Event Driven Promotions

Creating a social media promotion around an event is a great way to increase the awareness of your event and to help generate buzz.  Event driven promotions draw people to the event and can act as an extension of the event itself by helping it spread through social media channels and increasing brand visibility. One of the great things about events is that they take the brand to the people and generate excitement and interest.  By creating a social media promotion alongside your event you can extend the life of your event and tie it into your social media efforts.

  • Events only happen once and therefor are immediate and interesting, make sure to make the most of the event within its limited time of relevance.
  • Promoting your event on social media with the use of a Facebook contest or sweepstakes creates awareness and buzz for your event, allowing the guest list to grow.
  • By creating a promotion around an event, you are engaging with customers and fans virtually and not just at the event, allowing you to reach an even larger audience.


A great example of an event driven promotion is the JBL Your Country contest from Isobar North America, JBL, and Tim McGraw.  Votigo created a sweepstakes app that allowed users to upload photos and videos for a chance to win a VIP concert experience with country singer Tim McGraw or free Tim McGraw Artist Series headphones.  This event driven promotion does a great job building awareness for Tim McGraw’s Artist Series headphones from JBL and also promotes his “Brothers of the Sun” summer concert series.  The promotion is a fun and easy way to create awareness and to build your fan base.

By creating a promotion that goes hand in hand with your event you are empowering your customers to engage with your event on social media and to share the event information as far as their circles of influence reach.  The event driven promotion is a fun way to advertise your event while simultaneously creating a way for your customers to interact with your brand.  If you are interested in creating a promotion visit our website to get the details or contact us today.


Engage Fans with a Back to School Contest

Running a back to school contest or sweepstakes is a great way to engage your social media audience during a peak retail event. As students and parents rush to prepare for the new school year, they seek shopping guidance, suggestions, and offers that will help them make purchase decisions.  Give them a reason to engage with your brand or business and build a relationship that will last well beyond the fall.

Electronics, fashion, office supplies, and even home décor brands are all poised to take advantage of the spending frenzy that occurs during the late summer months and into the fall as students prepare for the new school year.

Would a back to school contest or sweepstakes be a good fit for your brand? Here are some questions to consider:

1)      Who is your target market? Back to school season affects a wide range of ages and demographics, from young parents sending their children to school for the first time, to college students buying their dorm room accessories with a limited budget. Decide if your target is involved in back to school purchase decisions, and if so – where do your products fit in and what role do they play during this retail season?

2)      What products is your audience most interested in during back to school season? Maybe you sell a wide range of bags – including backpacks. For back to school season, backpacks are going to be most relevant. Think about how you could build a promotion around your most relevant products.

3)      What are your goals? If you sell computers and your goal is to build lifelong relationships with first time computer buyers – an innovative contest geared towards college-aged students would surely help you achieve your goals. Maybe you are a clothing-company who wants to build awareness of your affordable and stylish clothes. A viral sweepstakes would help you expand your reach and build awareness during back to school season.

4)      What channels should you run your promotion on? Consider where your target market is already hanging out. Facebook contests are a great way to reach a wide range of customers, while YouTube or Instagram will each reach a different demographic. Maybe you want to capture customers who are already visiting your site – in which case a contest widget or microsite would be more relevant.

Running a back to school promotion is a great way to make the most of the last summer and fall seasons. With a little bit of planning and a great technology partner you can engage your fans, grow your audience and generate buzz during a peak retail event that only happens once a year. So, what are you waiting for? Now is the time to run a back to school contest. Contact Votigo to find out how you can run a great social media promotion.



Like-Gating: Tips for a Great Design

When running a Facebook contest or sweepstakes, one important consideration for brands and agencies to keep in mind is whether or not to have a Like-Gate. Like-Gating, also referred to as Fan-Gating or Like-Wall, is a low barrier to entry requiring that a user first “Like” a brand’s Facebook page before they can access certain content on that page. This is a feature that will simultaneously increase your fan base and get your social marketing messages onto fans’ newsfeeds!  There are several types and styles of like-gates that brands can use. It is an optional feature that may seem like a no-brainer for most brands, but it simply depends on what the brand’s overall goals are.

Once you’ve decided like-gating is for you, you need to start thinking about the design of the like-gate. Something to keep in mind is while simple in concept and beneficial to fan growth; a poor like-gate graphic can seriously confuse and hinder fans from entering your promotion. Not to worry! Votigo is here to provide tips and best practices for customers who value like-gating and would like more information on the process and role that it plays.




