“Though Kate’s posts here are ending, we’ve been so bowled over by your interest in her experience that we’d like to continue bringing you that level of behind-the-scenes access to MSI.” – Museum of Science and Industry
If you’re trying to get your own business or community group noticed, it pays to get involved in social media. Social media marketing may not have been around for as long as other forms of traditional marketing, but it’s just as effective.
The MSI Story
The Museum of Science and Industry (www.msichicago.org), located in Chicago, Illinois, USA, launched a contest in the summer of 2010.
Whoever won had to live in the museum for at least 30 days, and report everything they thought and saw to the outside world using social media. The winner would also get $10,000 in prize money, tech gadgets, and a lifetime membership to MSI.
Before they even launched the contest, the museum started raising buzz on twitter with the hash tag #MATM, and encouraged bloggers, as well as mainstream media to cover the event. Chicago newspapers wrote about the contest, as did PBS, MediaBistro, the Huffington Post,- Bong Bong, and other Mainstreams and local blogs.
Kate McGroarty, a 24-year-old Chicago resident, won the contest. Kate lived, slept, and ate in the museum. She also spent time exploring the building and it’s exhibits during her stay. Kate posted about everything she did and saw on Facebook and Twitter; via her personal blogs and by sharing videos on Youtube. McGroarty’s posts instilled a sense of awe, curiosity, and nostalgia in the people who followed her. It really got them talking, which only made the word spread faster!
Though the competition is over, Kate’s dedicated Facebook page lives on.
Kate’s Facebook page invites people to visit MSI’s official Facebook page that is “Liked” by over 15, 636 people.
The museum’s accomplishments exceed its investment by a large margin. They managed to generate a positive buzz for their campaign before, during, and after the actual contest.
What can you learn from this story? Contests, combined with social and mainstream media, are a great way to create PR opportunities and reach out to your target customers. Many companies, both traditional and non-profit, have found great success, especially when the contests are leveraged to get the attention of individuals and the media.
Why Social Media Marketing Works
Social media marketing almost always results in higher conversion rates. Why? It humanises a brand. When someone shares their thoughts about your brand on social media, people are more willing to trust that what was said is true. So when people are saying good things about your business, more folks are more likely to try out your service for themselves. The more followers you have, the more recognised and trusted your brand will become.