6 Social Media Contest Ideas to Engage Your Audience

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How do you keep your audience engaged on social media? Running social media contests is a great way to boost your brand online and increase engagement. In fact, social media contests have the potential to generate thousands of entries and reach millions of people. We’ve gathered six social media contest ideas to help you keep your audience interested and engaged.

#1 Create an exciting hook
Your hook must be exciting and intriguing enough to get your audience on board. However, before you rush to choose your hook, it’s crucial to choose the prize first. The award can consist of a pre-paid vacation, a gift card, your product, or another brand-related product.
Now, as you’ve figured out the prize, let’s determine the hook for your contest. Some prizes will sell themselves. Who doesn’t want to go on a fully paid vacation to the Bahamas? In this case, the prize itself can be the hook.
If you can’t afford to send the lucky winners to the Bahamas, there are other ways to hook your audience. For example, you can hype up the exclusivity of the prizes. Award the winners with the best-selling products or with the items in their wishlist.

#2 Encourage user-generated content
Encouraging entrants to create branded content is one of the best ways to engage your audience. User-generated content (UGC) is any content (e.g. pictures, reviews, posts, videos, etc.) that has been created and posted by users on social media. For many brands, UGC is the primary method of engaging their audience. Not only does UGC engage your audience, but it also has an impact on purchase decisions. Additionally, UGC contributes to building trust and credibility as customers display your products in their online “testimonials.”

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How to encourage UGC in social media contests? You can require entrants to post a picture of your product on their Instagram or Facebook story with a particular hashtag to participate in the contest. For example, the world-famous brand Heinz launched a competition with prizes. According to the rules, users must take a photo of their holiday tables, leave a request on the website or hashtag under the publication on Twitter or Instagram. Among the participants, there will be a drawing of certificates for $ 100 or a trip to visit relatives. In this way, Heinz has stimulated the generation and distribution of user-generated content.

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Important note: Always request permission before sharing UGC and credit the original content creator in the description.

#3 Put on a vote contest
Running a vote contest is another great way to boost user engagement on social media. Regardless of the size of your company and your budget, vote contests are easy to put on and can be used by all. Also, vote contests are a great way to show your followers that their opinion matters.
Provide your customers with more interactive opportunities as you post vote contests regularly. To increase engagement, make sure that the topic of the vote resonates with your audience. Vote contests that are fun and relate to audiences’ lifestyles are the best engagement boosters. For example, Mediacorp managed to put on a voting contest using Votigo customize contest platform.

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You can also set up a simple guessing game to engage your audience and award the contestant whose answer is correct. For example, you can post a picture featuring a bunch of your products and ask how many of a particular product your followers see. Don’t be afraid to get creative on this one. Try to create a guessing game that will grab your followers’ attention.
Additionally, you can ask for the email of your voters as they submit their responses. This will help you build up your mailing list and reach a wider audience with your email marketing campaign.

#4 Run a sweepstake
Sweepstakes is an easy and fast way to engage your Facebook followers. A sweepstake is a lottery that rewards a prize to a randomly selected winner. Your followers enter their personal info, including their email, and click ‘Enter Sweepstakes.’ Once they’ve entered the competition, your followers can share the post and invite others to participate.
Alternatively, you can ask your participants to come out with a creative comment, follow your Facebook account, or like the post. Professionals from Ivory Research, an essay writing services company, suggest that running sweepstakes are a great way to boost engagement rates and generate more leads as participants must interact with your page and share their email to enter the competition.
This AccuWeather sweepstakes campaign created by Votigo is a great example.

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#5 Run a daily prize contest
Running a daily prize contest is another effective way to keep your followers engaged and interested in your campaign. The main idea behind daily prize contests is that you have a series of prizes designated specifically for each day of the campaign. For example, you can give out your products to the winners of the sweepstake each day of the week.
Besides improved engagement rates, you’ll get a valuable insight on which products motivate contestants to participate more.

