Mirror, Alta., based Community Futures East Parkland recently finished its most recent Marketing Challenge.
The Marketing Plan Challenge began in 2017 where participants would attend a one-day training session before completing a marketing plan that would be judged by a panel to determine winners.
“During COVID, we knew we needed to pivot and through previous conversations with business owners one thing that was consistently echoed to me was the need for help with content creation and social media,” said Community Futures economic development officer Kate Gislason.
In 2020, the Social Media Marketing Challenge was born.
During the November 2022 edition of the challenge, business owners from all over the East Parkland catchment area were given a calendar of content to create to help grow their social media channels.
In total, $9,200 worth of prizes were handed out.
During the challenge, weekly prizes were awarded as well as four grand prizes at the conclusion.
For the weekly challenges, prizes were awarded to most improved and most influential and their runner’s up. The winners each won $250 while the second-place received $150.
In week one, most improved was Ponoka’s Artisan Frame Studio and most influential was Bashaw Meats and Sausage, with Halkirk’s Very Important Pets and Bashaw’s Fresh Start Studio both getting the nod as runners up.
Week two saw Castor’s The Purple Platypus as most improved and Bashaw Farm and Building Supplies Ltd. as most influential, with Donalda’s Echoglen Gardens and Blackfalds’ Supernova Creations earning the second-place prize.
During week three, Lacombe’s Deep Roots Farm earned the title of most improved while Castor’s Cornucopia Gourmet Popcorn and Treats was the most influential. Coming in second this week were Castor’s The Stuffed Potato Co. and Bashaw’s Meeting Place Coffee Roasters.
In the final week of the competition, Very Important Pets was back on the board earning the title of most improved while Ponoka’s Torch and Teal got on the board with a win for the first time. Second place in week four were Donalda’s Heather’s Yarn Haven and Coulee Market and Echoglen Gardens.
The grand prize winners were figured out based on Facebook insights, which showed each of the competitors growth and engagement on their Facebook sites.
Halkirk’s Very Important Pets Boarding Kennel and Salon won $1,000 as fan favourite; Ponoka’s Torch and Teal won $1,000 as most dynamic business, Castor’s The Purple Platypus won $1,500 as most improved social media marketer, and Bashaw Meats and Sausage Ltd. won $2,500 as the most influential on social media.
In total, 38 participants took part in the 2022 challenge.
Community Futures East Parkland covers an area from Alder Flats in the northwest, east to Bawlf, and stretches southeast as far as Castor, including Big Valley, Elnora, Blackfalds, and Eckville in the southern fringes of its territory.
The purpose of Community Futures is to help small businesses, entrepreneurs, and rural diversification.
For more information on Community Futures, check out the website at www.eastparkland.albertacf.com.