Long John Silvers “Invite-a-Friend”

Long John Silver's "Invite-a-Friend"

Long John Silvers “Invite-a-Friend” Sweepstakes

Facebook contests are a popular way for businesses and organizations to hold sweepstakes. Facebook contests have some great advantages for sweepstakes sponsors, including encouraging entrants to “Like” the company’s Facebook page. Mediaura has quite a lot of success operating sweepstakes for our clients; handling everything from the customized Facebook application development, managing the day-to-day performance, as well as educating companies on the best way to leverage their social media presence.

As we’ve stated in the past, operating with a “Build It And They Will Come” mentality, does not work for social media. Consumers are being advertised to 24/7; through television, outdoors, radio, and online. If you want to stand out from the competition, a compelling Facebook sweepstakes (when managed correctly) is always a safe bet.

For the Long John Silver’s “Invite-A-Friend” Sweepstakes, we not only built a custom Facebook application, we also partnered it with a Facebook Advertising campaign to boost branding and awareness for the company.

How The Sweepstakes Worked

For the LJS “Invite-A-Friend” sweepstakes, we once again worked closely with the incredible LJS team to come up with an idea that not only raised brand awareness throughout social media, but also incentivized repeated visits to the LJS Facebook page.

Here’s how it worked:

Long John Silver’s wanted to highlight the affordable cost of their delicious seafood, so they came up with the “Invite-A-Friend” campaign. Consumers are immediately made aware of the competitive prices of Long John Silver’s meals (2 meals for $10), and are encouraged to “Invite-A-Friend” out to lunch. With prices that low, you can afford to bring a friend!

Each week 10 lucky individuals were randomly selected to win a $15 Visa gift card, just for entering and sharing the contest with their Facebook friends. We made sure that a call to action was present, making entrants precisely aware of what it was they would win.

Custom Facebook Application

After the Facebook user selected to “get started” they were then prompted to ‘Invite Your Friends’ – out to lunch and to enter the sweepstakes as well. This allowed the user to self-select whom amongst their friends would be receiving sweepstakes invites and seeing the ad, therefore increasing the Facebook App’s reach among users organically without additional promotional costs for Long John Silver’s.

Custom Facebook Application

  1. The Mediaura team developed the Facebook contest application in such a way that it seamlessly allowed the user to select which friends they would like to invite within the Facebook environment. This prevented users from having to leave Facebook and enter a secondary website or different environment in order to enter the sweepstakes.
  2. Once the user selected which friends they would prefer to invite out to lunch, the following messages were automatically posted on their walls by the application. This is the message that was posted on the wall of the user who was being invited out to Long John Silver’s by their friend for lunch.
  3. This is the message that was posted on the wall of the user who had invited their friends.

So both the inviter and the invitee would have postings on their Facebook walls regarding Long John Silver’s, which would then be seen by all of their friends (whether those individuals were participating in the contest or not). This helped to increase both the brand awareness of Long John Silver’s and the virality of the contest.


One of the Facebook guidelines for contests is that you are not allowed to notify contest winners through the social media platform directly. This means that when you create a Facebook contest or Facebook sweepstakes application you must develop a way to notify winners “off-site.”

On this page of the sweepstakes application, users were prompted to enter a valid username and email address in order to receive notification should they be selected as winners.

The Agreement to Contest Rules was hyperlinked to make the full set of rules appear to the user.

Long John Silver's "Invite-a-Friend"

Users were then required to agree to the contest rules and given the option to consent to further Long John Silver’s emails and promotions.

After the user completed this short process they were then notified whether or not their submission was a success.

Once their entry had been successfully submitted, they were taken to the final page of the sweepstakes application and thanked for their time.

However, we didn’t want the opportunity for Long John Silver’s branding to end there, so we included the option for users to learn more about coupons and other information available for the Long John Silver’s brand. Therefore, by selecting “Go” users were taken directly to www.ljsilvers.com.

Custom Facebook Application

Here they could read about Menu & Nutrition, find a store, and of course, register for the Long John Silver’s Fishbowl email club to receive coupons and other special offers.

Each week users could return to the Long John Silver’s Facebook page for the opportunity to enter again!

Users were randomly selected each week and notified by Long John Silver’s of the result.

Results for the Facebook Application

Total number of new ‘LIKES’:

  • During the Facebook Advertising period: 6,382
  • During the time period without advertising: 2,988
  • Total number of new and unique likes: 9,370
  • Number of times app was downloaded/installed: 13,388
  • Number of Facebook users who entered the contest: 11,878
  • Number of Facebook users who users “invited friends” through the app: 11,425
  • Average Facebook User Rating for “Invite-A-Friend” App: 5 Stars

We were able to provide in-depth analytics for Long John Silver’s regarding the Facebook App performance.

Here is an example of the demographic data we were able to provide:

Custom Facebook Application

Accompanying Facebook Advertising Campaign

Mediaura ran a Facebook ad targeting Facebook users in an effort to raise the profile and branding of the “Invite-A-Friend” Sweepstakes within the social media realm, as well as assist with increasing traffic directed towards www.ljssilvers.com.

The purpose was to increase Facebook “Likes”, raise conversions between the viewer and the Invite-A-Friend app, as well as further develop branding for the mission of Long John Silvers.

Due to a limited budget and the duration of the contest, we elected to divide the budget in half and run Facebook advertising during the first 7 days of the contest and then again during the last 7 days of the contest.

Custom Facebook Application

Results for the Facebook Application

  • Campaign Duration: 14 days total (7 days / 7 days)
  • Campaign Budget: $850 total ($425 / $425)
  • Total number of unique Facebook users targeted by ad: 4,064,080
  • Campaign Reach: 443,290 unique users who were not previously affiliated with Long John Silver’s
  • Frequency (average number of times ad reached each person): 5.7 total (3.1 / 2.6)
  • Social Reach (how frequently the ad appeared to individuals who are “connected” to users who currently “Like” the Long John Silver’s Facebook page, but are not “fans” themselves.): 391,089
  • Actions (all actions taken by individuals within 24 hours of viewing an ad or Sponsored Story (i.e. “Liking” the page, utilizing the Invite-A-Friend Facebook App, etc.): 4,666
  • Clicks (the actual number of times an individual directly “clicked” on the Long John Silver’s advertisement): 4,987

Facebook advertisements can have quite an impact on a social media campaign, sweepstakes, or any other promotional offer.

For example, the graph below illustrates web traffic to Long John Silver’s Facebook page prior to the Facebook advertising taking place as well as when the advertising initiative was launched.

You can see a significant spike in traffic once users were made aware of the offer through a Facebook campaign.

Custom Facebook Application

Mediaura was able to provide Long John Silver’s an impactful advertising campaign on a very small budget.

Let us help you develop your own sweepstakes!

We have had a great time working on this project with the Long John Silver’s team. If you would like to learn more information about Facebook sweepstakes, social media management, or the various other ways that Mediaura can help you leverage social media – contact us today! We’re always happy to help!

Scroll to Top