#6 Use contests to support a cause
Did you know that the majority of Americans are supporting socially responsible organizations? In fact, running a charity contest is an amazing way to keep your customers engaged. Use your social media contest to support a cause that aligns with your company’s values and social mission. For example, you can run a vote contest asking your participants to choose a non-profit for you to make a donation.

How to select a prize?
Now, let’s figure out how to select a prize worth participating in a contest. It’s best to have a prize that is somehow related to your industry or your product. For example, you can give out an exclusive gift card or some of your most popular products.
Many service providers fail to create social media contests as they can’t offer a tangible prize to the winner. If you’re a service provider struggling to come up with a prize, consider giving out your services.
Here is another great example by Votigo of how you can offer products and coupons as a prize. Notice how they include multiple prizes.

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Conclusion
There are many ways you can employ contests to boost user engagement. Hopefully, this article has given you a better idea of the different types of social media contests.

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Thinking about running a holiday sweepstakes? Read this first

Sweepstakes

Stockings hung with care on the fireplace mantel…

Gingerbread towels added to your kitchen decor….

Holiday trimmings added right down to Christmas pillows…

The holiday season has a lot of unforeseen expenses. That’s why so many people during this time of year are open to opportunities to offset some costs or, at the very least, for a few free goodies. There is a definite reason why Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are so popular. It’s also the reason why so many companies choose to run sweepstakes (otherwise known as giveaways) this time of year.

As a sweepstakes management company, we like to consider ourselves optimists. If you’re thinking about conducting a sweepstakes this season, we urge you to go for it. However, it is really important that you take the time to carefully consider all of the possible pitfalls to conduct a smart giveaway that will have a positive, lasting impact on your business.

Here are 8 tips to keep in mind if your company is considering running a holiday sweepstakes:

#1. It’s important to establish your goals.
Holiday Sweepstakes can be great for your business, particularly in a year that has been challenging for many businesses to stay afloat. If you do it right, sweepstakes can help to: a) increase social media following and website traffic, b) raise brand awareness, c) deepen your relationship with existing customers and d) build the hype for new products. However, in order to accomplish any of these goals, it is critical that you outline the results that you want to see out of your giveaway before you begin.

Remember, since this giveaway will be happening in a limited time frame during the holidays, you need to be extra smart about setting your goals so you can achieve them by the end of the season. A great way to set smart goals? Use the S.M.A.R.T. acronym and set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. For more information on this tool, refer to this article.

#2. Have a plan to stand out from the competition.
This means investing in stellar graphics, engaging videos and solid copywriting. Also, have a plan to garner engagement, both paid and organic, right off the bat. If there is one tip we can offer in standing out, it’s this: be authentic. People relate to authenticity. Whether you’re funny or more sentimental, always make sure it is in line with your brand, both as it is now and where you would like it to be post-sweepstakes.

#3. Establish your audience.
If you’re a business that is just starting out or you’re a business on the verge of pivoting due to this pandemic, politics or any 2020-related shenanigans, ensure that you take the time to map out your ideal audience for this giveaway. Keep in mind that while you can have multiple target audiences for your company, that doesn’t mean that you need to have multiple targeted audiences for your giveaway. For example, while your product may appeal to both young moms looking for gifts for their 4-6 year olds and 80+ grandparents looking for gifts for their teenage grandchildren, you will have wildly different advertising approaches for both. You may not have the resources to develop campaigns appealing to both, so it’s critical that you tailor your marketing to one or the other. Once you’ve set your audience(s), make sure you figure out their pain points and talk directly to them through your marketing outreach.

#4. Consider if a sweepstakes is right for you or if a contest is a better option.
It’s important to know the difference between sweepstakes and contests. As a refresher, in contests, winners are not chosen at random but are chosen based on skill. Entry can be free or require purchase (in most states). This can be a great way to deepen a relationship with an already existing audience that uses your products or services to further a skill. For example, if you are a company that sells high-end art supplies, your audience may be more drawn to an opportunity to share their work and compete for potential prizes and public recognition.

