BRP Gets Creative with Social Marketing
Manufacturer gave away two Can-Am ATVs with Facebook Sweepstakes
Story by Lucas Cooney, Mar. 02, 2012
As consumers get more get more connected and technically savvy, manufacturers and retailers are turning to unconventional means to promote their products and communicate with the buying public. BRP, makers of Can-Am ATVs and UTVs, has taken a giant leap into the modern age with its use of social media in recent months.
BRP recently held a sweepstakes to give away two brand new 2012 Can-Am ATVs. This in itself is nothing new, as we’ve seen many manufacturers give away plenty of machines over the years. What sets BRP apart is that its contest, dubbed the Can-Am 4x4x4x4 Sweepstakes, was held entirely on Facebook. That’s a fairly bold step into an unfamiliar world, considering more than $25,000 worth of product was to be given away. To facilitate more interaction, BRP set up the sweepstakes so that in encouraged people to stay active and involved by rewarding them with more chances to win. It turned into quite the social experiment.
Here’s how the contest worked. First, participants needed to log onto the Can-Am Off-Road Facebook page and click on the Can-Am 4x4x4x4 Sweepstakes competition to receive four chances to win. Second, users were asked to agree to be a lifetime fan of Can-Am ATVs to and multiply the entries by an additional four times, making the total 16 entries. The third step was to refer Facebook friends to the sweepstakes, and if one of the user’s friends registered in the competition the entries were multiplied by four again, bringing the total to 64 entries. The fourth, and probably most crucial, step was to visit a Can-Am ATV dealer and have a photo taken with a Can-Am ATV in the dealership, then upload the photo inside the Facebook sweepstakes application. Do that and entries would be multiplied by four again to 256!
What strikes us as genius is just how valuable a contest like this can be for dealerships – especially that fourth step. Every person that walks through a Can-Am dealership with camera in hand is a potential customer. Unlike many on-line giveaways that just require an email address, you know you’re getting real ATV enthusiasts. Few people would go through all four steps if they didn’t have real interest in owning an ATV and this contest just gave them all a reason to walk into a Can-Am dealership. Chances are when people get inside they’ll start looking around, sitting on machines and chatting up employees. That gives salesmen a great chance to build relationships.
Another benefit is the conquest possibilities. What we mean by that is that if you’ve got a loyal fan of another brand, they’re not likely to ever check out a Can-Am dealership if not for the chance to win a free ATV. But once they walk through the door, salesmen have a chance to make their pitch and explain what sets Can-Am ATVs apart and what deals are available. You won’t sway everybody, but opportunities like these are hard to come by.
This is all well and good for individual dealerships, but the benefits go beyond that. Everybody who signed up for the contest is now a part of BRP’s Can-Am Facebook community. That means every one of those people can be reached out to and informed about upcoming promotions, see cool new videos, and find out about new vehicles. Of course, BRP has to hold their attention and give them reason to pay attention, but the ability to communicate directly with your customers (and potentially their friends) is very valuable.
Once the contest closed on Jan. 15, 2012 more than 21,000 people had entered. Of those entrants, about 400 went through all four steps and actually walked into a Can-Am dealership. Many probably went with a friend or two, which means even more potential customers. Other benefits of the sweepstakes include Can-Am extending its social media reach. Can-Am’s Facebook “Likes” increased more than 200 percent during the 10-week contest period. As well, the Can-Am brand saws its viral reach (number of unique people who saw a story published by a friend about Can-Am’s Facebook page) increase 800 percent during the contest period compared to the 10-week period prior to the contest (according to Facebook Insights data).
“BRP is embracing social media, and is committed to it. Just as we are leading the industry in innovation, we want to lead the industry in innovative social media efforts,” says Chaz Rice, Can-Am manager, media and public relations. “We view social media as a way to have fun with our existing consumers, and to show potential consumers what it means to own a Can-Am ATV or side-by-side.”
It’s easy to see the benefit of this social media initiative for BRP and its Can-Am dealers. Another benefit is the cost. Normally for a brand to reach that many people it would have take out ads in local publications or put an insert in a newspaper. With this contest, costs are very low (outside of the price of the ATVs), because it’s all done on-line and paper free. Plus, you can bet if Can-Am does it again even more people will sign up because so many more people are now part of Can-Am’s Facebook community.
In case you were curious, the two winners of the Can-Am 4x4x4x4 Sweepstakes are Jason Moore and Michael Sowa. Moore, a 39-year old from Omaha, Neb. took home a 2012 Can-Am Outlander 1000 XT, while Sowa, a 22-year old from Swartz Creek, Mich. rode away with a 2012 Can-Am Renegade 1000 X xc.
The real winner, though, may turn out to be BRP, who brought in more traffic to its dealerships and built new relationships with ATV enthusiasts.