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CASE STUDY: Borro boosts business with social media competition

Asset lender Borro launched an engaging social media campaign with the help of Threepipe to kick-start business among entrepreneurs and SMEs.

Borro, the UK’s leading personal asset lender, works closely with small business owners and the entrepreneurial community, where access to finance is crucial to business development and driving innovation.

Borro wanted to cement its position as a trusted source of short-term responsible lending to the UK’s entrepreneurial community. As 60 per cent of Borro’s customers are small business owners or self-employed, Borro wanted to engage more fully with this owner-managed community and demonstrate its understanding of the cashflow issues that small businesses face.

Borro was keen to fund an idea that would help drive a business forward at a time when the economy needed a real kick-start. It wanted to further engage the UK entrepreneurial community primarily through social media to help stimulate the development of a vibrant and engaged social community. It was also key the campaign provided lead generation through data capture for the Borro sales team.

Borro is supported by a non-executive board comprised of many well-known entrepreneurs. It was key Borro’s founder, Paul Aitken, and members of the board fronted the campaign, to publically demonstrate the business’ understanding of the challenges faced by entrepreneurs.

It was also crucial to develop campaign partnerships, as well as creative ideas, that could help drive deeper engagement and attract new customers from within this community. In addition, it was important the campaign enjoyed credibility, and by choosing and partnering with the right organisations this ensured Borro continued to be seen as a trusted business partner.


In it to win it
For its campaign, Borro developed a business competition, ‘Money making ideas’ with the help of its agency Threepipe, that rewarded the best new business idea with a £10,000 prize fund, plus mentoring time with Paul Aitken and his executive team.

The competition was launched in conjunction with two key partner organisations – Business Circuit, founded by Matt Gubba, and The Adam Street Club, founded by James Minter. Both Gubba and Minter became media spokespeople and judges to the competition.

Planning for the ‘Money making ideas’ campaign began in March 2012, with the campaign’s competition launching in May and running for three months. The competition challenged entrepreneurs keen to secure the funding to upload a 60-second video pitch to the Borro Facebook page. The pitch needed to introduce the entrepreneurs and explain what the £10,000 fund would enable their business to do. Entrepreneurs could upload the video themselves directly to the Borro Facebook page or attend Borro branded Business Circuit events where a camera crew filmed their pitches.

Integrated social channels Facebook became the hub for the campaign, as well as a bespoke app created by Threepipe that allowed entrepreneurs to upload their videos. In addition, an engaging content plan was created, designed to bring entrepreneurs into the competition campaign even if they had not entered it themselves. This was supported by a successful Twitter campaign using the ‘#moneymakingideas’ hashtag, targeting influential UK entrepreneurs and engaging them in discussion.

A shortlist of the 10 best video pitches was chosen by the competition judges and unveiled on the Borro Facebook page. A public vote then decided on the winner. The shortlisted entrepreneurs were encouraged to campaign for votes online using their own social channels, which proved effective in driving visitors to the Facebook page.

To coincide with the public vote and generate further interest in the competition, traffic was driven to the Facebook page by seeding out video content captured at the Business Circuit events and advice videos from the competition judges.

These were posted online in professional forums connected with influential bloggers, as well as on LinkedIn to initiate discussions among interested groups.