In sweepstakes, winners are random and purchase cannot be required for entry (purchase can be monetary or non-monetary). A caveat to this is that you can have an option for purchase for entry if, and only if, you also provide a free Alternative Means of Entry (AMOE). Sweepstakes are great for promoting a brand or products unrelated to skill. It is also a great option for the holidays considering that people may be limited on their free time for competitions and some entrants might be attempting to transfer a potential prize as a gift.

#5. Choose the right marketing platform for your business.
Do research to find out where your audience hangs out. 18-22 year old college students? You better be on TikTok. 40 year olds with a mortgage and 2 kids? Facebook might be a better route for you. Wherever they are is where you should be. Also, since this is a holiday promotion, make sure you are sensitive to the holidays that they celebrate.

#6. Your prize really matters.
A few factors to consider when determining your prize: target audience, budget, shipping costs, desirability and whether you want to highlight new products or reinvigorate interest in older products. One more thing: consider that this year is different from any other year due to COVID-19. In previous years, you may have offered a prize related to experiences involving contact with other people such as travel. In 2020, however, you have to be absolutely sure that you are aware of current restrictions, limitations and risks that could impact a recipient claiming their prize.

#7. Consider that this year is different from any other year.
Not only does this impact the prizes, it impacts everything from what your audience wants right now to what platform you use to host your sweepstakes. Make sure you are viewing your sweepstakes through the lens of 2020. For example, consider that TikTok is more popular than ever and, particularly if you are appealing to a younger tech-savvy crowd, you may want to consider advertising your sweepstakes on this platform.

#8. Make sure you are following the rules.
From income taxes to restrictions on alcohol giveaways to prizes above a certain value needing to be registered and bonded, there are a lot of sweepstakes guidelines that are commonly overlooked and can lead to damaging legal consequences. For an example of some of these restrictions, read our recent article here. Due to the potential liability, we always recommend that you consult a sweepstakes management company before running any giveaway.

Planning on running a sweepstakes this holiday season?

We hope these tips have helped. If you need more guidance, we’re currently offering a free, 30 minute holiday sweepstakes consultation at Votigo. Contact us to schedule yours today.

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Votigo, Inc. Completes Acquisition of US Sweepstakes & Fulfillment Co.

Company now offers the most comprehensive contest and sweepstakes software and administration services in the industry.

Boulder, co

November 4, 2020

Votigo, Inc., the complete social media marketing and promotions company, today announced the acquisition of US Sweepstakes & Fulfillment Co., an industry leader in sweepstakes administration since 1988. Together the two companies develop and manage contests and sweepstakes for some of the most prestigious brands in the world.

US Sweepstakes & Fulfillment Co. is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Votigo, Inc. and will continue to operate as a stand-alone brand.  All US Sweepstakes employees will remain onboard and customers will continue to get the same white glove service they’ve become accustomed to through the years.

US Sweepstakes offers unique interactive solutions and an in-depth knowledge of sweepstakes, contests, rebates and social media and mobile marketing laws, rules, and regulations, from start to finish. Products and services offered include sweepstakes and contest administration, build-your-own sweepstakes, rules writing, legal consulting, online creative design and development, programming and hosting, mobile marketing, prize procurement and fulfillment, loyalty programs, and rebate management.

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring the US Sweepstakes brand, amazing team and knowledge of the industry under the Votigo, Inc. portfolio of companies.” says Jim Risner, Co-CEO and founder of Votigo, Inc. “Their long history of working with some of the best brands and agencies in the world are a true testament to their quality of service and offerings.”

“Adding US Sweepstakes’ deep experience in promotions administration to Votigo’s robust technology platform, our combined companies offer clients world class capabilities in the promotions industry.” says Aaron Steve, President, US Sweepstakes & Fulfillment Co. “The synergies between Votigo and US Sweepstakes are above and beyond anything we could have imagined.  We are so excited to see what these two companies can do together.”

