In May 2020, I worked with the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum to produce a feature length documentary about the man himself, Sammy Miller.

For those that don’t know, Sammy is 87 years old and works everyday on old, rusted motorcycles (often left neglected for years under sheets in someone’s shed), transforming them into their fully-functioning former glory, as shiny as the day they left the factory.

In his younger days, he was a formidable competitor in road racing, claiming championships in the famous Irish road racing circuit, as well as podium finishes in international Grand Prix races in the 1950s. What he is perhaps most renowned for, is his success in the realm of motorcycle trials – a sport whose emphasis is placed not on the speed of the machine, but on the skill of the rider to traverse the unforgiving courses without succumbing to the difficulty of the terrain. Points are deducted for using one’s feet to balance, and the greatest penalty (five marks) is given to those who commit the cardinal sins of stopping, stalling or crashing.

Sammy and I elected to focus on his lifelong career in motorcycle trials for the documentary. It maps his journey from a fresh-faced teen from Belfast riding a machine that he built himself in his father’s workshop, to the pinnacle of the sport, winning 11 British championships and two European championships with the famous marques Ariel and Bultaco.

What is especially unique about Sammy is not only his exceptional career, earning him a place in the FIM motorcycle Hall of Fame and a MBE from the Queen to boot, but also his unparalleled mechanical knowledge acquired from a lifetime of motorcycle development.

The documentary interweaves archival competition footage of Miller in his hayday with present day interviews, reminiscing about his exploits with the various machines that line the walls of his world-famous museum. He describes his time as both a works rider for Ariel and Bultaco and then also as a development engineer for the Honda trials team, as well as his foray into manufacturing his own trials machines.

Watch the full documentary here!

The initial online response to the video was staggering. Within 24 hours, it had received 50,000 views on Facebook. After 1 week it was at more than 200,000. At the current time of writing, 6 months later, it has over 1 million views and 40,800 comments, reactions and shares.

Whilst it might seem like these levels of social media engagement are unattainable for your business, the methodology behind the success is certainly replicable for any business aiming to increase engagement and grow their social media presence.

Rather than reaching 2 million people by fluke, the strategy employed in promoting this video can be distilled down to one essential marketing principle:

know your target audience.

Over a three month period, having worked with the museum on their social media channels, I was able to learn more about their ideal target demographic, and form a model based on the social media content that they would be most likely to resonate with.

Naturally, an interest in motorcycles would be a common factor that unified the existing audience. However, in order to attract new potential customers, it was necessary to consider people who are fans of other social media pages that aren’t directly related to motorcycling.

Insights on previous social media posts showed a common pattern amongst the people who were consistently engaging with the museum’s content. They were overwhelmingly male, aged 25 and upwards, with an interest in motorcycles.

When we ran paid Facebook adverts, in addition to people interested in motorcycling, we targeted fans of pages such as Guy Martin, Top Gear and Discovery Channel. The logic was straight-forward – people who are interested in cars and feats of automotive engineering are likely to resonate with the museum’s content.

Performance Breakdown for one of the adverts used to promote the documentary.


The power of targeted facebook ads:

By running this advert at a cost of £30.00 over 17 days, we were able to reach an additional 500,000 people, resulting in 150,000 more people watching the video and learning about the museum in New Milton.


Cost per video view: £0.0002


Repeating and refining these advertising campaigns led to the video reaching prominent motorcycling publications who then shared the video to their followers, increasing the cumulative snowball effect.



Rather than satisfy people’s curiosity to visit the museum, the increased exposure had the opposite effect. The comment sections were abuzz with people tagging their friends and planning trips to see the museum for themselves.


The Museum’s social media presence has continued to grow exponentially since April, when they began working with Alto Media.

Graph showing increase in followers for Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum over time.

Due to the museum’s conscientious approach to their social media activity, upon reopening in July 2020 following the mandatory lockdown, they were able to enjoy similar entry figures to the year prior – despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

One common objection that I hear a lot from businesses with regards to social media campaigns is that they have tried it in the past and have not seen a return on their investment. Often people are unaware that there is more to social media success than simply posting content regularly.

In order to ensure growth of your social media platforms, you need to ensure that your content reaches people who aren’t already following your channels and might not be aware of your business – thereby expanding your potential customer base. It sounds obvious but is so often overlooked.

If you would like to arrange a free consultation to understand how your business can leverage social media to increase your customer base, please feel free to contact me at, or alternatively leave your email below and I will be in touch.