A little over a year ago, I participated in a social media contest that consumed my life and brought out my competitive juices. Northern Quest, a resort in my former home of Spokane, held a photo contest in honor of Mother’s Day. The resort asked its social media audience to submit a photo of themselves with their mom to the Northern Quest Facebook page. Once a photo was submitted, it was eligible to get likes and comments. At the end of the weeklong contest, the photo with the most combined likes and comments would get a spa package for their mom that included a night stay in the resort’s ultra fancy hotel.
I went absolutely nuts putting all of my energy into winning this contest. After much campaigning, pleading, and schmoozing with pretty much everyone I knew who had a Facebook account, I ultimately held off the large field and won the prize package for my mom.
So after having a great experience competing in a fan-voted social media picture contest, you can definitely bet that I am loving the fact that this week I get to run one! On Monday, Grizzly Athletics presented the #GoGriz Photo Contest. Our fans simply have to submit a photo that in some way incorporates our official hash tag, #GoGriz, and then hope that their photo garners the most votes possible. Sounds easy, right?
Well in theory running a contest like this sounds very simple but there actually is a lot of work on the backend that takes place. I am talking about behind the scenes type work such as making sure everyone follows the rules, offering a clear and functioning voting platform, crowning a legitimate champion, and compiling information from our Facebook fans that will in turn help us better serve them through Grizzly Athletics.
Enter a key player in this whole process…Think Social. Because of our contract with our third party rights holder (Grizzly Sports Properties) we have the luxury of teaming with some pretty cool partners. One of these partners is Think Social, a company that specializes in running Facebook contests for intercollegiate athletics departments. Along with our associate athletic director, the two of us sat down in a call with Think Social and we told them exactly what we wanted to accomplish with this contest. I wanted to continue to raise awareness for our hash tag, offer our fans another great social media promotion, and increase our like count on our main Facebook page. Our associate AD wanted to spread word that season tickets are still available, compile a database of some of our loyal fans, and see if this platform could help us in the future. Think Social designed the contest with our goals in mind and only two days into the contest I can proudly say that we have either already reached or are close to reaching them all (contest ends on Monday).
While Think Social facilitates the contest, I get to do all the marketing for it. This includes spreading the word throughout all of Griz Nation, generating enthusiasm for the campaign, coming up with creative ways to get people to submit photos, updating fans on a daily basis, and showcasing the great submissions that our fans turn in. Definitely a cool job.
But enough of this long story on how the contest came to be. What I really want to do in this blog post is tell you to enter the contest!! Why am I telling you to do this? One reason of course is because it is very simple. Another reason is because it is fun to submit a photo and see who will vote for it, closest friends and total strangers both included. A big reason is also because of the prize given to the person who submits the photo that gets the most votes: 2 Griz football season tickets (pretty much the most coveted thing in the state)!! But the main reason why you should enter is because you can WIN!
I am convinced that any of my Facebook contacts who have at least 500 friends on the network and who have half a brain about how social media works can pull this victory off. All it takes is hard work and some creativity. If you are reading this right now I have faith that you could submit a photo in the next two minutes and by 8 a.m. tomorrow morning you could pull into first place, right ahead of the person who has 140 or some odd votes right now. It just takes some drive and some innovativeness to do it. I know you all are capable of doing it.
So what are you waiting for? Click here and submit your photo. Just make sure to incorporate the #GoGriz hash tag and remember that using babies or cute cats always seems to work best. Go Griz! Don’t Blink.