About Votigo, Inc.
Votigo, Inc. is a world-class provider of B2B Marketing Software and Services.  Votigo acquires and builds software business with a focus on Customer Loyalty, Social Media Promotions, Marketing Automation, Email Marketing, and Mobile SMS Marketing.  Current brands include Votigo, Heyo and US Sweepstakes. Founded in 2006, Votigo is located in Boulder, Colorado; The San Francisco Bay Area, New York, and Hyderabad, India.  Its flagship brand, Votigo, is a leading social media marketing and promotions company with a Software-as-a-Service platform that supports full-service solutions and easy-to-use self-service tools for brands and their agencies including Kraft-Heinz, Allstate, Air Canada, Walmart, Nutrisystem, A+E Network, and AARP.

About US Sweepstakes & Fulfillment Co.

US Sweepstakes is one of the nation’s longest-standing sweepstakes companies, having been in business for more than 30 years. It is a one-stop shop for some of the world’s biggest brands, developing hundreds of sweepstakes, contests, and game promotions annually. It is also a leader in providing the most up-to-date legal and administration services and applications for social media.  US Sweepstakes is located in Rochester, NY.

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6 Key Steps to a Run Successful Social Media Contest!

Did you know that running a social media contest is an amazing way to increase engagement and boost your brand online? In fact, over 70% of companies use some sort of gamification or contest in their engagement strategy. Social media contests are so popular because of their potential to reach millions of users and generate thousands of entries.

We’ve gathered a list of the most common reasons why social media contests fail. In addition, you’ll find advice and step-by-step instruction on how to prevent your contest from failing.

Why do social media contests fail?

Reason #1 Prize isn’t worth participating
Bad choice of a prize is the first and most common reason why social media contests fail. Irrelevant prizes have no value to the potential participants. Many users decide not to enter because they simply lack motivation.

Reason #2 Lack of instruction on how to enter the contest
Confusing instructions in another common reason why a contest can be ruined. If you don’t see any contest participants, it’s likely because they don’t know how to enter. Sometimes, the contest rules are poorly described. Other times, they are so complicated and confusing that no one wants to enter. Either way, lack of instruction is a major reason why your social media contest can fail.

Reason #3 No follow-up
Leaving your contest deprived of your attention after posting it is another reason why it may fail. Keep in mind that participants’ interest in the contest dies out eventually after they’ve entered. Many contest creators fail to follow up with the participants to keep them interested and encourage sharing.

Reason #4 Lack of visuals
Another common reason why a contest may fail is the lack of visuals. Did you know that human brains process visual information 60,000 times faster than text? That’s why it’s so important to present the rules and the contest itself in a visually appealing way. Otherwise, your contest can get lost in the feed and left unnoticed.

Reason #5 Poor marketing
Last but not least, poor marketing can keep your contest away from going viral. When you’re hosting a social media contest, you can’t just put out a couple of posts and expect them to do the advertising. A significant number of potential participants will pass your contest if it’s poorly marketed.

How do you prevent your social media contest from failing?

Now, as you’ve discovered the most common mistakes and reasons why your contest can fail, let’s dive deep and learn how to prevent them from happening.

1. Evaluate your purpose and resources
Evaluating your resources is the first step that’ll prevent your social media contest from failing. It’s important to identify the purpose of your contest during this stage. Do you want to increase social media engagement? Do you want to grow your email list? Or are you interested in encouraging user-generated content? Answering these questions will help you identify the contest entry structure and rules.

Also, you’ll need to set up the budget for your social media contest. Make sure to consider the cost of your prize, promotion, and any other services you’ll need.

2. Choose a prize
For your contest to be successful, the prize should be worth participating in. Offer something unique and exclusive. It’s important to choose a prize that is valuable and relevant to your audience. Speaking of value and relevance, you don’t want to give out free pizza if you own a yoga studio.

