The meeting place for mountain biking enthusiasts set up by innovative short-term insurer MiWay has entered the next stage with a showing on social media website, Facebook. The MiWayMTB fan page, which was initiated last month, has seen its fan base grow steadily, despite a relatively quiet launch.
MiWay’s head of marketing Carine Conradie-Haffejee attributes the daily growth in followers to word-of-mouth advertising and the growing popularity of the MiWayMTB TV show which airs on SuperSport every Monday at 20h30 with repeats throughout the week.
“Adding a Facebook page was the next logical step in our initiative to support and promote mountain biking in South Africa. From sponsoring a collection of races in 2008, we have built our involvement in the community to include television coverage; a blog featuring news, events and results; and now a platform where enthusiasts can engage with us and each other,” she explains.
The success of MiWay’s MTB television program is based on the partnership between the direct insurers’ marketing team and various industry contributors. .
“Inside MiWay we have a strong base of cycling enthusiasts. This enthusiasm has given us a great advantage as they are part of the sport, participating in the events and involved in the community. Of course, it’s also a great advantage to our customers as they are dealing with people who are in-the-know and able to give them the best advice for their requirements.
“Our role as the MTB sponsorship team is to listen to what is happening within the community, understand their desires and find the way to deliver on those as much as possible. Initially the need was for race sponsorship, as local corporate sponsorship tends to favour traditional sports like soccer, rugby and cricket. Later, we identified a need for information which resulted in mtb.miway.co.za. This information blog covers events, reviews, results and interviews as well as articles of interest to the community. As interest grew there was a demand for regular television coverage and here we were able to facilitate a segment dedicated to MTB on SuperSport,” comments Conradie-Haffejee.
Similarly, MiWayMTB’s extension onto Facebook came as a result of community demand. Conradie-Haffejee explains: “The number of comments and emails we were receiving on the site and after each episode of MiWayMTB made it clear that people wanted to discuss what was happening. The best solution was to create a meeting place where they could engage with other fans as well as us. The Facebook page enables the community to do exactly that.”
MiWay will use the Facebook page to deliver even more information for fans and enthusiasts and is in the process of developing an events calendar, product reviews, and previews on what to expect on the TV show. What’s more, the team is in negotiations with a leading MTBer to host community discussions on a regular basis, giving fans the opportunity to get advice from the best in the field.
The MTB community should also keep its eye out for a new challenge – Rave Rides. This programme will be exclusively available to the Facebook fan base.
To join the MiWayMTB page go to facebook.com/miwaymtb