A quality Like-Gate graphic image should contain the following:

  • A dynamic/unique/inspiring custom image that captures your brands personality and the theme of the campaign.
  • A call-to-action! This is a very important because you want to clearly define what the user has to do in order to enter the promotion. If you simply have a beautiful graphic image with no instruction such as, “Like us to enter this promotion!” then the entrant will be confused and possibly not enter all together. So, make sure to include instructional text on your custom image.
  • Take advantage of the Timeline Optimization and design your Like-Gate custom image to be the full 810px. Votigo’s platform allows for the max file size of 5MB and supported formats include: jpg, jpeg, gif. The platform allows you to preview the image before it is  published.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It is important to keep in mind that although Facebook Timeline did away with default landing tabs, the fundamentals have not changed at all. Brands can still promote their campaigns by directing their audience directly to their unique app url. Votigo further simplified this process for you with our recent platform release.You now have the ability to schedule posts and tweets about the campaign from your Votigo dashboard to social network channels and direct people straight to that unique app URL. When you have a like-gate attached to the campaign, then you are driving users to like your page. This is a win-win! So, if you are a brand or business who is focused on engaging fans on Facebook—why not try a promotion? You can add a Like-Gate to your unique app and simultaneously build your fan base. Visit our website at www.votigo.com for more details or create an account and start engaging your fans today!

Firestone Tires: Destination America Sweepstakes

Firestone Tires and their agency Razorfish worked with Votigo to create a fun way to engage Firestone Tires fans with a summer promotion.  Votigo created a Facebook sweepstakes app that allowed users to submit photos for a chance to win eight weeks of great prizes.  To spice things up a bit, Firestone Tires decided to make each of the eight weeks a different summer challenge.  The weekly Facebook contests varied from submitting a photo of a vacation spot one week to a photo of a backyard BBQ another week. Potential prizes included a trip for two to the World Series, a trip for two to a U.S. National Park, and a set of sponsor-specified destination tires.

Firestone Tires did a great job choosing prizes that fit in with the theme of their Facebook contest, as well as representing their brand by giving away tires to a lucky winner.   The promotion was designed to create a fun way for people to become involved with Firestone Tires and to continue to stay involved for all eight weeks of the promotion.  They did this by formatting the promotion to encourage people to upload photos and enter to win for all eight weekly challenges.  Customers received one entry for simply submitting their email address, five entries for uploading a photograph that fits the weekly challenge, and ten additional entries for uploading photographs for all eight challenges.

Running this type of focused promotion that gives people the incentive to stay involved with the brand throughout the duration of the promotion is a great way to increase customer awareness and loyalty.

If you are looking for a simple and fun way to keep your customers engaged contact Votigo to learn more about sweepstakes.


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!



Announcing Votigo’s Social Marketing Suite

Today is an exciting day for Votigo. We’ve officially announced our full Social Marketing Suite, expanding the scope of our software and services beyond social promotions. This is a milestone day for us: as we celebrate our 6th anniversary as a company, it allows us to meet the needs of our existing customers while targeting new ones with an always-on subscription product for managing their customers and social conversation across all social channels.

We are very proud of what our team has developed in recent weeks and really since we launched Votigo in 2006. Major advances like this are a true team effort and we appreciate everyone’s hard work, from our California office to our Colorado to our Hyderabad office.

Our Software-as-a-Service platform enables marketers to run cross-channel promotions, manage conversations and social contacts and analyze metrics across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Web, and Mobile. Fortune 500 enterprises, mid-market companies, and growing small businesses alike are already using our flexible, proven software to manage social marketing at any scale, for single brands and users to complex international enterprises. Some of Votigo’s current SaaS customers include Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Sony Online Entertainment, Kaiser-Permanente, NCM Fathom Events, Energizer, and GoPro.

Votigo is used to manage brand-consistent promotions across 1,000 unique Facebook Pages for Starwood Hotel & Resorts Worldwide; to allow growing businesses of all sizes to run promotions and marketing apps for as low as $15 per month; and to execute international cross-channel promotions on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Web and Mobile for category-leading brands like Ford, Fox, JBL, Random House and many more. With the launch of our Social Marketing & CRM Suite, we now offer a full set of tools that our customers- the market’s leading social businesses- demand.

At the Enterprise level, Votigo’s platform allows for multiple administrators, user hierarchies and workflow management. Abbey Reider, Global Search & Social Media Strategy, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, said, “With over 1,000 hotel Facebook pages Votigo’s Platform provides a scalable solution that satisfies our corporate and legal team needs, while allowing our individual hotels the autonomy to create unique and engaging promotions.”