Not particularly sure how to choose your prize? Here are some ideas for contest prizes:

  • Your brand’s gift card
  • Your product or industry-related product
  • A unique experience, like a pre-paid vacation
  • Money

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If you consider a fairly expensive prize, determine whether the return of investment for growing a customer base or increasing an engagement rate is worth the investment.

3. Determine the contest entry structure
Once you’ve set your purpose, evaluated your resources, and chosen a prize, the next step is identifying your contest entry structure. This step includes determining which type of contest and which social media platform to use.

When it comes to choosing a medium, it’s better to pick a social media platform with the highest engagement rates. Even though it’s easier to use one social media platform, using multiple mediums can be more effective. This will help you increase user engagement throughout several platforms and reach a wider audience.

After choosing a medium for your contest, you’ll need to identify the type of contest and entry requirements. There are different types of contests, including a photo or video contest, vote contest, sweepstakes, and like & share. Each type of contest comes with its own requirements. You will need to consider the rules, length, and age appropriateness.
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Consider asking for an email as an entry requirement. This will help you build up your email list. However, don’t ask for too much personal information, it may divert your followers from participating.

4. Clearly communicate the contest rules
Once you’ve developed the contest requirements, it’s important to clearly communicate them to the audience. It’s useful to present the rules in steps, so they’re easier to follow. Also, you can present them in the form of visuals. Unlike plain text, visuals are better attention grabbers. The start and end dates of the contest should be clearly stated in the instruction.

Have someone proofread your contest rules before posting. Make sure the wording is easy to follow. The rules should be clear, understandable, and simple.

5. Promote your contest
You can’t just put out your contest on social media and expect crazy engagement. Contest promotion starts with the wording. For example, you can hype up the exclusivity of the prizes. If you’re struggling with writing your contest copy, use the help of professional grammar checking services, like Grammarly or Essay Tigers.

Send follow-up emails to keep the participants engaged and interested in your contest. Include a word of encouragement to facilitate reposts and sharing with family and friends.

6. Evaluate, analyze, and reflect
Evaluation is the final step that will help you avoid the failure of your social media contest. When your contest is finished, you announce the winner, award them, and thank everyone for participating. It might seem like the contest is over for the participants, but you still have got one last thing to do.

Running analytics on your social media contest is crucial because it helps you measure success and adjust future contest campaigns. Here are some questions to consider when measuring the return on social media contests:

  • How many users entered your contest? How many voted? How many actively participated?
  • How much time did users spend engaging?
  • How much sharing took place?
  • How many new followers on each platform?
  • How many users opted into your email list?

Answering these questions will help you evaluate your success. Use the data to measure and improve your efforts.

Final thoughts
Before posting your contest, make sure to read the contest rules of the social media platforms you’re targeting. From Instagram to Facebook, each platform has its own rules and regulations. If you fail to comply with the rules, your contest and your social media page can be shut down.

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10 Laws of a Converting Social Media Strategy

Using social media for your business can help to elevate your audience and customer base. With more than two billion people using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms, you can achieve some serious exposure and therefore increase the chance to succeed.

Beginners in social media marketing often find the task of converting the audience daunting. Of course, there are numerous factors that influence the outcome of a social media strategy, such as experience. Lack of previous experience with social media audiences can result in some challenges.

This article is here to ensure that these challenges are eliminated even if you have little or zero experience with social media. It brings you ten laws that all effective social media strategies follow to provide the best possible outcomes.marketing-1466313_1920

Abiding by these laws will help you to build your brand on social media and create a foundation that will serve you well in the future. Let’s begin.

  1. The Law of Accessibility

Social media users encounter hundreds of posts every day. For example, 55 percent of them watch video posts every day, according to BrandWatch. Along with other posts, this translates into gigabytes of information.

With so much content out there, you need to do your best to stand out. Don’t disappear after publishing some posts. Always be available. This involves a constant effort to publish and participate in conversations with other users.

