small to medium sized businesses struggle to obtain an engaged audience with their social media attempts. This is in part due to the notion that social media is an easy to access area to push products and price on a mass scale; this also equates to many SMEs not catering to their specific customers and posting too general content. Cycle Works excels at engaging their customers over social media, with an active and engaged audience, it isn’t only about increasing the number of likes on a post or a page, but encouraging the flow of conversation, comments and activity throughout each channel. They (Cycle Works Motorsports) engage their audience by keeping the content specific and current.

The Advice

Mr. Roth has three central pieces of advice when it comes to using social media.

1. Keep it fresh: “We have learned you have to constantly keep your content fresh to keep people engaged, almost to the point of bi-daily updates. Facebook and Twitter allow you to easily post regularly, yet by the time such updates appear on your website days later they are old news. We installed a live Facebook stream on our website to solve this.”

2. Sell the experience, not the price: “We don’t use Facebook or Twitter to tell people how we have snowmobile helmets at $60 cheaper than elsewhere – we use it to share the experience of that unforgettable snowmobile ride through the remote Canadian wilderness, often with a picture. That is what social media is about. We use eBay and Kijiji if we want to advertise prices or sales.”

3. Empower your staff: “We like to have departments and staff take ownership of what they do. This is especially important for social media, where being interested and passionate about what you are doing impacts output and engagement. All our stores manage their own social media accounts, many spearheaded by a passionate younger staff member who is eager to take ownership of social media. All our sites are still reviewed by the Cycle Works marketing department to ensure content is consistent with our culture. Most businesses will have an employee who is passionate for Facebook or loves social media, harness this and give them ownership to maximize impact. Engaging employees in brainstorming sessions, and constantly communicating the company values will also open the flow of communication and aid with content creation.”

The Results

The results Mr. Roth saw is a drastically more engaged community of followers on social media platforms which eventually increased business activity. Using social media metrics and monitoring activity on social media platforms is an easy way to gauge engagement, loyalty and client referrals.

“Social media is about developing a culture,” he explains. “We use it to put a face on our company and create a culture and community that links our dealerships with local power sports clubs and enthusiasts. I compare it to a Mastercard commercial, in that the service it provides us is ‘priceless’. Facebook and Twitter help us become partners with influencers such as riding clubs and enthusiasts, and to promote any newly arrived product we have. This generates engagement with people, showing them who we are and bringing them into our store.”

We can summarize that an engaged social media audience directly affects the nature of the business and revenue stream. Active social media followers keep up to date on company news, events and promotions and are likely to share this information with their peers, creating with it an obvious ripple effect. The key here is to ensure that the content published relates to the business, but is not a direct attempt at marketing the business; it is a soft call to action if you will. Posting stories, videos and updates about the sport itself, or activity the business relates to, drives interest in the actual business. Remembering a few basic things, like fresh relatable content, posts that engage employees to take action and tying together customers and experiences will increase social media engagement, thus perpetuating the cycle of business activity.