Social Media

By Beau Denton January 31, 2012

Erin Duggan created “Searching for Sara,”When the Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau decided to run a Facebook contest to boost its fan base, uniqueness was key. SCVB communications director Erin Duggan created “Searching for Sara,” offering four themed trips to Sarasota for contestants named Sara. “The smaller pool of applicants made people more compelled to enter,” says Duggan. Even people not named Sara were hooked, forwarding the contest to friends or relatives who could apply. The contest ran in September and October, received 300 applications and boosted the SCVB’s Facebook fans to nearly 13,000. “In six weeks, we quadrupled what had taken us three years to build,” says Duggan. The four winners are from Pensacola, Colorado, Indiana and Kansas. And yes, the finalists in each category had to provide a birth certificate or driver’s license to prove their identity—each one really was named Sara.

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