Callaway and Timberlake spark fan frenzy on Facebook

With social-media marketing all the rage these days, Callaway Golf officials crafted a fairly simple campaign they hoped would spark activity on their Facebook page.

They got activity and then some: The company witnessed more than a 400-percent spike in new fans per day.

The interest was triggered when the company launched a short writing contest – inspired by upcoming Father’s Day – inviting participants to explain how golf has improved relationships in their lives.

For their 100-word submission plus photo, 25 finalists would receive a Callaway Diablo Octane driver. And one grand-prize winner was designated to meet Callaway spokesman Justin Timberlake and earn a VIP trip to his golf course, Mirimichi Golf Course outside of Memphis. (That’s where Timberlake’s father first taught his son how to play the game; the two now own the facility.) The top prize also offers a custom-fitting session and a full-set of Callaway clubs.

Apparently, that provided plenty of incentive. On the first day of the campaign, the high volume of wall posts forced Callaway to temporarily shut down its Facebook page. Callaway, which had been gaining 300-500 new Facebook fans per day, watched that number jump to an average of 2,000 daily during the first 8 days of the promotion. As of June 2, the company reported having more than 157,000 fans.

That total is sure to rise, considering the contest deadline still is nearly two weeks away – Father’s Day, June 19. Callaway plans to announce the finalists on June 22 and will allow a public vote from June 22-29 to select the grand-prize winner, who is tentatively scheduled to be announced July 11.

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