Optimizing Social Media Campaign Performance [Case Study]

Last week we wrote about examples of successful social media campaigns. Social and integrated campaigns are a big part of life at Honeypot Marketing.

This case study will walk you through a Facebook campaign which leveraged co-branding, meshed the promotion into physical locations and circled it all back to engaging real customers on a local level.

What We Did.

In January 2012, one of our favorite food service clients launched a campaign entitled “Healthy Resolutions” which included a limited-time healthy menu and free pedometer giveaway in their physical locations.

It was launched in January with the peak of the campaign happening near spring to reinforce getting healthy and staying in shape after a busy holiday season. We also paired this client with another partner of ours specializing in luxury travel. Although not readily apparent, we drew a connection between participants healthy resolutions and their reward for their commitments - a 7-day get-away to the Turk and Caicos.

The campaign was initially launched on Facebook, supported by a 37 location brick and mortar franchise network with consistent branding, and in-store incentives. We implemented the campaign online and monitored our success using our custom contest sweepstakes application loving named "Sweepsteak".

In order to magnify our efforts and engage with local consumers, we created a personalized contesting application with unique features including some light "gamification". In this case study, we'll highlight the unique offering in addition to the results of the program.

Beginning in January of 2012, we launched a 6-week sweepstakes campaign with the client as part of their Healthy Resolutions campaign. With the help of one of our travel clients, the contest client was able to give away a trip to a property in the Turks and Caicos for one lucky fan.

What Were We Trying to Achieve?

This program helped us achieve our four main goals:

  1. Increase followers.
  2. Engage with followers.
  3. Co-branding and brand magnification.
  4. Increase local brick and mortar sales.

How We Did It.

Gamification - Leaderboards

With the addition of leaderboard functionality, we were able to leverage gamification to entertain users. Participants were ranked based on ballots earned. The first ballot was free, the second could be obtained by liking the partner page, and many more could be earned by successfully convincing friends to enter.

The key here: an additional ballot was issued when your social connection had actually entered. This helped ensure the action was completed by the first entrant; they were fully engaged and spreading the word.

The leaderboard displayed the top ten people that had the most entries and was updated in real time. Users were checking and rechecking the leaderboard multiple times per day resulting in friendly, fun competition.


Cross-promotion was critical to campaign success. Our travel partner provided a luxury 7-day trip to the Turks and Caicos in the middle of a cold Canadian winter.

All contest participants were able to receive an extra entry in the draw if they also "Liked" the partner Facebook page. Through this function, this page gained a significant amount of followers; increasing their online fan base. At the beginning of the contest, the page had 621 Facebook likes. I had grown to 1,602 by the end of the contest, which is an increase of 157.97% in a 6 week period.

Additionally, both partners worked together to magnify efforts by combining social network fan bases.

Socially Aware 

A critical piece of the puzzle in this program was ensuring that Sweepsteak was socially aware. This meant that we had the added functionality of connecting to participants Facebook Open Graph profile. It provided deep integration and enabled us to tap into fan social connections and Facebook tools such as the notification jewel and their newsfeed to raise awareness in a non-intrusive manner.

Embracing Earned Marketing

For the duration of the contest, we attempted to keep fans intrigued by leveraging consistent and entertaining newsfeed updates. The key was consistently delivering content to the contest participants. We achieved this primarily through the use of memes and other fun and highly shareable content. By doing this, we were able to keep the engagement with the contest high.

The use of highly shareable content resulted in an overall increase in the page's reach. This enabled us to acquire new fans, retain and engage current fans. This was such a unique and effective tactic that I'll be writing a dedicated post on this topic alone.

What Were the Results?

This program helped us achieve our three main goals:

  1. Increase followers.
  2. Engage with followers.
  3. Co-branding and brand magnification.

Increase Followers and Personalization

By running this contest with our customized software, we were able to significantly increase the number of followers on the client's Facebook page. Through SweepSteak, participants were able to gain more entries when they sent their friends an invitation using a unique, personalized link provide to each entrant.

Providing each entrant with their own personalized link allowed us to track their activity and referrals, giving the contest immense virality which led to exceptional fan growth. The page went from 632 to 3412 during the 6 week contest period, which is fan growth of 440%.

Total fans acquired throughout the case study

Daily fans acquired during the case study

Increase Fan Engagement

Through this contest, we were also able to become much more engaged with our followers. An engaged user is one that has interacted with your page in some way. Out of everything that was posted, trip content accounted for 49.86% of all engagement during the contest period. This totaled  212 likes, 41 comments, and 116 comments. Over the course of the campaign, we are also able to significantly increase the number of engaged users as a whole.

Total engaged users throughout the during of the case study

Co-brand Parallel Companies

We were able to successfully co-brand two parallel, yet seemingly unrelated companies. By partnering both clients in the contest, we were able to leverage the travel client’s existing fan and customer base. This co-branding effort also enabled both brands to reach people or areas that were previously out of reach, thus increasing their ability to gain online fans and customers.

Key Takeaways.

Here are the things we'll try to do in the future, based on what worked well during our case study.

  1. Partner a single promotion with multiple related brands to quickly increase potential magnification and performance.
  2. Create or leverage socially aware software that taps into social connections and use gamification to engage and delight users. Make it fun.
  3. Apply constant pressure during the promotion through newsfeed updates, memes, and contest updates. There is no 'set it and forget it' in the world of social media contesting and campaigns.

Good luck with your next online socially aware campaign, if you've got a tip that made your last campaign successful or have any questions about what we did throughout this campaign drop us a note in the comments. We'd love to hear from you!

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