5 Steps: Make Your Promotion A Social Campaign

If you’ve experienced success with social promotions-Facebook promotions, YouTube video contests, a photo-driven Twitter giveaway- its time to graduate to the next level of social marketing. Stop running promotions and start running social campaigns!

What’s the difference?

Promotions are a marketing event. Vehicles for generating brand buzz, making an announcement, introducing a product, extending an offer. They are the single best tool for converting social followers to customers, getting them to take action. Countless research efforts have shown that about two-thirds of your audience follows brands on social channels mostly to receive some kind of an offer. So promotions are the fundamental building block of your social strategy

And a promotion is part of a campaign. A campaign includes the components that ensure more people see your promotion, share it, come back to it, and more likely become customers.  A campaign leaves you with a metrics-driven understanding of the promotion’s success, and definitive next steps to continue engaging and monetizing your audience.

We are laser focused on adding the features that help you turn your promotion into a complete campaign. Earlier this week, we released expanded Campaign Analytics into our Standard Apps editions. This is the latest capability we’ve adapted from Votigo’s complete Social Marketing Suite, enabling our DIY users to build a campaign around their promotion.

With that, here are 5 Steps for Turning Your Promotion Into A Social Campaign- plus which Votigo features you should count on at each step.

1) Pre-Cultivate Your Audience

It’s not ideal to START with a promotion. If you’re just getting into social marketing, or a new social channel (Pinterest for example), begin by inviting people to follow you there. Your email list, your in-store customers, your website visitors.  Then, engage them for a while. Offer great content, free ideas, photos and more.  Post, ask questions and respond. There’s no substitute for this fundamental, authentic work.

>Social Conversation Manageravailable in Votigo’s suite- makes it easy for you to schedule, moderate and respond to posts and messages with your audience on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

2) Build a Great Promotion.

Think of the promotion as the core of your campaign.  Come up with a compelling theme, a great prize, awesome design and crystal-clear calls to action. We continue to introduce innovative, viral features to make our promotions apps more effective (check out our Twitter Sweepstakes).

>Votigo Standard Promotions Apps include viral contests and sweepstakes for Facebook, Twitter, mobile and the web.  Additionally, our Premium Apps integrate YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and virtually any digital destination where your audience congregates.

3) Seed The Message

Too often, we see social brands set-it-and-forget-it.  They build a great promotion, publish it to Facebook and leave it at that.  You want to get the message out in any forum you can. Facebook posts, tweets, emails, your homepage, word-of-mouth, in-store and more.  Don’t be shy and don’t be afraid of letting current customers see it- if anything, they deserve a reward for being in your customer base already.

>Promotions Messenger is a dead-simple tool for scheduling mobile-optimized posts, with messaging and visuals of your choice, to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Find it under “New Posts” on the Publish tab. Power users:  Ask our Premium Promotions team about integrating your ads services, from AdWords to Facebook Ads, into your promotion.

4) Follow Through

When your promotion is over, there’s still work to do. First, celebrate the winner. Announce them, interview them, get a testimonial. If the promotion included photos or videos, post those in a gallery, on a blog post, or on your webpage.  More importantly- send an email to all participants.  Offer them a reward just for engaging- a discount code, a sneak preview, a coupon, an invitation.

>Standard Promotions Apps already include several key features that help you follow through. Customize the confirmation page for sweeps and contest entrants- sharing a coupon code or sending them directly to a special landing page. Engagement Apps include several useful tools for follow-through. Post top submissions in a Photo or Video Gallery.  Or build an iFrame app to announce your winner, thank your participants, and share an offer for all entrants. Also, right from the Manage tab of your Votigo-powered promotion, you can download data and email addresses from all entrants and plug them into your email software  (ConstactContact, MailChimp, MadMimi), inbound marketing software (Marketo, Hubspot), and your CRM database (Salesforce, Nimble), too. Do it from day one of your campaign, and treat these new social contacts as the potential customers they are.

5) Measure & Repeat

Wrap up your campaign by studying the metrics of your promotion. How many people entered and voted?  Who engaged the most new participants by sharing their entry or your sweeps?  What are the basic demos and geos of your participating audience? Knowing more about your customers is as valuable as the direct benefits of the promotion.

>Campaign Analytics are our brand-new, expanded metrics offerings. They are included in every Votigo-powered promotion, including our Standard Apps. Power users: Premium Promotions offer the capability to integrate with virtual any third-party data source, from your social ads provider to Analytics to other leading data services to your CRM system.

Now you’ve run a successful Social Campaign, anchored by an audience-engaging, participant-rewarding, customer-generating promotion, but supported by a host of useful tools and features that give you a more comprehensive result. Better knowledge of your audience.  More clarity about what works best for your social brand. Please let us know how it’s working for you.

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