May 14, 2015
Case Study

Social Media Marketing: Over 120% increase in daily activity for app due to visual social media campaign

SUMMARY: To gain visibility for the launch of the latest version of their health and wellness app, Owaves created a contest to encourage downloads and usage.

By getting users to share their interaction with the app visually and pulling in key influencers, the marketers at Owaves were able to increase daily downloads by 100% and develop engaging content for and with customers.
by Courtney Eckerle, Manager of Editorial Content


The Owaves app targets Millennial users who are interested in fitness activities, such as yoga. These users are concerned with living a mindful, healthy lifestyle, Claire Akin, Marketing Manager, Owaves, said.

Owaves is a wellness planning app, where users log and can visualize the percentage of the day they spent doing certain activities. The objective is to achieve balance in their lives and stay focused on health and wellness goals.

View the Creative Sample

Click here to see the full version of this creative sample

Because the app is trying to reach Millennials, the marketing team developed a social media campaign to engage these consumers with the app in their daily routines.


To reach their target market of Millennials, the team came up with the "Share Your O" campaign.

"Basically what that was, was a contest for whoever could share something on their own social media and get the most likes," Akin said.

The team reached out to key influencers, athletes, Olympians and others associated with fitness and a healthy lifestyle, hoping they would join the campaign. The objective was to start a grassroots campaign that would spread through followings.

"We found that they were pretty receptive to sharing their daily routine. And basically they were happy to share it with their network, and they got tons of likes, which gave us tons of exposure through the campaign," she said.

The campaign began around the launch of the latest version of the app, with a goal to increase the download rate and increase the number of people who download the app per day.


Owaves is active on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. For this campaign, however, the marketing team focused mainly on the more visual platforms, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

"For the campaign, Instagram was super popular, but typically we use mainly Facebook," said Akin.

In the Share Your O campaign, users had to share their day — as visualized through the app — to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, and the person with the most "likes" or retweets would win. There was one winner for each platform. The team used the hashtag #oTime to track the contest.

View the Creative Sample

Click here to see the full version of this creative sample

"We were just trying to gain awareness, and just because our app, you know, it's a day planning app, so it creates this 'O' for people. It's a visual representation of how they spend their time during the day. So it was definitely something that was very, very unique to us and created curiosity and peaked interest," she said.

Step #1. Set up the contest

First off, Owaves has its legal counsel review the contest and set up legal parameters and eligibility for users participating. This ensured that it was made clear no purchase was necessary.

The legal parameters were placed beneath the contest rules on the brand blog. The blog post explained to users that:

To celebrate Owaves’ 5,000th download in less than four months since release, we are announcing a Share Your O Contest starting today, September 4th.

Whosever "O" gets the most Likes on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will win a $100 gift card to iTunes.

There will be a total of three (3) winners, one for each Site.

Remember to use the hashtag #oTime with your post to qualify.

Leaderboards will be posted periodically.

The newly launched version of our App, "v1.1", released today allows you to Share Your O with the click of a button.

To get the party started, Owaves has invited Olympic medalists, Ironmen, registered yoga teachers and clinical dietitians, among others, to Share Their O. Check out our social media pages for updates. You’ll see how these uber athletes and hard-working professionals manage work-life balance and gain insight and tips on how to elevate your "O".

The Share your O Contest had an objective of allowing users to collaborate and share ideas in the common mission of living a fuller, more balanced life.

The team decided to award the prize to the person who got the most traction on each social media platform because of the campaign objective, which was to drive downloads for the app.

"That was basically completely directed to increasing awareness. So whatever visual image gets the most Likes, that's our exposure, and we need that. We wanted not only to make these key influencers aware of us but to make their followers aware of us," Aiken said.

Be flexible

The campaign ended up running for two months, which was extended from the original run length.

"We first were going to do a month, but then we decided just to extend it, and as we were gaining momentum we didn't want to close it," Akin said.

Once the team saw how much traction the contest was getting, they posted across the social media platforms, extending the competition by saying, "Last chance. One more month."

Step #2. Reach out to key influencers

The team used email to reach out to key influencers and explain the campaign and its objectives.

