Titus Cycles uses contest to boost Facebook presence

After launching its Facebook presence in early 2009, high-end bicycle maker Titus Cycles had about 1,300 fans.

Company: Titus Cycles (Tempe, AZ)
Agency: TDA Advertising & Design (Boulder, CO)
Campaign: Titus Human Billboard Campaign
Duration: January 12 – March 12
Budget: $10,000

After launching its Facebook presence in early 2009, high-end bicycle maker Titus Cycles had about 1,300 fans. Marketing director Jeff Titone explains that Titus wanted to increase brand awareness and drive meaningful interaction with consumers on Facebook.

“For the cost of maybe three print ads, we could [develop] a Facebook campaign and reach more people with more tangible results,” Titone explains. 

TDA Advertising & Design came up with the “human billboard” concept, which asked consumers to design a tattoo featuring an aspect of Titus branding (and agree to get the tattoo) for a chance to win a $6,000 mountain bike. Bulbstorm, an interactive application developer, helped Titus build the Facebook campaign to drive and house it. Print ads also helped push awareness.

Titone's goal was to double Facebook fans and generate about a dozen tattoo design submissions.

Consumers had to be a Titus Facebook fan to enter the contest and vote on designs. Outreach to existing fans, industry contacts, and sponsored athletes helped spread the word. As designs were submitted, the content was used to further engagement. 

On January 12 the contest went live on Facebook and was announced to local media, cycling media, and bloggers.

Existing Facebook fans helped recruit new fans initially. Contest launch teasers were posted, and then updates helped sustain momentum.

Facebook ads also ran for two weeks to help raise visibility.

Tattoo designs were posted in photo albums and published in fans' news streams. Entrants enlisted their personal social media networks to vote.

Fans increased to 6,020, and 187 tattoo designs were submitted. The winner received 3,000 votes and 87 comments. Bulbstorm reports that Facebook interactions, such as votes and comments, totaled 25,000 (not including the ads). Photos alone got 8,000 views. More than 70,000 brand impressions were garnered, as measured by application platform and fan page views. Titone also notes that about 24 blogs mentioned the campaign.

“The campaign far exceeded expectations,” Titone adds. “We've surpassed the number of Facebook fans of [competitor] Santa Cruz Bicycles, which is 10 times our size from an annual revenue standpoint. We're breaking new ground in the cycling industry [in] engaging with consumers.”

The winner will receive his bike, tattoo, and a tour of Titus' offices by the end of April. Videos of the events will be posted on Facebook. Titus and Bulbstorm will launch another Facebook campaign in May calling for consumer volunteers to give up their cars for a bike.

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