Cycle News

Cycle News 2013 Issue 34 August 27

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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CN III IN THE PADDOCK P156 CARRUTHERS SAYS GOING SOCIAL T he key word in social media is probably more social than it is media. So looking at the rankings for the Hookit Athlete Index for the month of July isn't that surprising. The motorcycle racers who have a personality, perhaps even a little wit, and are active on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram rank higher on the Hookit Index (www.hookit.com) than those who lack personality and/or don't give a crap about what filter to use on their latest Instagram photo. Then there are those who fall in between: Riders who are trying to delve in the realm of social media but struggle with it – mainly because they may likely lack social skills to begin with. But one thing is certain: Popularity in social media doesn't always translate to success on the racetrack. But it may end up going a long way toward keeping some riders employed - and perhaps the opposite if they lack self control. The numbers some of these riders generate in the Hookit Athlete Index – a tool that allows athletes, fans, brands and the industry to follow (in real time) just how much exposure and influence a racer is worth - are impressive. And definitely worth looking at. The Hookit Index tracks such things as followers, likes, comments, mentions and re-Tweets on social network platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Hookit. Points are given for every interaction and are broken into two categories for each social site: Exposure and Engagement. So who ranks where? Put it this way, if Howard Stern refers to himself as the King Of All Media, then the King Of Social Media, according to the Hookit Index is… skateboarder, promoter and TV star Rob Dyrdek who has an Index of 3,158,926. Impressive. But back to motorcycle racing. The number-one ranked motorcycle racer in the All Sports category shouldn't come as a surprise. It's Valentino Rossi, the multi-time World Champion ranking eighth overall with an index of 1,609,570. Next up for motorcycle racers is Jorge Lorenzo at number 11; then comes MotoGP phenom Marc Marquez. All three of them obviously have global appeal and all three are highly active in social media. The number-one ranked motocrosser in the index came as a surprise to me, though it really shouldn't have. It's Ken Roczen, another with global appeal since he's German, won a World Championship and now competes for championships in the U.S. He's also entertaining on his social media feeds, and doesn't seem to hold back or censor himself too much. So, in turn, his feeds are something you want to follow because they entertain you. Freestyler Jeremy Stenberg is next up, ranking 21st overall, and one spot better than the rider I thought would lead the category – James Stewart. Like Roczen, Stewart does a good job of giving race fans some insight into what life as James Stewart is like. And I think that's what people turn to social media for – to gain some insight directly from the horse's mouth. There's a big drop after Stewart before you find another motocrosser and at 35th on the list you find Carey Hart – a former racer, current team owner and all around well-known personality. It probably doesn't hurt that he's married to Pink. I figured Chad Reed would rank higher than 55th overall because he might just be the most entertaining of them all on Twitter and I think social media went a long way in redefining the way the Aussie was viewed by the public. When he started letting fans into his life via his Twitter feed, etc., his popularity grew. Immensely. People saw him for what he was – a fast racer with a solid family life and with some opinions he was comfortable sharing. Again… if you have a personality than you do well on social media. Look no further than

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