Facebook Case Study: How Hi-Tec USA Tapped Into What Inspires Their Facebook Fans

Hi-Tec is an outdoor shoe and apparel company with a focus on adventure, family, and outdoor living. Hi-Tec has was founded in 1974 in Shoeburyness, England introducing Britain’s all-time best selling sports shoe model, and has since flourished into an international company with a unique audience in multiple markets. Mambo Media created a dispatcher role to assist the Hi-Tec USA Marketing team to listen, monitor, engage with fans and thought leaders, create content,  and drive e-commerce sales. Other goals included consultation for the optimization of the brand’s social media properties, and the timing dovetailed perfectly with the release of Facebook Timeline for brands.

One promotion platform to rule them all

While Hi-Tec had run a number of successful contests and giveaways from their blog, they had yet to execute a contest or sweepstakes directly from their Facebook page. The reasons for their hesitancy included the legal hurdles, restrictions and guidelines associated with running a promotion via Facebook. Enter Agora Pulse,  a Facebook Marketing and CRM Platform whose founder’s background in law supported the creation of  a platform with bulletproof compliance to meet all Facebook requisites. The platform simplifies and streamlines the promotions process to provide step-by-step instructions for worry-free management of a variety of promotions including contests, quizzes, sweepstakes, and photo contests.

What do your fans actually care about

Hi-Tec wanted to leverage the visual and narrative updates that Timeline permitted to tell the brand story and provide content that was both valuable and interesting to their audience. The latter additions are key to actually getting your fans to engage and take the first steps to engage and interact with the brand on a deeper level. It is so easy for many brands to remain entrenched within their own internal perspective hyping their own fabulousness. While messages touting the greatness of your brand are of high-value, it should be your customers and their networks sending out those messages in an organic fashion!  In an effort to balance the outbound messages, the quiz theme that was selected was a combination of Hi-Tec company milestones or “firsts” in the industry, and remarkable achievements  and accomplishments of individuals and teams dedicated to outdoor and adventure living. Embodying your fans passion through powerful imagery is imperative for success. Social media anatlyics tool, Simply Measured recently conducted a study of brands who had implemented Facebook Timeline and recorded an increase of 46% more engagement per post with Timeline integration.  Their study identified photo updates post-timeline as the content type that saw the highest increase in engagement.

Facebook Content Engagement by Post Type

Facebook Timeline drives 46% engagement lift

Quiz Details

The “Inspired by Life” quiz consisted of 10 questions that could be answered after finding the 10 clues which were “hidden” within the “Highlights” sections of the Facebook Timeline. The clues included a number of multimedia assets comprised of photos, sponsorships, milestones, and videos. One of the videos that was included was the wildly successful viral video phenomenon of the sport of Liquid Mountaineering which has garnered over 11 million view on YouTube to date.  The number of quiz questions and the effort involved in collecting all of the quiz clues required a high level of engagement and asked a lot of the participants for a chance to win a free pair of the unreleased Sierra Lite i WP hiking boots.

Liquid Mountaineering

Liquid Mountaineering viral video phenomena with over 11 million YouTube views

Facebook Timeline + AgoraPulse= Success

The introductory Hi-Tec Facebook status update that merely hinted at the quiz to come garned over 30 likes, and more importantly over 40 shares, which was an increase in engagement of over 600% from previous Hi-Tec Facebook status updates. The teaser quiz update (and subsequent supporting updates) made use of the new image dimensions to showcase the prize, the not yet released Sierra Lite I WP hiking boots in their full glory. In addition to the improved visibility of the posts, Agora Pulse has a viral component option built-in, which rewards fans for sharing the contest with their personal networks encouraging additional and repeated engagement beyond the quiz.

Hi-Tec Sierra Lite i WP Hiking Boots

Teaser Facebook post for "Inspired by Life" quiz

Potential Barriers to Entry

In the post-mortem wrap up, we evaluated potential barriers to entry and potential opportunities for improvement in future campaigns. The items of discussion for re-evaluation included

  • Reduction in the number of quiz questions- less effort involved to participate
  • Instant Win/Sweestakes App vs. Quiz App- lower level of engagement required
  • Multi-platform contest- viral component integrated into Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and other social media platforms (not currently available via Agora Pulse, which is currently Facebook only)
  • International promotion- the contest was limited to U.S. residents only. Despite having multiple Facebook properties segmented by country/continent, there were still a number of fans who follow, participate and engage with multiple Hi-Tec social media properties

The most notable opportunities for improvement were reduction in quiz abandonment (approx. 10%) and permission for international submissions. While it was clearly stated in the entry rules that participation was limited to U.S. residents, it is safe to assume that a number of participants did not read the rules, or overlooked that qualifier. While the number of entrants may have been reduced, the quality of the level of engagement was quite high, with each fan sharing an average of 4 times amongst their network and spending a significant amount of time on the Hi-Tec Facebook page collecting clues and learning more about the brand history, milestones and values.

Overall, the campaign was regarded as a success garnering incredibly positive feedback about the release of the new shoe, excitement from learning more about the brand, and a dramatic increase in the number of “Likes” to reach and supercede the 5000 Like mark. Agora Pulse was an integral component of the success of the quiz and will be further utilized to collect user data for ongoing marketing initiatives.

How have you leveraged the updates of Facebook Timeline? Have you noticed an increase in the level/quality of engagement?

Greg Harned

Greg is based in Portland, OR, where he works for Mambo Media as a digital marketing strategist. He has worked with a number of local and national brands including Bob's Red Mill, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Hi-Tec USA, and Friends of Trees. He also provides consulting services to a number of boutique wine and craft spirits brands looking to integrate social media into their marketing mix.

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