September 30, 2010, 2:46 PM

Facebook sweepstakes boosts fan base more than 250%

Invisible Fence of the Midwest and Canada aims to generate sales leads with the contest.

Invisible Fence of the Midwest and Canada launched its first Facebook-based sweepstakes in early September and boosted the brand’s lead generation efforts within weeks. Laura Wright, chief marketing officer at JGB Distributing Inc., a wholesaler of Invisible Fence systems serving 22 states and seven Canadian provinces and the company behind the sweepstakes, says she is extremely happy with the results the campaign has generated so far. Invisible Fence is an electronic pet containment system.

Visitors to Invisible Fence of the Midwest’s Facebook page enter the “Animal Lover’s Extravaganza” sweepstakes, where the grand prize is a trip for four to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and an installation of an Invisible Fence system. Before the campaign began, the page had 1,539 Likes. Three weeks later it had 5,536 Likes, an increase of 260%. The sweepstakes runs through Oct. 17 and uses the Facebook-approved Wildfire contest application.

“The most captivating piece of this is that we’ve increased our Facebook fan base by such a huge amount and that we are able to see fans’ interaction on a daily basis. These are people that are passionate about their pets and love to talk about them. Now they are talking with us about them,” Wright says. The average number of comments posted daily on the Invisible Fence Facebook page increased 700%, the company says.

The contest also is generating leads for JGB’s 105 Invisible Fence dealers going into autumn, which Wright says is one of Invisible Fence’s busiest sales seasons. The sweepstakes entry form asks participants for their contact information and whether they have a pet at home. The information gathered so far shows that the contest is drawing participants that fit Invisible Fence’s target market of moms with kids and dogs in the home. 86% of participants so far say they have a pet at home and 76% of those say they have a dog. “It’s hitting our core,” Wright says.

After submitting entry information, participants connect to a page where they can refer Facebook friends to the sweepstakes page if they choose, and then they can click to leave Facebook to claim a $150-off coupon on the installation of an Invisible Fence system. Consumers are taken to an Invisible Fence-operated web page where they also can schedule an appointment with a local dealer. Wright says the sweepstakes has already matched participants with dealers for appointments. The wholesaler will divide contestant entry information among dealers when the contest is over so they can further pursue local sales.

JGB is working with digital marketing agency Oneupweb, which also manages the company’s paid search marketing, for the campaign. The multimedia campaign promoting the contest includes highly targeted Facebook pay-per-click ads. Ads appear on the right-hand side of the pages of Facebook users’ pages who are 18 and over and live in Invisible Fence of the Midwest and Canada’s market area and have Facebook friends already connected to the company. This targeted ad received more than 5 million impressions so far, says Maureen Michaels, director of social media at Oneupweb. Facebook defines impressions as the number of times an ad has been shown to users on the site. The campaign also includes paid online ads, promotional e-mails and printed fliers. Dealers also are being encouraged to promote the sweepstakes on their own Facebook pages. “This is really something we’ve dedicated funds to to really give it the best shot we’ve got,” Wright says.

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