Social media case study: Kabbee - growing a pool of evangelists from the outset?

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Kabbee is a mobile app-based service on both Android and iOS that allows Londoners (at present, other cities to come soon, as well as black cabs) to book minicabs on their smartphone from wherever they are in the city. It boasts a massive database of over 4000 minicab drivers from 60 fleets, all of who go through a process of being accredited in order to be given access to the users who need transportation, which essentially makes Kabbee a middle-man to get you a minicab that you can trust quickly.

This isn’t, of course, the first time that a minicab service has ventured into the mobile app market. There are similar apps available to people in the USA, and Addison Lee also has a well-known app that allows you access to their (huge) fleet from the comfort of your touch screen.

Kabbee, however, is slightly different to the others. It is a fully serviced suite that allows you (crucially) to pre-load your account with cash so that you can pay for a cab even when you’ve spent all your paper money, as well as compare minicab prices and then rate the journey when you’re done. Not only does it make getting a minicab easier if you’re in a part of London that you don’t know well, but it also introduces an element of healthy competition between the minicab services that was hitherto non existent.

Where’s the ‘social’?

A friend of mine recently asked for some app recommendations for their new iPhone on Twitter, where I then pointed them in the direction of Kabbee. Not too long after this I received the following tweet:

This is impressive for more than one reason; I have used the service to compare prices previously but didn’t actually create an account, so not only have they turned me into a brand evangelist (I really am impressed with their proactive approach here) but they’ve also made me sign up in order to get my reward.

This is a great example of how social media monitoring and small gestures of appreciation to vocal people can grow a pool of evangelists for a brand that is, for all intents and purposes, pretty unknown.

When you’re a new company, this is the kind of work that really helps grow your core audience early on – it’s all about positive word of mouth from the outset.

Social media case study: Ted Baker ‘It’s Rutting Season’

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To celebrate the launch of their new AW11 Collection, Ted Baker recently ran a new social media  campaign entitled ‘It’s Rutting Season’.

Customers were invited to visit the Ted Baker stores in Glasgow, Manchester and London on particular dates in order to have the chance to ‘strut their rutt’ in store. This involved having their photo taken in a magical woodland setting whilst wearing a nicely designed deer mask.

The photos were then uploaded to Ted Baker’s custom-made Facebook app where fans could share them with friends and vote for the “most adorable Doe and dominant Stag from each city’s herd”. The winner was rewarded with a £500 Ted Baker shopping spree.

Successful elements of “It’s Rutting Season” include:

Connecting online with the in-store experience

Ted Baker obviously  put a lot of effort into making sure the “It’s Rutting Season” campaign delivered a fun, in-store experience. The setting, masks and Instagram filters gave customers an easy way to create some highly shareable, magical-looking images.

Creating a dedicated Facebook App

‘It’s Rutting Season’ had its own dedicated tab on the Ted Baker page on Facebook. This made the campaign easy to find, as well as giving  Ted Baker a well-branded space in which to display the photos. Creating their own app also ensured that Ted Baker was operating within Facebook competition guidelines while still giving them the freedom to make the app look and feel on-brand.

Blogger outreach

Any good social media management team will tell you that in order to make a campaign successful you can’t just wait for online coverage to come to you. Ted Baker’s solution to this was to get key fashion bloggers involved by inviting them to be the official in-store photographers for the ‘Rutting Season’ event.

Ted Baker invited  Les Garcon des Glasgow, Sara Luxe and Mademoiselle Robot to participate, which increased their chance of coverage in the fashion blogs. For the London event, Ted Baker invited Mike Kus (who took over Burberry’s Instagram account for London Fashion Week) to take some behind-the-scenes snaps to share with his 124,157 followers on Instagram – a smart move.

So what could have been improved?

Whilst the app was visually attractive and easy to use, it took a long time to load. Participants were invited to claim their photos and share them with their friends in order to generate votes, ensuring a certain amount buzz. However, once in the app, when fans ‘liked’ a photo, this was not shared back into the news feed or ticker on Facebook. This seems like a lost opportunity for reaching a larger audience on Facebook.

After a cursory search on Twitter and various blogs, it would appear that despite their outreach efforts, Ted Baker didn’t achieve an extensive amount of coverage online, so their social media management and outreach programme could probably have been developed further.

Despite these points, this was a fun campaign and it’s great to see brands engaging with online influencers in order to support their social media activity.