One of the most successful Facebook competitions I’ve worked on was ‘The Nose Of Tralee’ with Pet Sitters Ireland.
Pet Sitters Ireland customers really love their pets and we wanted to design a promotion that tapped in to this. We know pet owners love sharing pictures of their pets online so a contest that encouraged this would have to be a success. We named it humorously after the ‘Rose of Tralee’ and announced the winner at the same time the Rose of Tralee was announced.
Like the Rose of Tralee this wasn’t a beauty contest, Pet Sitters Ireland were looking for the pet that best represented Ireland. Each county had a representative.
[Tweet “This wasn’t a beauty contest, we were looking for the pet that best represented Ireland”]
The contest was run via a ShortStack app on Facebook (affliliate) but didn’t Like Gate it as we wanted to make it accessible for all. This wasn’t a contest aimed at getting Likes but about getting brand awareness amongst Pet Sitters ideal customers. To enter applicants had to submit a picture of their pet and describe why they deserved to win. The finalist from each county was given a sash and had to submit a second photo with their pet wearing it.
Here’s a snapshot of the results:
- Web traffic doubled for duration of contest
- 2,000 new likes
- 650 subscribers to email list
- 15 newspaper features
- 7 radio interviews
- 1 TV appearance
Update: Stats from the 2015 Campaign
- 7211 new Facebook likes
- 750 new subscribers to email list
- 22 newspaper features
- 15 radio interviews
- 1 TV appearance
Kate from Pet Sitters Ireland did all the hard work, I spoke to her about the contest and how it worked.
Tell me about Pet Sitters Ireland. How long have you been in business, what services do you offer?
We started Pet Sitters Ireland in 2010. At the time we had a cat and a dog.
We had stopped travelling away as I hated putting them in kennels. Our dog Patch hated being left there and our Cat ‘Top Cat’ would always be really angry when we went to collect him. It always seemed so much hassle to take them and then collect them when we got back.
A friend of mine in the UK was doing some Cat Sitting for a friend and it occurred to us that this service could be really popular in Ireland. At the time of starting the business there were a few independent people offering this type of service, but no-one who was really operating it as a full time business 365 days a year.
Our Pet Sitting service allows your pets to stay home while you travel away. One of our Pet Sitters will call to you house as many times as you need each day to feed your pets and walk them if required. While they are there they also carry out a check of the house and can turn lights on and off, close/open curtains and blinds, and generally make the house looked lived in. We don’t come in branded vehicles or wearing Pet Sitters Ireland uniforms, so the service is very discreet.
Our daily dog walking service is extremely popular with busy professionals and is perfect for people who work or maybe are short on time. Not everyone has time to walk their dog as much as they would like, so we can fill those gaps for them.
Using the services of a Pet Sitter or Dog walker is becoming increasingly popular with people who work or like to travel. It takes the hassle away from dropping your pets at kennels or catteries, or asking friends to do you a favour and come in and feed your pets. When you hire one of our team we come in, follow your exact instructions and then send you a pet care journal via email to let you know your pets are safe and your home is secure. You even get pictures every day to show you how your pets are doing.
What was the Nose of Tralee?
The Nose of Tralee was a chance for pet owners across Ireland to enter their pet to become crowned the 2014 Nose of Tralee. Like the ‘Rose’ we asked people to share stories about their pets and tell us about their special talents. So whether your pet could sing a song, walk backwards or just had a cute smile we wanted to hear from them.
It was a 2 stage competition. Pet owners were asked to submit a picture of their pets along with details of why their pet would be a good Nose of Tralee. 3 Independent judges then selected the 32 finalists who then went on to a public vote.
The winner received a photo shoot with David Mcauley Photography and the runner up received a 250 euro hamper worth of pet products.
How many entries did you get?
We received 647 entries from the 32 counties. It was amazing the amount of effort that people went to with their entry. The pictures and written stories about people’s pets was amazing.
What different techniques did you use to get entries?
We have an active social media presence so we received a lot of entries via the promotion we did on our Facebook page. We posted pictures of the entries, asked people to share the competition details and we tweeted about it.
We did some Facebook ads targeting pet owners to encourage more entries. We wrote blog posts on why people should enter the competition and the type of pets that should enter. Probably the most unusual pet that was entered was a tortoise.
What was people’s reaction to the contest?
We had great support from people and they seemed very excited to enter their pets. People thought it was a fun idea and seemed to genuinely want their pet to win the title of Nose of Tralee.
Because of the link to the Rose of Tralee we received a lot of interest from the press. The title of the competition really caught people’s attention.
What challenges did you encounter during the process?
It was quite time consuming and I would probably have given myself more lead time to create the blogs, images etc we used in the promotion, as that all took a lot of time.
We sent sashes out to the finalists and I probably could have done with more time to get these out to people after the first round of judging.
It was also apparent that you need to be very clear about the process of selecting finalists and the different stages of the competition, so that there is no confusion about what people can expect.
You got a lot of press coverage for the competition, how did that come about?
We sent press releases out to newspapers and contacted the radio stations, so we got some press from that at the start of the competition. Once the finalists were selected we encouraged them to generate press for themselves using the following blog article.
We got a great response from the newspapers, radio stations and 2 of the finalists were on TV. As I mentioned the name of the competition really helped with the press. If it had been just another pet competition I don’t think we would have received the same media interest.
What results did you achieve?
During the competition we got an additional 2000 likes on our Facebook page. These were not just people who entered the competition, but also friends and family. We did promote the competition with a press release ourselves, but we encouraged the finalists to get in touch with local press themselves.
It was actually hard to keep track of all the press. With it being a nationwide competition we were relying on entrants letting us know they were featured. Of the press that we are aware of we had 15 Newspaper features, 7 Radio appearances and an appearance on the TV by 2 of the Finalists.
On the day the competition was launched we had 1000 visitors to the site – which was a fantastic start to getting the word out.
Each day then during the competition we had double the amount of website traffic we would normally get. We also had an additional 650 people sign up for our newsletter.
You are running the contest again in 2015, is there anything you will do differently?
We will be hosting the competition again this year but as it has become so popular we’re going to run it via the Pet Sitters Ireland website rather than Facebook.
Having it purely on Facebook did limit us promoting it on Twitter, as we were asking people to leave Twitter to go onto Facebook and vote.
When do entries open for 2015 and where can people go for information?
For more information and to register to receive notification when the competition is open for entries visit the Nose of Tralee page on our website.