Do you ever find yourself sat at your desk, asking yourself why you’re working so hard on social media for your business and whether it’s worth it? Recently, a local business experienced first hand just how powerful social media can be and how your followers really can make all the difference to your brand and business.
On a Friday afternoon last month, a local motorcycle dealership was stunned when it was reported to staff that someone had just ridden down the road without a helmet on their new Kawasaki ZX10R demonstrator model, worth £14,000.
The thieves, having stolen the key from an office, had bided their time, and at the opportune moment jumped on the powerful machine and stole the new motorcycle. Despite frantic searches of the area, the bike, the thief and his accomplice couldn’t be located.
After contacting the police, the company posted a plea to their social media followers on Twitter and Facebook asking for their help. They could never have imagined the response and the outcome.
The first Facebook post published at 6.55 pm on the Friday and was shared 733 times and seen by over 21,000 people. The response was overwhelming, but more importantly amongst the Facebook comments was a mention at 7.37pm reporting that a friend of a friend had seen a similar bike on a small side street just down the road from the dealership.
Wasting no time, the owner of the business raced to the said location and couldn’t believe his eyes or good luck when the motorcycle was there, complete with the steering lock on – well you can’t be too careful can you!
After a huge sigh of relief at recovering the £14,000 stolen machine, the local dealership posted the good news and thanked their social media followers.
The Police felt that it was only the speed and immediate response from social media and people ‘acting in the now’ that enabled the bike to be recovered so timely. It would have been unlikely for the motorcycle to have been there in the morning.
By Monday morning the good news had spread and was featured in the local press and papers, and Sgt Joe Simon from Norfolk Police commented “Power of social media demonstrated again”.
That’s not where the story ends though. Once the euphoria of recovering the stolen bike was over, attention was turned to the CCTV footage of the thieves which was passed to the Police. This was also added to YouTube and then shared on Facebook and Twitter, along with links to the motorcycle dealership’s website with further images of the thieves.
Once again, using the power of social media and public support the thieves were seen by over 42,000 people on Facebook alone!
As a result of the information received from the public, by Wednesday two arrests had been made and they are due to appear in court shortly.
Nobody was more surprised than the owner of the company, that a social media appeal by a local business would attract such attention and end in such positive way. With the evidence of eye witnesses, CCTV and even footage from a dash cam of a someone driving past, hopefully these thieves won’t be doing this to anyone else soon.
So what’s the moral of this story? Well social media has always been more about engaging with your followers and building relationships, not just selling your products. Building a brand that followers and customers feel connected to and indeed part of will always be an integral part of social media.
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