The team chose key influencers who were reaching the app’s target demographic of young, tech-savvy athletes and people who care about health and fitness. For example, Olympians, nutritionists and health bloggers who have over 10,000 followers, according to Akin.

The team asked the influencers to send them their daily routine and a photo. The team would then create their image and share it.

View the Creative Sample

Click here to see the full version of this creative sample

"It was great for them because they got promoted on our blog, and it was great for us because we got promoted on their social media," she said.

Step #3. Promote across social media channels

By using the hashtag #oTime, the team was able to keep track of all of the entries and promote leaders across social media.

"Through the process, drawing attention to our different entries helped them become more competitive and realize, 'Oh, I might win. I've got to put more energy toward this,'" Akin said.

The team would post entries and congratulate leaders continually as the contest ran.

"We would say, like, 'Hey, check out this ... Dawn Fletcher's O has gotten 300 likes. Way to go' … drawing attention to the contest as it was running," she said.

The team typically posted individually to each social media platform to ensure that each one was optimized to be the most visually appealing. However, they would also try to use the contest to draw people across platforms. For instance, Facebook fans would be encouraged to go over to the brand's Instagram.

"So, periodically, we try to cross-pollinate between platforms. So there were a few posts where we would say, you know, like on Facebook, 'Hey, check this out Instagram post that's gotten 300 likes' and cross-pollinating in that way," she said.

When Owaves announced the winners, the team put together a special image combining the three winners, and shared it across social media.

View the Creative Sample

Click here to see the full version of this creative sample

Step #4. Create content from the contest

From this contest, the marketing team received a lot of user-generated content, and they wanted to use it. For instance, repurposing many of the submissions onto a Pinterest board or as a website design.

The team also turned some of the biggest key influencers into individual blog posts, which created a lot of interest, according to Akin.

The team will be doing a feature on each one, gradually structuring the content around how that influencer spends their day. They also gave advice on how an Owaves user could also spend their day that way and why they would want to.

In this content, the team was to "dig deeper" than the contest allowed them to go with influencers. For instance, they were able to produce blog posts with Khadevis Robinson, a United States Olympian, as well as endurance athletes, yoga instructors and crossfit trainers.


In this campaign, "we realized that the visual appeal (with the bright colors and the cool images), people really loved, and they love to share on Instagram. So we're definitely going to focus on Instagram for the next one," Aiken said.

People love to share what is working for them in their lives, Akin said, and gather social currency from sharing information they are proud of — especially in a highly visual format.

"Our next campaign is going to be something even more pointed toward that, which is share your best fitness or wellness tip because that's even more than just 'share what you do in a day' — it's share how you accomplish your goal. So that is the next generation of the campaign and that will definitely be directed at Instagram," she said.

This campaign was launched alongside a new version of the app and at the 5,000th app download. After the contest, the team saw a 100% growth in daily downloads.

Also, the team saw over a 120% increase in the number of daily active users in the app.

"We were a little surprised that people are so eager to share how they spend their time and that people are eager to consume that. And so I guess there's this intrinsic interest in work-life balance and fitness-life balance ... people are really hungry for tips and tricks for how to solve that puzzle, how to get done what you want to get done in a day, which is great for us because that's what the app does. That's what it helps users achieve," Akin concluded.

Creative Samples

  1. Owaves app

  2. Hashtag

  3. Influencer post

  4. Winner announcement

  5. Olympian blog post



Related Resources

Social Media Marketing: How a sporting goods company increased Facebook reach 366%

Inbound Marketing: The top 9 MarketingSherpa case studies and how-to articles from 2012 about SEO, social media, and content marketing

Social Media Marketing: Visual storytelling drives 4.4 million Instagram engagements for Lilly Pulitzer

Inbound Marketing: Pinterest-based strategy leads to 77% new site traffic

Sign up for MarketingSherpa's Inbound Marketing newsletter

Improve Your Marketing

Join our thousands of weekly case study readers.

Enter your email below to receive MarketingSherpa news, updates, and promotions:

Note: Already a subscriber? Want to add a subscription?
Click Here to Manage Subscriptions