March 5, 2014
Throughout the last few months, our GoBus account has been hosting a promotional contest, in the hopes of increasing campus outreach as well as strengthening the relationship between client and customer.
The contest, titled #HideAndGoBus, gives students the opportunity to win a free round trip ticket on any GoBus route, simply by participating in social media.
But, how does one win? It’s quite simple, actually. Each week the associates of the account discuss where they would like to hide the prize, typically debating between popular campus locations. Once the location is decided, the account puts together the winning prize – a GoBus backpack with a congratulatory letter inside, which is then hidden somewhere on campus.
Now comes the fun part – participatory social media! The GoBus twitter account (@ridegobus) tweets out a picture with a clever caption as a hint to where to find the bag. For example, the caption for a previous event was: “Craving a salad from Shively? Lettuce give you a free ride home!” the prize was hidden in Shively Dining Hall.
Once a student finds the bag, the letter instructs them to tweet back a picture of the bag as well as the hashtag #HideAndGoBus. The voucher number is then sent to the winner via direct message. This method prevents students from just walking off with the prize, and encourages followers to participate on social media.
So far rides have been found in Ping Recreation Center, The Front Room coffee shop and Alden Library.
The contest has proved to be a huge success for the GoBus account. Not only has it given the associates real world experience in doing social media for a client, but it has also helped GoBus connect better with their riders. Sometimes, GoBus isn’t seen in the best light by students, but this contest helps the company to redeem themselves and gain more student approval. It has also become quite an exciting thing on campus, based on the reactions from students.
Jack McCann, winner of the very first #HideAndGoBus contest, exclaimed, “Wait, is this real? I can just take this?” via twitter when coming across the prize. All of the backpacks have been found within the first 10 to 15 minutes of being tweeted.
As the Assistant Account Executive for GoBus, I am very proud of everything our account has been able to accomplish for our client through this project. I feel as though each member of the account, including the executives, have all gained something great from this campaign because we developed it from the very beginning.
One of the many things I love about Public Relations is the opportunity to see your creative ideas come to life. For us #HideAndGoBus started out as just a simple hashtag and has now developed into an actual participatory promotion, and not only that, but it has also been successful.
I cannot stress enough how much we as an account have to thank ImPRessions and GoBus for allowing us the experience to create and implement something like this. It has been an experience I know I will take with me throughout the remainder of my college career working with ImPRessions and beyond.
Megan Newton is a sophomore studying Strategic Communication and specializes in Anthropology and Visual Communication. You can follow her on Twitter at @_megannewton.