Written by: Ceyda, Laure, Lajos and Nicolas
The aim of our blog post is introducing a local – Kortrijk – bicycle company’s social media attendance and giving an example through a multimedia story how they could manage to involve more people and make them active on their social medias accounts. First, we are writing about the company and why we chose this one, then analysing the data we could gather from the Internet and personal meeting. We are about to show you what, how and why Mobiel uses social media tools. To finish by explaining the multimedia story we created.
„At Mobiel, you can rent different kinds of bicycles from a city bike to an indonesian rickshaw. We also have a repair shop, guarded cycle racks and a lot of cycle activities. In our shop you can buy nice cycle bags, cycle maps, small repair material and so much more.”
Mobiel tries to promote a healthy bike culture in every age group. They have ecological, economic and social purposes such as recycling, selling second hand bikes, providing workplace for disabled or low-skilled people, bike-riding lessons, reparation courses and they usually organize events. That’s one of our reason to have chosen this brand, indeed we think it’s essential nowadays to try to do business in another way. They are taking care of the people, but also the planet, in a business creating profit (which is not its first purpose).
They have a wide range of bike collection (about 400) that supplies everybody: small children, tourists, students or couples. They tend to cooperate with local institutions like Katho (there is a place where you can blow up the bicycle tire, if it’s flatten) or with the train station where Mobiel manages the bike-parking place. They seize every opportunity to promote their business and in exchange they also give something valuable to the society.
One of the first places we visited is the official website of Mobiel, where you can find more links to their social media sites (Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook). Here is the other reason of our choice, indeed we noticed that there are well involved in social media, but when you visit their profiles, they can do really better and attract a lot more people if they set up a real social media strategy, and make people talk about them, think about them. Before we move on their social media accounts, let’s say a few words about Mobiel’s official website.
Glance at the menu bar and you will find 2 important buttons regarding to social media. First is “News” and the other is “Links”. One interesting fact is they’ve stopped writing articles on their official website since 2009 (they were posting articles only for 1 year). On one hand, we could say that no significant event has happened since then, but on the other hand, Bike Parade 2013 is quite contradictory with this idea. It is organized every 2 years in Kortrijk, so now – in 2013 – it was the 3rd time and it’s quite important event in spreading bicycle culture. On the official website you can find 2 blogs where Mobiel presents itself. One blog is still active and posts news considering Mobiel such as the Bike Parade. We can say that there is a connection between the two sites for instance on the Facebook page of cyclechic.be they posted about Bike Parade and also on their website you can find several articles about Mobiel.
Most searches come from UK for “cyclechic”, while looking for “Kortrijk mobiel” is generated in Belgium. This cooperation could help Mobiel, if they want to be more recognized broadly. Actually Cycle Chic is more popular and has more likes and people who talk about them, but they have different aims regarding to “bike culture”. But apart from this, every extra social media presence can help to reach more people. Moreover, based on personal talk it was told that their social media target group were youth and people from abroad. Consequently, it could be a beneficial cooperation for them.
To know more about them, we decided to go in their real shop only present in Kortrijk. A representative received us and answered all our questions about their social media strategy. In the following parts, we will analyse thanks to what we see, and what we heard, their Facebook and Twitter account (as they are the most used) and try to understand their new social media objective: Foursquare.
The representative told us that Facebook is their main social media tool, indeed most of the people got an account and he told us, “posting in Facebook means for us knowing that people will see our information now, or when they will come back from work”. For Mobiel, being in Facebook (as Twitter) is a way to touch young and foreign people. You can see it on the picture above (25-34 years old). Reason for using this platform is that it has the biggest user group from all of the social media sites. “Most popular week” shows relationship with the Bike Parade event on 19 May. Furthermore, “many” talks were generated around this day. Besides, they write on their timeline quite frequent and upload many pictures. So we can say that they are active with new things almost everyday. Thanks to the questions our group asked to Mobiel we could compare 2 numbers. We saw on the Facebook profile, that 56 people pushed on the button they would take part in the Bike Parade. And finally, there were around 200 participants. Moreover, this event was published almost 1 year before, so people had lot of time to get know about it (more than 800 people were invited). According to this number, it’s still low. The question is why they didn’t indicate their intention or the other 150 participants were there by only coincidence and not “through Facebook invitation”.
