New Live Campaigns – Blue Buffalo, Walmart, AARP, Ovation TV, Florida OJ, and FujiFilm (photo contest, video contest, facebook contest, facebook sweepstakes)

Blue Buffalo Shelter Stars – UGC Photo Contest Microsite

This is the place to show off your buddy and share your pet adoption success story photo contest. With so many homeless pets across the country, it’s pet parents like you who are making all the difference in the lives of the animals that deserve a second chance. Open your heart, open your home, and share the love at BLUE Shelter Stars.

Walmart Associate Talent Search – Video Contest Microsite

We’re looking for all kinds of talent in this video contest: dancers, musicians, comedians, magicians and more-any performance-based talent that showcases the amazing talent and unique abilities of Walmart associates. So be thinking about how you will highlight your talent in a fun video that isn’t longer than two minutes. Feel free to perform your talent to a cover song.

AARP Superstart Contest 2015 – Video Contest Microsite

AARP wants to help you achieve your dreams! We’re looking for the next American singing sensation – and no kids allowed to enter this video contest! Contestants must be age 50 or over at the time of contest conclusion on May 15, 2015 and possess a voice that will make crowds jump to their feet with excitement.

Ovation TV American Canvas Travel Sweepstakes – Facebook Sweepstakes

For its all-new series American Canvas Ovation TV is asking you to enter the Facebook Sweepstakes for your chance to win the ultimate art adventure in San Francisco, Austin or Miami!

Enter this facebook sweepstakes for your chance to enjoy flavorful 100% Florida Orange Juice while you discover our state’s sun, fun and family attractions. This exciting Spring Break family getaway includes a stay in an Orlando hotel, roundtrip transportation for four and a $1,000 gift card to make the most of what the area has to offer.

Enter this photo contest and show us your most impressive landscape photo for a chance to win an Adventure Canada Mighty Saint Lawrence voyage for 2 (www.adventurecanada.com/trip/mighty-saint-lawrence/) and a Fujifilm X-T1 camera kit with XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens. X Photographers Dan Bailey and Patrice Halley will be on board as well! Contest runs from February 13 to March 31, 2015. North American entries only (excluding Quebec and Hawaii, see rules for details. Trip must be taken on dates specified).

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New Live Examples – #UGC Contests and Sweepstakes

We love sharing new live examples with you!  We hope you feel the same way :)

Parents / American Baby Bumb of the Month Photo Contest

Parents American Baby have a great strategy around user-generated photo content and their subscribers lover to participate.  In this contest they ask for creative and fun photos during pregnancy.  The contest is embedded as an iFrame within their site.

Roman Meal Baked Fresh Sweepstakes

Roman Meal is running this Enter-to-win Sweepstakes on its Facebook Page to grow their fan base, user data, and email opt-ins.  It’s a nicely designed sweepstakes and very easy to enter.

 The Perfume Shop #ILoveOnika Photo Contest

The Perfume Shop photo contest using hashtag #ILOVEONIKA is only one week long and only a couple of days into it they already have over 100 submissions!  Excellent execution of a user generated photo contest with hashtag integration.

Go here for more live examples of contests, sweepstakes, and social content hubs and galleries. http://www.votigo.com/live-examples.php

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Facebook Sends a Message on the Importance of Promotions

Yesterday Facebook announced that it has removed some restrictions about how businesses can run promotions (Contests and Sweepstakes) on Facebook.  Previously, the Facebook Promotion Guidelines prohibited any promotion from using any native Facebook functionality like “posting on the Brand Page wall”, “commenting on posts”, “liking posts”, etc.  And they required that businesses use a third party application provider like Votigo.

With the change promotions can now be administered on Page Timelines. For example, entries may be collected by posting to a page or commenting or liking a Page post.

By making these changes Facebook is affirming what we’ve always known. Promotions are an extremely important component of marketing for businesses of all sizes.  Promotions offer a business the best way to acquire and engage new and existing customers.  Facebook also recognized that a lot of small brands were ignoring their earlier guidelines anyway and hosting quick and dirty promotions on their Page Timelines anyway.  Instead of having all of these pages be in violation of the earlier policy, which must have created an administrative nightmare for Facebook, they’ve acquiesced.   However, businesses should still be aware of legal regulations from state to state and country to country.

