Sharing photos and commenting are 2 of the 4 most popular activities on Facebook.  Which makes photo contests, especially those that allow users to vote simply by commenting, an especially effective way to promote user-generated content, build brand awareness and grow and engage with your fans on Facebook.

Since the launch of Offerpop for Facebook, we’ve seen some great examples of how to run engaging photo and design contests that attract fans and create word of mouth around a brand, product or cause.  One of the best – and most compelling was the recent ‘Get in the Huddle’ contest run using Offerpop’s Photo Contest app as part of the Huddle for Haiti initiative.

Huddle for Haiti is a Canadian Football League Players’ Association (CFLPA), WestJet and Oxfam Canada sponsored program that drives awareness and support for Haiti relief.  Coordinated around a goodwill visit by 7 players during the first anniversary of the country’s devastating earthquake, the Huddle for Haiti team’s focus is providing support to several rehabilitation projects in Haiti, and documenting their efforts and experiences to showcase the need for continued support.

Facebook as an information and interaction hub

The organizers set up a Facebook fan page to act as the ‘hub’ of information that would inform audiences about their journey, drive awareness about the continuous need for aide, and engage people to share in the spirit of good will.  The Facebook page was also designed to provide timely, relevant and engaging multimedia content for use by traditional and online media in their coverage, and along with other social media like Twitter, has enabled a small team to communicate effectively with a wide range of audiences – from fans of the CFL, to the teams involved, to family members and sponsors.

The Huddle for Haiti team was looking for a new social marketing tool to engage and grow their Facebook fan base, and draw attention to the cause via a themed contest.  They were attracted to Offerpop because of the end-user experience, the ease by which they could set-up the contest, and the rich analytics. There was a great deal of flexibility in making a campaign fit with the group’s branding, due to Offerpop’s white label option – included at no extra cost with each app.

Photo contest drives engagement and awareness for a good cause

Powered by Offerpop, the ‘Get in the Huddle’ photo contest allowed fans to share their volunteer stories and photos, and vote for their favorite entries simply by commenting.  The contest was also fan-gated, so people had to ‘Like’ the campaign to be able to participate, something that was important to the organizers and has helped to increase Huddle for Haiti’s fan numbers.

In fact, within 24 hours of launching the campaign, the organizers saw their fan base double.  Within just four days the photo contest had generated over 1,000 votes from fans, and helped to boost traffic to the Huddle for Haiti page by 120%.

Overall, the photo contest was successful at driving engagement, and viewed as a “determining factor” to the success of the group’s awareness campaign.  Doing well and going good is always a great combination.

Author: Allen Bonde is co-founder and CMO of Offerpop and managing director of Evoke CRM Partners.  He has over 20 years of experience in corporate marketing and consulting, and is a frequent blogger, columnist and speaker at industry and corporate events.  He studied early online advertising models at McKinsey, launched practices at Extraprise and Yankee Group, started his career in corporate R&D at GTE (now Verizon), and plays a pretty mean bass guitar. Follow him on Twitter at @abonde and @Offerpop.