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Success Stories: May Lincoln Maine Thankful Photo Contest

May 1, 2020
  • Chandler Gray and Mackenzie King show off their winning checks from the Lincoln Maine Federal Credit Union Thankful Photo Contest.

Success Stories

Lincoln Maine Thankful Photo Contest

By Donna Adinolfe

BACKGROUND: In an effort to increase traffic to their social media platforms and increase membership pride, Lincoln Maine Federal Credit Union held its third annual Thankful Photo Contest.

“People love to brag and talk about themselves, but they especially love to talk and brag about their kids and families,” said Brittany Libbey, director of business and community development.

WHAT THEY DID: Social media followers were asked to share a photo of something for which they are thankful. The contest consists of three rounds. Round one is submission, where anyone, even non-members, can submit photos. When they do that, they are agreeing to the release of the photo to Lincoln Maine FCU for whatever purpose the CU chooses, such as marketing.

During this round, anyone can vote on photo submissions. Round two is just for voting, and no one else can submit photos. In round three, the top five vote earners from the prior round are voted on as finalists. Round one lasts about a week, round two a week, and round three is the Sunday through Thursday of Thanksgiving week. The winners are announced on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

The photo that earns the most votes is the first-place winner and receives $50 cash for themselves. The winner also chooses where Lincoln Maine FCU donates another $50. The second-place winner gets $25 cash for themselves and chooses where another $25 is to be donated.

“We used the platform Shortstack for the photo submission. During the first year, we were able to get by using the free version, but that went so well we had to upgrade to the paid version” Libbey said.

RESULTS: LMFCU has just over 1,000 Facebook friends and much less than that on other platforms. However, this contest received well over 10,000 views! Traffic to all these platforms increased dramatically during the month of November.

A total of 25% of all webpage visits was to the contest page. For reference, the next closest page only was 5%. The average view time on the page was over two minutes. The LMFCU average online banking view time is under 3 minutes. On average, there were 14-17 shares for each contest post on Facebook.


  • The paid version of Shortstack gets the submission page on your website, which is well worth it. The paid version can be turned on and off to avoid being charged for a full year.
  • Timing is important. Keeping the updates and incentive posts at consistent times of the day is key to keeping social media users engaged.
  • Less is more. The more information people are required to fill out, the less likely they are to vote. Keeping voter information to the essentials is important when the objective is high participation. Contests that run 24/7 have to be watched 24/7. This is especially true when people may ask questions at virtually any time. Being highly available around the clock helps with credibility and shows the audience you’re taking the contest seriously.
  • Sending some of the money to a charity of the winner’s choice gives them a sense that they are making a difference. Some people can’t afford to regularly donate, and other social viewers see that what they care about is important to the credit union as well.