Luck of the Draw

High-school student wins VIP trip to campus in Facebook sweepstakes

Bobbie Daniels, of Bedford

Bobbie Daniels, of Bedford

The winner of Longwood’s innovative Facebook sweepstakes said the university remains at the top of her list of college possibilities after her all-expense-paid VIP trip to campus in June.

“My older sister and I stayed up late looking through all the old yearbooks that sat around the Longwood Bed and Breakfast,” said Bobbie Daniels, who was selected at random from more than 1,600 entries. “Our tour guide was very informative and excited to show us around. Longwood has been the best and most enjoyable college I’ve visited.”

Daniels, a rising senior at Liberty High School in Bedford, Va., won an exclusive trip to Longwood’s picturesque campus that included lodging at the bed and breakfast, dining and gift cards for gas and apparel.

Longwood developed the Facebook sweepstakes to drive both page likes and engagement with potential students and their parents. “A number of other colleges and universities hold sweepstakes where the prize is an iPad or other device,” said Dave Hooper ’00, assistant vice president of digital marketing and content strategy. “We developed a prize package specifically to target potential students, and we’re pleased that a high-schooler who is interested in applying to Longwood won the sweepstakes.”

The sweepstakes netted 1,657 total entries and drove more than 800 new page likes—more than quadrupling the average monthly rate. Of the entrants, 62 percent were prospective students or their parents.

“This was an extremely successful initiative for the digital marketing team,” said Hooper. Instead of driving empty likes to our Facebook page, we connected with a number of people who have a real interest in this university. This sweepstakes gives us firm footing on which to build even more innovative outreach efforts.”

The complete prize package featured a campus tour led by a Longwood Ambassador, exclusive lodging at the Longwood Bed and Breakfast, dining at upscale Charley’s Waterfront Café in Farmville, lunch in the dining hall, a reserved parking space, a $25 gift card for Longwood items at the university bookstore and a $50 gas gift card. In total, the package was worth nearly $500.