We can state that Mobiel is almost as active on Twitter as on Facebook. Perhaps Mobiel doesn’t have lot of followers – relatively – but we saw examples for taking care of their small amount of followers (161) by replying for the comments of people. They share a lot of links about videos, websites. The main subject is bicycle and cultural life in Kortrijk and around like Gent, Antwerp (generally about Belgium). They also share their Facebook publication. But it works in one way, not on the other way around. A common issue with these two social media sites (Facebook and Twitter) that they are written only in Dutch and almost nothing in English, which might be a very illogical step from them, because their one target group is “foreign people” such as Erasmus students. If they don’t make any effort to translate or write English posts too, they can’t be widespread.
Reach is the total number of unique Twitter users that tweets about the search term were delivered to (478 accounts reached).
Exposure is the total number of times tweets about the search term were delivered to Twitter streams, or the number of overall impressions generated (500 impressions in this case).
Currently, there is no way to know whether or not a particular user has actually read a particular Tweet. When we say “impression”, we mean that a Tweet has been delivered to the Twitter stream of a particular account. Not everyone who receives a tweet will read it. This is similar to impressions as calculated for many forms of paid advertising; even though an ad was displayed on a website, there is no guarantee that a person actually saw it.
In our opinion, the estimated reach of 2 tweets is favourable, because Mobiel has 163 followers and the tweets reached 3 times more people.
In the end of 2012, they decided to use Foursquare to encourage people to go in their shop. They got a pretty good rate with 7/10, but only 450 check-ins, which is not a lot (for example Colryut Kortrijk got more than 3 000 check ins). As you can see in the right corner, they got a “special” mention that means that they are giving discount or gifts when you check in the shop. Until this week, let’s see what you will receive:
– If you Check-in special: With this check-in you get 10% discount on the purchase of an ex-student rental bike (ladies or gentlemen). Offer valid while supplies last. Not combinable with other discounts.
– Beginner Special: Bravo, checked in first at Mobiel! Get your free saddle cover, badge or spoke reflector Bike Friendly Cities!
Foursquare is the new objective of Mobiel, this year they want to attract people with this discount and let them share their experience (with the tip option). As the representative told us, they will see what happens but feel it’s going to be well. As an advice we think that they should create a “major” option to spur people to go there.
The responsible person said that there was 1 coordinator for all social media platforms and the website. It seems logical until they are not a huge company.
Apart from the mentioned digital social media platforms they advertise in magazines and local newspaper too. And they are also present on other social media platforms such as Linkedin, Google+, YouTube (and Wikipedia), but they are not as active as on Facebook or Twitter.
Our social media story:
As Mobiel needs something to be identifying on social media platforms, needs something fun that will attract more followers or fans, we decided to make people act for Mobiel. Act in a photo contest!
Our first step was to create an advertising video making Internet users aware of this new competition, aware that Mobiel is active on social media, but also just let them visit Mobiel’s Facebook page. In this video we motivate people to be the best, asking them “Can you take better picture” and offering prices for those who will be better. So in this first step our objective will be a mass diffusion of this multimedia tool so that it can reach the more people.
In this way we expect people to make effort to be original, funny or awesome, and here is the second step. Indeed, people posting pictures of them and their Mobiel bike will strengthen Mobiel’s activity on social medias. Seeing these (amazing) pictures will contribute to have more and more fans or followers but also comments and likes.
It will also be important to organize in a third step a sort of event for the winners. Indeed it will be another important activity to communicate on social medias with pictures or videos of the event. Winners could be proud of them and share it, and if we decide to reorganize a challenge in the few months, people will know it is not a “joke”, they can trust us and be involved.
Finally, we can say they emphasise the importance of 2 social media: Facebook and Twitter, which can be a perfect idea, if they stay active and draw people attention to visit the site, talk about them and share their posts. They are a recognizable company and many people use their service, so they can benefit easier from this advantageous position. We think that a little marketing pulse will allow them to be prince on the web; indeed they got everything else, the concept, the ideas, the values to share and interact with the world.