Focused Labs Helps KAYAK "DYI" Facebook Contest

Social media campaigns tend to work best when brands remain close to their fans/followers/members/connections. After all, engagement is the “social” in social media.

Focused Labs puts KAYAK – and its other clients – in the pilot’s seat of the brand’s current Facebook promotion. The look and feel, content and sweepstakes type can be managed by KAYAK via backend CMS. There are a number of applications that allow agencies and brands significant, if not total, control of their Facebook application – let’s see how KAYAK has applied the Focused Labs tool set.

For five weeks, KAYAK – the travel search engine and booking site – will award airline vouchers to a winning entrant and three of his/her friends. A different airline is featured each week and everyone can enter weekly. To enter, the fan needs to nudge at least three of his/her friends to also enter the contest.

According to KAYAK social media manager Jen Milano, “We’ve heard that some people are spending off-the-hook-nutty amounts of time in some Utopian virtual world sharing pictures, raising livestock and carrying out Mob vendettas We would like to entice people to invest a fraction of that time to promoting our site in exchange for a chance at free flights in the real world. So please help us exploit your friends.”

The sweepstakes is on a KAYAK-hosted microsite, with active elements off Facebook due to the requirement for a minimum ad spend for sweepstakes on Facebook pages. The straightforward campaign dashboard of the Focused Sweeps application incorporates “like us on facebook” and “tweet to enter” functionalities, as well as fully customizable HTML emails. The brand can change out the Facebook landing page tab and the microsite look and feel, along with user eligibility requirements.

Whether landing on the KAYAK Facebook wall tab or website page, one needs awareness of the contest before visiting as neither has dedicated sweepstakes promotion. (The wall does have posts related to the contests and the “Fly Free” tab is visible.) Choosing to enter from the contest tab takes the entrant to the microsite, where s/he gets started by connecting with Facebook Connect.

Visitor friendly copy and a clean design that mirrors the main KAYAK website takes entrants through the entry steps – “liking” KAYAK on Facebook, entering personal information (e-mail address, phone, etc.) and accepting the sweepstakes terms. The next screen is a familiar dialog box to choose friends to invite to join the contest, followed by the options to post contest information on one’s Facebook wall and/or Tweet out a link to the contest. At the end of the entry process, one is left on the microsite.

Entrants are advised when their friends choose to participate so they can know when they have completed eligibility. If someone really wants to win, s/he could nudge friends to complete their participation. The chance to win free flights from an established company on a major airline carries a positive incentive to enter.

Focused Labs provides a solid foundation and the sweepstakes has the potential to drive traffic to KAYAK and build brand awareness. There may be some room for improvement. Those who have not previously “liked” KAYAK could land on the sweepstakes tab of the KAYAK Facebook page to call the contest to their attention. Also, a bit more promotion on the brand’s Facebook page and website, along with sending the entrant someplace s/he could do more with the brand after entering, might increment entrant engagement.