  1. The Law of Patience

The exact statistics are unknown but it’s safe to assume that the competition in social media is fierce. For brands, this means that immediate success is just impossible. There is no way you can become well-known and profitable overnight.

This law states that you have to commit to the long-term strategy instead of hoping for a quick success. You don’t want to get your heart broken, do you?

  1. The Law of Focus

Surveys show that people trust the brands that concentrate on something specific instead of being an expert in everything. It’s just better to avoid positioning yourself as jack-of-all-trades because you will turn into a master of none.

The law of focus is important for your social media strategy because it teaches you to focus on building a strong brand that specializes in something specific.

  1. The Law of Influence

Social media users now turn to influencers for information and entertainment more than ever. According to Influencer Orchestration Network, 86 percent of women use the experience of social influencers before making a purchase. The same source also suggests that 51 percent of social media marketers say that videos produce the best return on investment.

You’ve probably guessed what this law is all about. Use social media influencers to increase conversion.

  1. The Law of Listening

The idea of this law is pretty simple: instead of always talking, listen to what your online audience is saying. A customer-centered social media strategy is more beneficial because it helps to identify the most attractive content for potential customers. By listening, we mean reading the content of social media users and joining discussions to add some value to them. As the result of meaningful discussions, a brand can gain a positive reputation and image.

  1. The Law of Quality

People who are involved in discussions with the brand on a constant basis are quality followers who need to be kept close. They are the ones that keep the conversation going and build the image of the brand, so their importance should not be underestimated.

Even one quality follower is worth much more than a thousand people who don’t interact with the brand after the initial contact. Quality reigns supreme in this case.

  1. The Law of Value

As mentioned above, social media is a highly competitive environment. Brands that don’t value the conversations of social media users will inevitably fail. Those that try their best to create quality useful content for their target audience survive.

This is the law of value: your social media strategy must include only helpful content for your target audience. No value = no interest.rules-1752406_1920

  1. The Law of Reciprocity

Converting social strategies involve taking interest in the content of social media users. Why? It would be unreasonable to expect them to take interest in your content if you don’t comment on and share their posts as well.

In simple words, a good relationship starts with a favor. The outcome is beneficial for both the brand and its followers.

  1. The Law of Acknowledgment

Making as many connections as possible is one of the primary objectives of brands on social media. No person should be ignored if he or she tries to contact you. Acknowledge them and try to establish positive relationships from the day one.

Otherwise, contacting you again won’t be an option for an ignored person. That’s the law.

  1. The Law of Compounding

This law is connected to the law of value reciprocity. If a brand produces interesting and helpful content for its followers, there is a good chance they will find it good enough to be shared on other social media platforms.

As the result, your content will provide more exposure, therefore better online presence for the brand.

This piece was originally written by Tom Jager for the Heyo Blog

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Why UGC Contests Work for Marketing

Why User-generated Contests Work for Marketers
UGC Contests Create a Dialogue with Consumers – Given the current online marketing landscape, it’s critical for savvy marketers to engage consumers in an open, two-way dialogue. By allowing consumers to contribute to marketing campaigns through photos, videos, text and user-voting, campaigns become personal. You can learn a lot about what resonates with your core consumers in a very short period of time based on what they share with you on the site, as well as what they send to friends and family as contest participants transform into viral evangelists for your brand.
Contests Virally Spread Your Marketing Message – Assuming your contest site is built well and with the right viral tools at the disposal of users (see tips), user-generated contests can be a great way to virally spread your marketing message. What is unique about contests is that entrants have an incentive to promote themselves in order to get the votes needed to win the contest. And as we’re learning, in a digital world with a lot of noise, consumers have a higher level of trust and interest in content referred by their friends. This provides brands with an amazing way to expose their message to a new audience of engaged consumers.
Photo, Video, and Essay Contests Build Community Around Your Brand – Creating a contest microsite with built-in social networking features provides the landscape for your customers to talk about the promotion. What’s a contest microsite you might ask? It’s a standalone web site or sub-section of your existing brand web site that is dedicated to the contest and fully customized to your look and feel. In addition to contest rules, guidelines, user entry forms and voting it should utilize key social features allowing visitors to share and interact with the contest entries and each other. Depending on the theme of your contest, this interactive conversation could be focused on your product or brand specifically or something with which you want your brand associated with.
They Allow for Safe Participation in Social Media – Some brands are reluctant to turn over control of their marketing to consumers for fear of what the masses might say. Contests can provide a great way for brands to safely participate in social media. By clearly outlining rules and guidelines for entering contests and making smart use of prescreen and moderation tools, your brand can remain protected.
Contests Grow Your Customer Email Database – Because of the viral nature of entrants reaching out to friends and family to promote entries, contests can be a great way to build your customer database for future marketing efforts. It goes without saying, however, that users must opt-in to receive future marketing messages.
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Campaign of the Week! Frigo Cheeseheads – “Build a Bright Future” Contest

