When Hurricane Sandy swept the east coast and destroyed many homes in New Jersey and New York in its path, several unfortunate victims had no idea what to do next. Neighbors banded together and local businesses helped gather food and clothes for the victims. However, Coastal Modular Group, a NJ modular home company, set to do more than just donate a few articles of clothing.
After Sandy was long passed, and most people had regained Internet access, Coastal decided to launch a campaign to give one lucky person a big break. The modular home company would give away $25,000 to a random winner. Knowing social media played a big part in helping Sandy victims; Coastal decided Facebook and Twitter would be great outlets to launch its campaign, and Rafflecopter would help them do that. Note: at the time of the campaign’s start, the Coastal Modular Group Facebook Page only had 77 “Likes.”
Setting Up The Rafflecopter Campaign
For those of you who don’t know, Rafflecopter is a FREE way to run contests online (there are paid plans available too). You simply sign up on rafflecopter.com, write the prize you will giveaway, add options to how people can enter, set start and end dates, and write your terms of service. Yes, it was that easy to set up. Coastal did use a paid plan to post a photo of the prize to make it more alluring, and we suggest you do too because it will definitely helped brand the company for NJ Modular homes.
Once this campaign was set up, it was time to sit back and relax. Wait…no it wasn’t. Coastal posted the Rafflecopter widget on its blog, emailed a link to its contacts, scheduled posts for Facebook statuses, and tweeted about it regularly. Following #hashtags on Twitter helped Coastal directly target those who were victims of Hurricane Sandy. Every time someone entered the competition, they had to post a Facebook status and Tweet about the contest. This spread Coastal’s name out even further than its contacts. By the end of the campaign, the Coastal Modular Group Facebook Page had 345 “Likes.”
Lessons You Should Take Away
Rafflecopter essentially allows for, and aids, a campaign to go viral. It may not reach 1,000,000 entries, but it can spread several degrees away from your immediate contacts. The subject matter of Hurricane Sandy helped Coastal connect with its audience, so we suggest you choose a target market that will be large enough to spread your name, and one that will tug on heartstrings. People will want the free prize and/or just spread the world to help those in need.
Do not think these campaigns will promote themselves. Contact local news outlets, email your contacts, and constantly update your social networks to promote your giveaway. Your campaign will have a much bigger success if you plan your promotion out ahead of time to build a buzz.
One last takeaway from Coastal Modular Group’s campaign is to get to know your winner. Coastal featured their winner on Facebook as soon as it was official. Also, the winning family and Coastal’s President, Rich Durik, were featured on News 12, a well-known local NJ News station. With News 12’s video content, Coastal was able to show exactly how much impact they would have on the winner’s life, and she promoted the NJ modular home company to all of her contacts.
As a result of the campaign, Coastal gained 268 Facebook “Likes” to its business page and the sources that covered the $25k giveaway helped the company rise in Google search results. Most of all, Coastal Modular Group has a positive notion tied to its name.