How User-Generated Contests on Social Media Boost Brand Awareness

Social media marketing is becoming essential for businesses that plan on staying in business.  With literally billions of people actively using online social networks, the time is ripe for digital marketing campaigns.

Any company that can create a catchy and unique video has a chance of it going viral, and of becoming a well-known name in a matter of days.  Organizations are able to release many short advertisements to the public, often for free, instead of spending large amounts of money on a few advertising campaigns.  Customer voice is louder than ever before, and therefore earned media has never been easier to generate.

Consider some of these very successful word-of-mouth marketing campaigns.

The Best Job in the World

In 2009, the leading tourism agency in Queensland Australia, Tourism Queensland, offered an incredible deal: one person would get to be the ‘island caretaker’ of Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef.  This offer, known as “The Best Job in the World,” spread like wildfire across the social networks.  In two days, over 300,000 people visited the website, crashing it.

Applicants had to create a user-generated video of up to one minute of themselves explaining why they were the best candidate for the job.  The requirements were to be over 18, ability to speak and write in English, and to be an extremely charismatic and talented communicator.  The job duties of the winner would be to get paid 150,000 AUD, stay for free in a multimillion dollar beach house, enjoy themselves as much as possible, and report to the world on their time  in the house via videos, photos, blogs, etc.

The dream of staying in a beautiful beach house brought this ad to millions all over the world.  The winner of this fantastic marketing campaign was Ben Southall, and you can check out his experiences here.  This project is set to happen again in 2013 with six people, and is expected to be another big success.

Messy Desks for the Win

Last year the Kissmetrics blog hosted a Messy Desk Contest in which people were able to send pictures of their messy desks for a chance to win an iPad mini with the Shoeboxed app pre-installed.  The pictures of the messiest desks were posted on Pinterest and the Shoebox blog.  The messy desk with the most repins would win the contest.

Everyone loves new gadgets, so this was a great way to generate interest in Kissmetrics and Shoeboxed.  Kissmetrics was sent hundreds of messy desk submissions, which received thousands of repins.  In the end, there were two winners chosen.

There are now more chances than ever for successful social media marketing.  The lesson to be learned from big winners in the past is that a company needs to open itself up to consumers, and that customer voice and participation are everything.