I’ve been operating Stolen-Bikes.co.uk (and its sister site findthatbike.co.uk) for just over a year and in that time I’ve seen many bikes returned to their rightful owners (and hopefully many more to come, if yours is recovered please let me know the story as I’m always happy to hear them). I’m not a multimillion pound company, just a bike theft victim who holds a grudge, so I’m even happier with the results that I’ve been told about (although I’m not finished sticking it to bike thieves just yet).
I’m sending this email out because I’m currently competing for a top Bicycle Industry Award, I believe that it would be a massive boost for the websites and also help me talk with retailers and manufacturers about why they should take bike crime seriously and what they can do to help combat bike theft once and for all.
To this end you can help me win the award!
To nominate the Stolen Bikes UK for this award all you need to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org with one or two sentences explaining why you think we should win it. Nominations need to be in by July 2nd. This is a massive industry award, so I’ll be up against huge brands, every nomination counts!
I’m competing in the BEST USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA category (the only one that’s really relevant), please include this in your email as well as a link to our website so they know who your nominating.
Okay but what exactly have you done with social media?
I setup stolen bikes last year in May after my own bicycle was stolen, it bothered me that although the initial responding officer was fantastic, my case was closed within 24 hours and I was essentially told that I wasn’t seeing my bike again.
I quickly realised that the key to recovering a stolen bike is getting the word out as far as possible, to those that might come into contact with it, this is what stolen bikes is designed to help with.
Since the website started last year it’s gained over 3000 followers on the Twitter account (more than any other bike register) and over 1000 likes to the Facebook page (again more than any other bike register).
I also run regular competitions for £100’s of pounds worth of bike security equipment through the social media accounts, which again helps push information about the stolen bikes on our websites and increase the chances of someone spotting one.
How I use Twitter
I try to tweet every single bike to our 3000 followers and also try to use my influence to get local cycling clubs, bloggers or organisations to tweet bikes local to them as well. I’ve worked with Twitter to develop special “twitter cards” which means that when someone tweets a link to a stolen bike it automatically imports the picture and a summary directly to people’s news feeds.
How I use Facebook
Whilst the atmosphere on Facebook doesn’t allow me to share every single bike as this would somewhat spam people with lots of bikes every single day, it does allow me to highlight the website to a large audience, as well as discuss security issues and offer guidance on recovering a stolen bike.
I haven’t stopped with social media this is just the only category I’m eligible in this year’s bike industry awards, I’m working most evenings on other tools, services and improvements to help put a stop to bike theft and get bikes back to their rightful owners. If you think there’s something I could be doing better, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.