Frigo Cheeseheads – “Build a Bright Future” Contest

Frigo Cheeseheads - "Build a Bright Future" Contest

Frigo Cheeseheads – “Build a Bright Future” Contest

This is a really great concept that allows anyone to nominate a teacher by uploading a video or an essay explaining why their teacher should win.  Then there is a Votigo period to engage the community and finally the judges will announce the 60 winners!  Here is another post on Why UGC (user-generated content) Contests Work for Marketing.

http://cheeseheadsbrightfuture.com/

How it works

How it works

The UGC Gallery displays the video and essay thumbnails which allow users to expand to full size, vote, and share across social media.

UGC Gallery

Videos and essays

Enlarged view.

UGC full size view

UGC full size view

Please enjoy checking it out and let us know if you have any thoughts or questions about the campaign.  Feel free to contact us to learn more about Votigo and how you can create one of these types of campaigns for you or your clients.

 

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How to Run an Amazing Facebook Sweepstakes or Contest in 8 steps

A Facebook Contest or Sweepstakes is a great way to generate more ‘likes’ for your brand, engage your audience and spread brand awareness. And the good news is, it doesn’t have to be complicated! Follow these 8 Steps for Running a Successful Facebook Contest or Sweepstakes and watch the entries roll in!Screenshot 2017-04-04 13.22.59

Step 1: State Your Objectives

Having a clear idea of what you want to accomplish with your promotion will help determine if a contest or a sweepstakes is right for your brand. For example, if a high number of entries is your goal, an enter-to-win sweepstakes is probably going to receive the most entries, since they have the lowest barrier to entry on the social promotions spectrum.

Step 2: Outline The Promotion Details

This includes defining the timing of your campaign, how winners will be determined, what your prize is, and a variety of other considerations. For example: What information do you want to collect during registration? How do you want to use that information down the line for future marketing purposes?

Step 3: Follow The Rules

When running a Facebook promotion, it’s important to follow their guidelines. The team here at Votigo makes it a point to stay completely on top of all of Facebook’s rules and regulations, and we’ll always make sure that the campaigns that you run with us comply with them. In addition to Facebook’s promotional guidelines, you’ll also want to make sure that you create your own contest or sweepstakes rules and make sure that you are compliance with any relevant state or federal regulations. This is also something that Votigo can help with so just let us know if you need that!

Step 4: Design Graphics

Depending on your specific promotion and what time of features you are using, this can vary from a simple header graphic to more advanced design and customization. Either way, a few general rules will always apply: Make sure the imagery is eye-catching and inviting to the user and make sure it conveys the important details for the campaign like how to enter, what you can win, etc…

Step 5: Launch!

Once your promotion has been designed and set up, it’s time to launch! Make sure you test the user flow to make sure it’s exactly how you want it, and that it’s clear for users to understand. Once all of these pieces are in place, it’s time to publish your promotion to your Facebook page and start getting more engagement with your fans!

