Fan-Powered PicCollage Contest Drives Impressive Engagement for Starbucks

PicCollage contestIs your brand looking for an effective way to reach teens?  The social media world is buzzing with information about the right social networks for the teen demographic, much of it focusing on Snapchat’s ephemeral messages and Instagram as a visual way to communicate among friends.

These bigger social networks are definitely worthy of attention; but there are other ways to reach teens – often with a high level of engagement – that may have slipped under your radar. Take a look at a recent case study involving PicCollage, a mobile app that draws millions of female users (mostly teens) who create collages and post them publicly.

Users post collages about what they love and get feedback from the PicCollage community. The app has been downloaded by 55 million females, with an average user age of 19.

One user, Poppy_xxx, decided to create a collaging contest on the app. A big fan of Starbucks, she asked PicCollage users to create their own collages featuring the brand, promising to pick a winner and feature him/her in a collage for her followers to check out.

The contest received 132 responses — meaning that each participant took the time and effort to create a collage specifically around the theme of Starbucks, just for fun and to see if they might win.

That’s the response for a contest from one user, with no marketing budget, and no brand backing her efforts or promoting her work. PicCollage did nothing to encourage users to create contests – it simply evolved organically as “an emergent trend.” Imagine what the response might be if the contest was promoted by Starbucks, or if the brand was backing Poppy_xxx as an ‘influencer’ on the platform.

Here’s the announcement from Poppy_xxx for the second round of the contest:

PicCollage contest case study

To see more responses, check out PicCollage’s post featuring its favorite responses to Poppy_xxx’s contest.

What’s the lesson for marketers? Brands should definitely have a presence on bigger social networks where their specific demographic is known to be present; but there are also lots of opportunities with smaller, niche social networks that can lead to impressive levels of engagement.