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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — The "Jeep Tiki Hunt" contest — which wrapped up this week after giving away three 2010 Jeep Wrangler Islanders — apparently did wonders for the brand's social-networking presence, along with another related promotion the brand held earlier this year.

Jeep has held two social-media contests since March, and the brand's traffic in that arena has enjoyed a tremendous lift ever since.  

For instance, Jeep has seen its followers on Twitter jump 275 percent and it added 32,000 Facebook friends, bringing its friend-count on the social media site close to 500,000.

Also, the number of people either viewing or sharing contest information via Jeep's Facebook page reached almost 10 million.

Not to mention, the contest's Web site, JeepTikiHunt.com, saw strong traffic, too, as it generated almost 500,000 page views.

Explaining the Jeep Tiki Hunt contest in more detail, officials noted that the online contest involved Jeep burying three "Jeep Tikis" throughout the U.S.

JeepTikiHunt.com gave the clues about the locations of the Jeep Tikis each week, and these clues were added to the Facebook site and Twitter feed. The Jeep Tikis included a GPS device and a specific telephone number attached.

Finding the tikis and winning the Wrangler Islanders were Justine Walter Reade-Chitaphana, of Los Angeles; Melissa Block, of Virginia Beach, Va.; and Scott Carman, of Golden, Colo.

Jeep had begun a more widespread contest when the Wrangler Islander was introduced earlier this year, and the Tiki Hunt was part two of that. 

The earlier contest, "Jeep Tweet-to-Win," was held in March on the brand's Twitter page.

Five contestants received trips to the 2010 New York International Auto Show, where they had the chance to dig in a giant sandbox for a Jeep Tiki that would give one lucky contestant the first Wrangler Islander model.

"Since we introduced the all-new 2010 Jeep Wrangler Islander, we have had the pleasure of giving away four vehicles to four Jeep fans through our social media contests, 'Tweet-to-Win' and 'Jeep Tiki Hunt,'" shared Mike Manley, president and chief executive officer for the Jeep brand at Chrysler.

"This unique experience has given us the opportunity to connect and communicate directly with Jeep consumers on several levels, while igniting passion for the Jeep brand, the Jeep Wrangler and the all-new Islander," he added. "While four lucky consumers have won an all-new Jeep Wrangler Islander, anyone can go to their Jeep dealer to purchase one, while they last."

Where did these three deft contestants find the tikis? Reade-Chitaphana found his in a flower pot on Venice Beach, Calif.

Block was in the Windy City, finding her tiki at The Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier in Chicago, while Carman found his tiki at the Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave in Golden, Colo.

Appropriately enough, that final tiki was attached to the wheel of the famous Old West figure's horse and buggy.