Contests are a tried and true way to both engage current customers and grab the attention of new prospects. Whether your company is an airline, hotel, wireless provider or automaker, brands campaigns today must simply reek of originality and ingenuity just to get noticed in social media.
Cathay Pacific bid to get noticed by combining equal parts Facebook Marketing Applications, a classic novel by Jules Verne, and their hole card, their far-flung network of exotic international destinations.
Cathay Pacific’s Digital Marketing Manager Ali Bullock says Cathay Pacific’s social media marketing campaign “Travel the World in 80 Days” allowed the brand to reach the friends and family of about 29 million people. The primary focal point for this attention was the airline’s Facebook fan page.
In an article for SocialMediaToday titled “How brands are using social media for contests and campaigns,” Achintya Gupta of Kuliza emphasizes that your Facebook business page allows first for attention, second for retention. And if an initial campaign doesn’t immediately convert new customers, you might get a second shot because your initial campaign likely made them a fan of your Facebook page.
4 steps to a successful social media marketing campaign
Here’s how Cathay Pacific rolled out the campaign’s features:
- It ran targeted Facebook ads to build up momentum: likes and shares.
- Had contest entrants post submissions on Cathay Pacific’s Facebook fan page.
- Let 8 finalists Tweet and shoot video in Hong Kong for the last round.
- Required the winner, Mike Corey, to blog, shoot video, take photos and submit daily reports.
User-generated content engaged fans
A heavy emphasis on UGC drove engagement and a sense of attachment among participants. It also avoided overtaxing marketing and advertising resources while delivering a highly active presence. A corollary to the wide reach of Facebook is the precision with which it can target its advertising by country, age and gender. Bullock describes this as providing the ability to “extract every bit of value from advertising dollars.”
In today’s economy, what company doesn’t want to maximize the bang for its ad bucks?
How Cathay Pacific embodied “The Dragonfly Effect”
In The Dragonfly Effect, we discuss how the dragonfly’s four wings serve as a metaphor for the strategic elements required to make a social media campaign take flight.
Cathay Pacific’s “Travel the World in 80 Days” competition serves as an excellent replicable example of these essentials:
- Identify and reach your target audience. (Try Facebook first.)
- Focus on one goal, one campaign at a time. (A catchy theme helps make it stick.)
- Grab their attention. (Free travel, anyone?)
- Engage them. (Tell a story, and make them imagine and tell theirs.)
- Get them to take action. (Make it easy for them to do and to share.)
“Around the World in 80 Days” on Facebook
Photos and videos are the Elmer’s glue and duct tape of the Internet: They cause emails to be opened and eyeballs to stick to Web pages. Standing out with a “hook” or standing by your brand’s slogan also helps.
For example, Mike Corey branded himself as a break dancing biologist. And the entire campaign emulated the airline’s slogan of “People – they make an airline.”
How does your brand engage customers through social media platforms? Have you launched a successful contest or engagement campaign?
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