Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jeep Attracts New Twitter Users for Chance to Win, But Will They Stay?

The first phase of the Jeep “Tweet-To-Win” contest concluded last Friday. Five people were the first to answer trivia questions on Twitter before anyone else and thus won trips to the New York Auto Show. The five winners will now have a chance to search a giant sandpit to locate a Tiki idol that wins the finder a new Jeep Wrangler Islander edition.

If this sounds vaguely familiar, I covered this story before the contest started and now it’s time to see how the contest performed for Jeep on Twitter.

The contest ran from March 15-19. The first person to correctly Tweet the answer along with the hashtag #NYIAS (referencing the New York International Auto Show) was the winner that day. The Jeep Facebook page announced everyday when the trivia question was going to be asked on the @Jeep Twitter account.

I noticed several Jeep Facebook fans commenting how they were disappointed the contest was on Twitter and not Facebook. Some fans decided to join Twitter so they could participate and Jeep’s Twitter followers went from 2,307 on 3/14 to 3,646 on 3/20, resulting in an increase of 1,339 followers during the event.

Quite a few of the new followers are new Twitter users too. Several people joined Twitter just to participate in the contest. One contest winner even updated his Twitter profile after winning and Tweeting 17 times with the words, “I have stopped updating Twitter. Unfortunately I have better things to do. :)” Three of the five winners had never used Twitter before and a fourth had a dormant account that hadn’t been used since last December.

This all raises the question: If the contest generates a decent bump in followers, but ones who are not active in the community and are simply there just for your contest and once the contest is over they leave the social platform, was it really an effective way to build your brand's presence in the community?

Now I understand the contest isn’t just about more Twitter followers. It was also about the brand showing it can do social media and provided a platform to run a contest in a different way to further increase buzz and awareness for the Jeep Wrangler Islander product. The contest definitely facilitated those goals. It was also a way to get the word out about @Jeep being on Twitter since the account has only been around since December 23, 2009.

Jeep is definitely a brand to watch, as they have been very active in social media on Facebook and enthusiast forums for years. It’s also a brand with a passionate group of enthusiasts that can be tapped to engage in a way many other brands wish they had.

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