We believe Facebook’s change to their policy will be good for those previously violating the Facebook Promotion Guidelines. They can sleep better at night, but the change will not replace promotion applications and the benefits they deliver.  

What a Facebook Promotion Application can provide that running a promotion on your Page Timeline can’t:

– Like-gate (users must Like your page before they can enter)

– Branded solution

– Collection of custom user data and email address

– Easier to select and contact winners

– Email newsletter opt-in

– Multiple contest and sweepstakes formats:  Photo contests, Video contests, Referral / Viral sweepstakes, Trivia sweepstakes and more.

– Exportable user data and voter reports

– Moderation and pre-screening entries

– Campaign Analytics

Let us know what you think about the new policy and/or if you have any questions about it.

We’re here to help!

– Team Votigo

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Start Thinking About Summer Themed Promotions

We know, we know…  Summer is still a few months away but the weather is changing and the anticipation is rising.  Now is a perfect time to begin thinking about summer themed promotions and to introduce your fans to products geared for the summer season.  Tailor your product or service to the summer season and create a fun promotion that encourages them to use your brand.  Take advantage of what is top of mind for your fans and incorporate these ideas into your prizes. This could be a free beach getaway, fun and practical ways to stay cool, summer concerts and barbeques, and summer clothing.

It is a great idea to use the many summer holidays as a theme for your campaign.  There are many different audiences you can target when focusing on specific holidays or events.  One event that has a large target audience is graduation and the end of the school year.  Students anticipate the summer holiday all year and it is a perfect opportunity to capture their attention with a fun contest or sweepstakes.  Father’s Day is another holiday that provides a great opportunity for a promotion.  These promotions can incorporate photo or video contests that capture a father-son or father-daughter moment and can include great gifts and products for Dad to enjoy. The 4th of July is also another holiday that has a huge audience. The 4th of July is a holiday that incorporates events such as fireworks, barbeques, and parades.  These events are great opportunities to focus your promotion on.

Get your audience involved with summer themed photo or video contests that encourage them to document how they are enjoying the sun.  For more information on fun ways to engage fans contact us today!

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Should You Allow Voting In Your Contest?

Running an online contest can help you engage fans and allow them to interact with your company and brand.  It is always important to use techniques that will encourage your fans to stay engaged with the contest even after they enter.  One way to do this is to consider allowing fans to vote on entries.  For some businesses this is a great idea because people are prompted to spread their entry to get more friends to vote, creating a viral effect. Voting can promote more word-of-mouth marketing for your brand because entrants will spread the word to gather votes. This will in turn create more awareness of the promotion and your brand.  Voting also gives the incentive for fans to continue to visit the promotion page and acts as another step in the online contest.  It is a fun way for fans to take an active role in the outcome of the contest.

When considering if your contest should be 100% decided by public vote, it is important to understand what this means for the contest and to be prepared to hand over control of the outcome to your fans.  Another way to incorporate public voting in your contest while still maintaining some control over the outcome is to create a round of voting to narrow down the entries that are in the running to win. After allowing this period of voting you can then create a panel of judges who will decide the winner.  This will still encourage fans to stay engaged and to share their entries virally, while also allowing your brand to maintain some control.

Some businesses may prefer not to allow fans to vote and instead rely on complete brand control.  This means that your brand or business will be in charge of the entire voting process.  A fun way to do this while keeping your fans interested is to incorporate a panel of expert judges that appeal to your target audience.  This will give your fans the incentive to stay tuned to the contest and to continue to visit the promotion site.

Each option above provides a great way for entrants to stay interested in your contest. It depends on what your particular brand goals are  concerning the promotion and it is important to consider which strategy will fit best with your company. For more information on Facebook Contests and fun ways to keep customers engaged contact us today!

Need help creating a Facebook contest or sweepstakes? Download our Free Guide!

        

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PetSmart Halloween Photo Contest

Halloween is near and what better way to celebrate than to run a Halloween promotion! Holidays are a great time to run a promotion and engage your fans!

To kick off the Halloween season, PetSmart launched their Monster Cute Photo Contest powered by GREENIES® encouraging fans to submit a photo of their pet to the Facebook photo contest.

Votigo created a custom Facebook contest app that requires users to “like” the page before entering. The app allows fans to easily upload, browse, and vote on entries of the cutest and scariest pets.

