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Virtual Philanthropy: How Eloqua Gained 1,400 Facebook Fans in 10 Days

When you succeed, it’s important to give back, right? And should that be limited purely to the physical world? Or does this rule apply to virtual currency as well?

Recently, we experimented with a new gaming/social media experiment. We partnered with social stock market EmpireAvenue to run a contest. The rules were simple: Over a 10-day period we asked people to fill out an entry form on our Facebook page (the form was unlocked when you “liked” us), and we would award one person 200,000 Eaves (EmpireAvenue’s virtual currency) per day. In all, we handed out 2 million Eaves.

Since influencer marketing is a major part of our content and product strategy – just see our Social Media ProBook or integration with Klout as examples – so the contest was a natural fit. And it was a success.

It generated 78,362 impressions on Facebook, 790 total entries and a total of 1,411 new Facebook fans for Eloqua. Given that the acquisition cost of a Facebook “like” has been on the rise, we’re happy to have so many more fans on board.

But in the process, we also generated lots of virtual “investors” and endorsements for our blog feed on EmpireAvenue. We also amassed a tremendous amount of Eaves as more people “invested” in us.

To be exact, Eloqua generated 1,332 BUY transactions during this 10-day period. That generated a total of 1,553,388 Eaves. What to do with all those Eaves?

We decided at the beginning of the contest to give it back to a worthy nonprofit on EmpireAvenue. Our chosen charity: Goodwill Industries International. We donated a total of 1.6 million Eaves to Goodwill on the social stock market.

Our goal is to build a community with all marketers – and that represents a large segment of EmpireAvenue users. In today’s socially driven market, likes, virtual “investors”, comments and views are valuable, social currency. This is just our way of saying “thanks” to everyone who played along. We look forward to engaging with each of you across the social Web!

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