Harley-Davidson’s massive and loyal community has always been expressive about their passion for the beloved brand. Growing up in Milwaukee meant I grew up with the legend. I had an upclose-and-personal view of the H.O.G.s (Harley Owners Group) even after moving to the West Coast. One diehard HOG friend of mine regularly made the ride from Seattle down to Gilroy for an annual event. It was his way, and mine, too, to stay in touch with our hometown Harley heritage. We’d tell our stories, meet new riders, and snap analog pictures that we’d snail-mail to each other. All in the dinosaur pre social media days.
The burgeoning power of the Visual Web. But now, thanks to technology, the genius of Harley-Davidson, and the brand’s highly engaged 4.5 million Facebook fans, there’s a cool new way for us to tell our HD stories. Yesterday, the company said it was looking for photos “with attitude” of people and their bikes on epic adventures or depicting lifelong friendships based on motorcycling.
More than 1,000 words. Bring on your photos–authentic, heartfelt, maverick, romantic, outrageous, genuine–true tales from real riders. These powerful images are part of a social media project for the 110th Anniversary celebration to be held over Labor Day 2013. The parties are destined to be Harley’s biggest ever. Which means that the Online Wall is likely to be as vast and eclectic as the ever-exploding number of Harley fans.
“There’s no limit to the number of pictures the wall can accommodate,” said Dino Bernacchi, the company’s North American marketing communications director via jsonline.com.
The more visual, the more shareable. Smart companies are increasingly understanding that we’re living in the New Image Economy. They’re realizing that brands without a visual social strategy will be left behind. Here’s the pivotal fact: an astounding 70% of actions taken on social media involve images. Any doubt? Facebook users uploaded 1.1 billion photos over the 48 hours of New Year’s weekend, setting a new record.
Then there’s the 4th largest driver of traffic worldwide, the addictive Pinterest.
The growing Pinfluence. Oddly, visual-media-savvy Harley Davidson hasn’t created any boards for Pinterest, although they do have an official profile. Their fans are uber-active, posting everything from favorite products (there’s a gold purse I crave) to favorite riders.
HD, we can help you with this. And with visual analytics, too.
HT to fellow Harley fan, Rick Barrett, of the Journal Sentinel. Check out his popular blog on the motorcycle industry and culture.