Step 6: Promote Your Campaign

You’ll want to actively promote your promotion in order to get entries and votes. Rely on all the channels you typically use to communicate with your audience (like social media, email newsletter etc…) in order to let them know about the campaign.

Step 7: Moderate and Manage

After your promotion has launched, you need to continue to manage it. This will depend on the format of your campaign but for example, if you’ve asked people to submit photos in order to enter, part of your campaign management will involve pre-screening these photos to make sure they’re appropriate. You’ll also want to keep an eye on entries to make sure that they are coming in steadily, and adjust your promotion efforts accordingly if needed.

Step 8: Use the Results

Running a Facebook contest or sweepstakes is a great way to get leads and quality user-generated content, so make sure you use your results! Nurture new leads with an email campaign or another promotion. Get creative with how you use any photos or videos that were collected during the campaign. Use the information you collect during registration to learn more about your audience and tailor future marketing activations based on this knowledge.


Ready to put these tips into practice with your next Facebook promotion? Click here to speak with an Account Representative today!

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Instagram #Hashtag Promotions Update

On December 11th, Instagram will be deprecating some features within their existing API.  The following features will be unavailable after that date:

  • Commenting – to post and delete comments on a user’s behalf on owned media
  • Public Content – to read any public profile info and media on a user’s behalf
  • Likes – to like and unlike media on a user’s behalf
  • Subscriptions – to receive notifications when media is posted

In advance of this release, we’ve updated our platform enabling you to continue to create hashtag campaigns.

New Campaigns
In order to create new Instagram hashtag campaigns or keep your existing ones running, you will first need to make sure your Instagram account is a business account.  Here’s a quick tutorial from Instagram – Creating a Business Profile on Instagram.

Once that has been completed, you’ll need to link your Instagram business profile to your Facebook page – Linking an Instagram account to a Facebook page.

Now, you’re all set to create new Instagram hashtag promotions in the Votigo platform.  We’ve added a quick authentication button within each promotion type –

Add Instagram Business AccountNOTE: As part of this update, content posted on Instagram will be required to include a @mention of your brand in order for Instagram to pass it to Votigo.

Existing Campaigns
If you are currently running a Votigo campaign that is accepting hashtag entries from Instagram, you will first need to complete the steps noted above to create an Instagram business profile and connect it to your Facebook page, then follow the instructions found in this doc – Instagram Migration.

Note: As with new promotions, entries will be required to include a @mention of your brand.  You may need to update your user facing copy to communicate this to entrants.  All content posted prior to this update will be retained in your promotion.

If you have any questions, please reach out to our support team.

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Instagram API Platform Changes

Instagram recently announced changes to their API platform with some features being disabled immediately and others removed in the near future.

Let’s review the changes and what they mean for your campaigns running on Votigo –

The following capabilities will be disabled immediately (previously set for July 31, 2018 or December 11, 2018 deprecation):

  • Follower List – to read the list of followers and followed-by users
  • Relationships – to follow and unfollow accounts on a user’s behalf
  • Commenting on Public Content – to post and delete comments on a user’s behalf on public media
  • Likes – to like and unlike media on a user’s behalf
  • Subscriptions – to receive notifications when media is posted
  • Users Information – to search for and view users’ public content
  • Some information on Public Content returned through hashtag and location search – Name, Bio, Comments, Commenters, Follower Count, Following Count, Post Count, and Profile Picture

The following will be deprecated according to the timeline in the near future:

  • Public Content – all remaining capabilities to read public media on a user’s behalf on December 11, 2018
  • Basic – to read a user’s own profile info and media in early 2020

The only impact this will have on your Votigo campaigns is the ability to require that a user is following the brand in order to submit and entry via hashtag.  Unfortunately we can no longer access their follow list.

You will still be able to create an Instagram photo or video contest within the Votigo platform.  All public posts containing your promotion specific hashtag will be pulled into our system.

If you have additional questions, please contact us at support@votigo.com

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