Fans are asked to submit a photo of their pet in one of the 5 categories by October 21st:

  • Scariest
  • Cutest
  • Healthiest Smile powered by GREENIES®
  • Rockstar Pets
  • Funniest

PetSmart is rewarding those who engage with the Facebook contest by sending each entrant a coupon to save on GREENIES® dental chews.  This is a great way to show appreciation to fans!

The final Grand Prize winner will receive $10,000, a year supply of GREENIES® Dental Chews, and a PetSmart treat bag loaded with Halloween toys. PetSmart will also choose 25 runner up winners who will receive a PetSmart gift card and GREENIES® Dental Chews. Weekly winners will be chosen, with a total of 6 winners who will receive a $50 PetSmart gift card.  PeSmart does a great job keeping the prizes relevant to the brand and the Halloween theme of the contest.

For more inspiration and promotion ideas, follow @votigo on Twitter and follow the #bestofvotigo hashtag.

 

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Customer Q & A – Successful Photo Contest

Here at Votigo, we love to chat one-on-one with our customers to get their feedback and insight on the benefits they received from utilizing promotions in their social media marketing strategy. While each brand might have different goals and approaches, they all recognize the benefits from running social promotions.

Steve Oberman at Flavorus is a Votigo customer who designed a UGC Photo Contest on our platform and received phenomenal user engagement and submission. Their philosophy is the belief that life is better when you go out and experience new things and take chances. Running with that philosophy, he created a “Get Out There” Photo Contest that engaged his fans by encouraging them to upload a photo of them going out and enjoying life in every sense! The photo that received the most votes from other Flavorus Facebook users received a pair of 3-day passes to Electric Daisy Carnival 2012 in Las Vegas. His promotion is considered a true success and not just because it received over 800 entries. We wanted to pick Steve’s brain on what his goals, metrics, and overall process was so that we could share it with you all. Thankfully he was kind enough to oblige.

Votigo: Did you have goals going into the campaign?

Steve: Yes.  This contest is a part of a broader plan to revamp the tone and purpose of our social media strategy, to make it more conversational and engaging.  My main goal for the contest was to increase our number of “likes” on our Facebook page.  To accomplish that, I could have just done a like-gate contest and run it as a sweepstakes, but since the prize is 4 three day passes to a huge music festival (a $2000 dollar value) I thought that people should have to work a little harder than just liking a page!  That’s when it turned into a photo contest.  My secondary goal was to incorporate our company’s core value: Life is better when you go out and experience new things,” so that’s how the theme for the contest evolved.  Other goals included encouraging our followers to be more interactive with our social media and to get people talking about the contest and our page.

Votigo:   How do you measure success- including the Facebook metrics and whatever else you look at?

Steve: If we can significantly increase our “likes” and get our customers talking about our client’s events, then I would consider the promotion a success.

Votigo:   How has the response been?

Steve: The response has been awesome.  I set the contest for an 8 week run and by the beginning of the third week we have over 500 photos submitted and 4500 votes.  Our “likes” have doubled from about 50 a day to over 100 per day, and social interactions and engagement on our page have increased dramatically.  People are starting to campaign for votes on their own Facebook pages which of course send their friends to us as well.

Votigo:    How did you start integrating social media and how successful have you been to date?

Steve: We’re a tech company at heart, so when I joined the team late last year, the social media assets were pretty well developed.  It’s been an incredibly useful tool for us to talk directly to our users and answer customer questions.

Votigo:    Favorite tools & keys to success?

Steve: World class customer service and intuitive ticketing software that doesn’t crash is the key to our success.

Votigo:    What is your most successful social marketing project / campaign / effort to date?

Steve: We are lucky enough to sell tickets to some amazing, world class events, so we have access to great tickets as prizes which make our contest and giveaways extremely effective.  We also just launched our Facebook ticketing app which allows people to buy and sell tickets directly from Facebook, which takes advantage of the social aspect of events.

So there you have it folks! Fresh insight and words of wisdom from an experienced social media marketer who utilized a Facebook contest to engage his fans and drive brand exposure. If you are looking to integrate promotions or social engagement apps into your social media marketing strategy then please visit our website at www.votigo.com to get the details or try out our DIY tools for creating your own photo contest. It’s free to design and preview!




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