When FYE offered a VIP package for the recent Lollapalooza festival, it was an intense competition on the brand’s Facebook wall right up until the final minutes. Candidates were rallying for themselves or friends by posting daily: “Please vote for so-and-so!” Once the winner was announced, people rallied around him to congratulate him, and after the winner returned from the trip, he shared his gratitude on FYE’s wall:

Everyone now knows that this fan thinks FYE is the best brand ever!

But these aren’t the only factors that make this promo a success. Between FYEguy and user-generated posts, the contest delivered approximately 700K impressions. The cost of the promotion was $7,500. That’s a CPM of $10.71. And while CPMs typically speak to static registrations (someone seeing a television commercial or passing a billboard), the majority of these impressions are centered around engagement (strings of comments and clicks). In addition, the contest created buzz on Twitter, and through a post on the Lollapalooza wall, FYE attracted not only new entrants, but also new likers.

It’s easy to focus entirely on the numbers. Everyone wants to know what they can measure and analyze. But at the end of the day, all the metrics in the world won’t equal ecstatic, spontaneous praise from your audience.

*with contributions from Melissa Fiorenza & Patrick Boegel