Online travel booking website Expedia recently surpassed a million fans on its Facebook page. Pretty impressive.

But how exactly did it secure its hockey-stick growth of followers on its Facebook page?

Well, it seems that its FriendTrips game had a lot to do with it, reports All Facebook. The game was essentially an interactive sweepstake that allowed fans to pilot a virtual plane, picking up friends as passengers en-route and vacations were handed out to the winners of the game.

Thirteen holidays were given out in total, as well as a number of $250 daily prizes:

Expedia 1308838377053 Expedias Facebook fans grow by 750% in 6 weeks thanks to virtual sweepstake

Fans increased by a whopping 750% across the 6-week lifespan of the game, and apparently the company’s name was mentioned online by up to 30 times more than before the game was launched.

So, what’s to be learned from this? We covered a report earlier today that stated 1 Facebook fan is worth 20 visits to a company’s website. But such focus on ROI kind of misses the whole point of social media – it’s about engagement with the community and that is a long term investment that is hard to put into numbers.

The power of social networks lies in engaging with fans, which Expedia has done a stellar job of doing. Although it must be said, the lure of winning luxury holidays around the globe probably helped with the engagement process.