The staff at Purcell Ace Hardware recently hosted a Duck Tape corsage contest for area schools, an event that used the store’s social media page to the fullest, engaged younger customers and worked with the community. “We were looking for some new marketing ideas, and we knew Duck Tape did a contest with making prom dresses, so we decided to play off that and run a contest around homecoming,” says Karen Schoeny, the store’s bookkeeper, who coordinated the contest at the Illinois store.
She contacted local high schools and asked them to promote the contest to their students. She also told Duck Tape about the contest. “They were surprised—they had never had someone do a contest like this on their own,” she says. “We ordered a bunch of styles of tape and put an offer on our Facebook page that gave a discount on Duck Tape.” She set up a Duck Tape display in the store and gave posters to each school to advertise the contest.
The contest was offered on Facebook; entrants could make their corsages out of Duck Tape and post a photo to the store’s website. The entrant whose photo got the most “likes” won and received a pair of headphones. “Facebook is where the kids are these days, so we ran the contest through our store page,” Schoeny says. Teachers made announcements about the contest, and the story made it to the local paper, too. “When I saw the Duck Tape corsages the entrants posted, I was amazed at their creativity,” Schoeny says. “There was lots of voting. Those kids got their friends to vote, and that brought more traffic and more ‘likes’ to our Facebook page.” It brought more traffic to the store, too; Schoeny says many customers who weren’t participating in the contest used the Facebook discount to come in and buy Duck Tape.
If you host a contest, promote the event or products used in multiple ways. Besides a Facebook coupon, staff gave out coupons at the register and put them in shopping bags. “We advertised as many ways as we could,” Schoeny says.