Guest Post: Award-Winning Social Media Promotions

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 2.25.16 PMJordan Wixom

If you’re from anywhere rural America, you know what a big deal the State Fair is to your community. The Eastern Idaho State Fair is no different. Our local people come out to support us, year after year. But just like any other event-orientated organization, we needed to find a way to communicate with our audience about an event that takes place one week a year. Social media was the simplest, most cost-efficient tool in communicating the agenda and schedule for our week-long event.

Award Winning

Not only was this campaign success, but it ended up taking first place in the Social Marketing Campaign category at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) convention held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

facebook_EISF_Logo-01Main Goals

1. To use social media as the simplest tool for sharing event information, schedules, and answering questions.

2. Expand our presence, thus increasing our existing fan-base. We broadened our social horizons beyond Facebook by cross-posting and integrating Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Foursquare.


1. 24/7 monitoring of fan posts and messages, with quick responses. Posts containing engaging questions, pictures, and external links describing fair events and promotions were posted 3-5 times daily from May 24 to September 7, 2014.

2. Run promotions that required existing fans to bring non-existing fans to our social networks via likes, comments, shares and tags.

Here is what we came up with to support these goals:

1. Date At The Fair- This two-day contest was all about the couples who visit the fair. In order to enter the giveaway fans were asked to click on a link to enter through In this application we asked our fans to complete several different tasks to receive entries. Each task was worth a different amount of entries and related to all of our social mediums. We asked them to answer a question, to visit a page, to watch a video on our youtube channel, submit a photo of the fan and their significant other on Instagram Instagram Instagram Instagram the hash tag #DateNightAtTheFair, tweet with the hash tag #DateNightAtTheFair, and to click a button for a for a daily bonus entry in the application while the giveaway was running. This contest had 1,468 people enter, 4,847 tasks completed, and accumulated 6,506 entries.

2. Fair Food Bucks- To satisfy our fans’ need for fair food, we created hundreds of Fair Food Bucks, or free food vouchers from each of our vendors. We hosted a variety of contests such as trivia questions on Facebook and various other tasks through the application. The winners were chosen at random. The possibility of winning free fair food created a frenzy on our social networks and encouraged our fans to become an essential part of the Fair.

Family Fair Day-013. Family Fair Day- This contest was for families and encouraged fans to click the link that would send them to the application to enter the giveaway. The giveaway gave fans various tasks they could complete in order to enter such as answering a question, watching a video, visiting our website, pinning an image from our Pinterest, following our Instagram account, Tweeting about the giveaway, and a bonus entry for clicking. This giveaway had 355 people enter, 1,154 tasks completed, and had a grand total of 1,154 entries.


By studying the results of 2013’s Social Media success, 2014’s campaign yielded better results in terms of virility and true fan base across all social networks. During the promotions run from May 23, 2014 – September 7, 2014:
Facebook Likes Increased: 11,432 to 14,870
Instagram Followers increased: 165 to 435
Twitter Followers increased: 261 to 391
Pinterest Followers increased: 282 to 429
Foursquare check-ins increased: 129 to 201

2014 Post With Highest Virality Statistics:

Date Night At the Fair-01We had numerous successful posts but this one (see photo on the left) had the most popularity.

47,952: Total Reach
1,180: Likes, comments and shares
5,157: Post Clicks

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