Monday, September 10, 2012

Case in Point: Buck the Norm

Bucking the Norm
Tinker Federal Credit Union’s Buck the Norm Gen Y initiative is all about financial empowerment. Don’t overspend or be irresponsible with debt. That’s the concept they want 16-24 year olds to grasp. But to grasp this type of behavior change there needs to be hands-on and engaging initiatives. What’s more hands-on and engaging than social media hosted contests?

Every year Buck the Norm hosts several contests, but the video scholarship contest is the one that attracts the most attention. What’s at stake: a $2,000 scholarship and a MacBook for the first place contestant and cash and iPods for the three other placed contestants.

The Challenge
The first challenge was with unfair voting. In past years the contest had been hosted on Buck the Norm’s website. Voters were allowed to cast a ballot once per day which was tracked by email addresses. There was no way to stop people from creating fake email addresses and submitting multiple votes per day. It’s the digital media equivalent to hanging chads.

The second challenge was a stagnant Facebook page that was seeing little growth. Leading up to the 2012 contest timeframe Buck the Norm’s Facebook page had 600 fans which hadn’t seen a big increase in some time.

To get the voting to a more legitimate level, it was decided to host the contest on Facebook utilizing a Facebook application. Facebook only allows one profile per user. It was a perfect match because we could also focus on growing the fan base. Instead of voting once per day, Facebook users could only vote once for the entire contest. This grew the need for contestants to promote their videos which ultimately drove more traffic to the application.

The major tactical execution was the Facebook application itself. Contestants were able to upload their video through the application which was hosted on the Buck the Norm Facebook page. People could then view the contestants' videos, comment on videos and vote.
The contest was promoted through several traditional and non-traditional channels including geotargeted online ads, social media and print ads in local college publications.

Entries: The 2012 contest yielded the highest number of entries with an increase of 71% over 2011.

Voting: With previous years littered with voting fraud, an expected 200 people voted over 21,000 times. By moving the contest to Facebook and allowing one vote for the entire contest there were more than 2,100 individual votes which was a 950% increase in individual votes (and in the exposure to Buck the Norm’s message).

Page Fans: From the 2011 contest to the beginning of the 2012 contest there were 30 new fans to the Facebook page. During the 40 day contest period there was an overall fan increase of 75% as the number of fans went from 630 to more than 1,100 fans.

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