What Happens When a Brand, Social Media and Mobile Meet?

by · July 9, 20131 comment

At Social Media Explorer, we love great stories about what brands are doing in social media. Last week, I got a call from our good friend Audie at Realtor.com. Audie is one of the most forward thinking marketers in social media and mobile that I’ve met in a really long time, so I always answer on the first ring! He told me about an awesome contest that Realtor.com is running that is blowing up on the social web and I thought it was a great story to share with you. I’m hoping it will spark some ideas for how your brand can use contesting.

We hear that you are giving away an Airstream. What’s this new social campaign all about?

Realtor.com and Airstream have a shared vision in that both of our brands want to help people find their “home,” whether that home is stationary or a “home away from home.” We saw an opportunity to partner with the iconic brand to create something that is fun, innovative and engaging.  I think we’ve accomplished that with Find it First Hits the Road, which combines a nostalgic tradition in road trips and scavenger hunts with social behavior and mobile technology.

What steps did realtor.com take to align the campaign with its business goals?

It’s easy to shoehorn a social component into a business plan, but by doing so, you waste a potential, invaluable connection with your customer base; people aren’t stupid, and they know when something is forced. We didn’t want to, let’s say, just give away a home for a “like” or a mention or whatever. We wanted something that would fit both our business and social goals, and we saw an opportunity to do so with our partnership with Airstream.

By analyzing research, user data and other key performances that measured behavior within the Realtor.com app itself, we were able to tailor a social promotion that syncs with our core strategy. In a sense, the campaign is addressing two of our main goals; getting the word out about our award-winning apps and educating our audience.  This campaign gets users into our app and is actually teaching them about its features every time they try to find the Airstream. It’s truly a win, win.

What went into creating the Airstream listing?

I like to think of the process of building the campaign as something similar to James Cameron’s vision and the steps he is taking to make his Avatar sequel. We both had to build something new in order to realize this dream – Cameron designed his own submersible for deep-sea exploration and realtor.com had to engineer a dynamic, moveable listing, which, to my knowledge, is something that has never been done before.

How are the app and the social component intertwined?

Participants are able to receive clues to the Airstream’s location throughout the day by following @realtordotcom on Twitter and other social networks. Once they have the clue, they can use the mobile app to not only find the moveable Airstream listing, but also submit it to foundit@realtor.com to gain an official entry. But that’s not all – we have incentivized users to share the virtual Airstream by increasing their odds of winning if they share the listing to their network.

And the results?

Well, there is still a lot of time left to enter – the contest runs until July 25th – but so far the feedback, metrics and social engagement look great. We only have a few days worth of data, but the results are encouraging. At the end of the day, two of the things that we key in on the most are: 1) Are people talking about us? and 2) Is that resulting in our desired business outcome (downloads, sales, page views, etc).

Our PTAT (People Talking About This) on Facebook has increased by over 600% since the campaign went live. And while it’s too early to say, our mobile downloads, mobile engagement and people playing the game data all looks exciting.  I will have to send you and Jason all of the results when the campaign is completed!

Anecdotally, people have literally become obsessed with finding (and winning) the Airstream, and they’ve being incredibly vocal about it on their social channels. We have amazing fans.

This is definitely a social campaign worth following, literally! What about you? Have you run a social and mobile contest? If so, what were the results? Are you struggling to figure out where social contests and mobile fit? Share a comment and let’s have a conversation!

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About Nichole Kelly

Nichole Kelly

Nichole Kelly is the CEO of Social Media Explorer|SME Digital. She is also the author of How to Measure Social Media. Her team helps companies figure out where social media fits and then helps execute the recommended strategy across the “right” mix of social media channels. Do you want to rock the awesome with your digital marketing strategy? Contact Nichole

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