“This is a very natural evolution for us,” says Jim Risner, CEO and Co-Founder. “For nearly six years we’ve been fortunate to work with world-class brands and agencies, and fulfill their social promotions needs with innovative campaigns for any channel and in any country. We’ve always been known for our strong technology platform and excellent service. We’ve listened to our clients who were looking for an always-on approach to promotions and the ability to manage the conversation and track and target social contacts. We’re very excited to be expanding our platform to be a single, comprehensive software solution that handles all their social marketing needs.”

Votigo’s Social Marketing & CRM Suite includes:

• Promotions Manager – A full-featured platform for publishing the cross-platform promotions that Votigo has been known for since 2007. Marketers can launch photo and video contests, sweepstakes, and other promotional apps to engage their audiences in multiple languages across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social networks on mobile and the web. Promotions Manager powers the full promotion cycle, from creating the apps, to sharing and publicizing them to social audiences, to moderating submissions and fan commentary, making it simple and cost-effective to run promotional campaigns throughout the year. Promotions remain one of the most effective marketing tactics for engaging and activating social audiences and Promotions Manager makes it simpler than ever to run promotions of any scope.

• Conversation Manager – A powerful new interface for managing two-way conversations with fans on Facebook, Twitter and beyond. Marketers can use Votigo’s Conversation Manager to simultaneously schedule and publish posts, links, photos and video and promotional campaigns to multiple social channels and accounts, plus manage responses, user-generated content, comments and interactions with fans. By consolidating all social conversations and accounts into a single interface, Conversation Manager saves marketers time and provides actionable insight to effectively measure post engagement.

• Social CRM – A seamlessly-integrated Social CRM system for managing Social Contacts, tracking engagement and influence, and targeting special offers and communications. Votigo’s Social CRM makes it easy to cultivate and maintain a growing audience across social networks – from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn and beyond – within a single platform

• Engagement Apps – A set of rich engagement applications including photo and video galleries, fan exclusives, polls, coupons, and more, each with a clear marketing purpose designed to engage your customers on an ongoing basis.

• Analytics – Votigo analytics let social marketers quickly measure and assess social marketing efforts to understand how their audiences interact with their businesses, focus on what resonates and activates customers, and optimize social marketing resources.

We are still planning continuous updates to the Social Marketing & CRM Suite throughout the remainder of 2012. And we couldn’t be more excited about the expansion of our product offering and the continued growth of Votigo. We’ve had 1,400% revenue growth from 2008-2011 and 15% quarter-over-quarter revenue growth for the past year without having to raise more capital. Most importantly we’ve added 300 new customers in the last twelve months. We’re amazed at what our small team of talented people has been able to accomplish.”


How to Run a Contest on Facebook

If you’re looking for a way to get Facebook likes, a Facebook contest or sweepstakes is the perfect way to accomplish your goals. Running a promotion on Facebook doesn’t have to be complicated – in fact, with the right tools, it’s pretty simple. The steps below outline how to run a contest on Facebook so that you can get Facebook likes and grow your audience.

Step 1: Determine Your Objectives

Clearly understanding your objectives will help determine if a contest or sweepstakes is right for you and also what format will suit your needs best. If a high number of participants is your goal, a sweepstakes is probably going to receive the largest number of entries. This is because sweepstakes are easy to enter -for the most part all you need is an email address. If you’re looking to really engage your audience, a contest is going to be a better choice for you. The easier the contest is to enter, the more entries you’ll get, which is why video contests typically receive fewer entries than photo contests.

Step 2: Outline The Details

Once you’ve decided on a format, you’ll need to decide what type of prize you’ll be offering. This may seem like something you can figure out at the last minute, but you’ll want to decide this early on and make sure it is a well thought out prize. A prize can make or break a contest. It needs to be worthwhile for the participant to enter, and it needs to be even more worthwhile for them to share your promotion with their friends.

You’ll also need to decide how your winner will be selected. If it is a contest, you can let your audience vote on the winner, or you can select a winner yourself. You can allow for multiple rounds of voting with finalists and semi-finalists or you can have one round of voting. Think about how long you want your promotion to run and what will produce the best results for you based on your objectives.

Lastly, decide what user information you’ll be collecting. One of your motivations for running a contest will likely be to collect participant info for later marketing efforts. Decide what information you’ll need to administer the contest and ask for other information sparingly. Again, the more you require of the user, the less likely they are going to be to participate, so keep it simple.

Step 3: Follow the Rules

When running a Facebook contest, it’s important to follow the Facebook promotion guidelines. These guidelines state that “Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or a Page App.” So, what does this mean? You’ll need to either create an app yourself (Votigo offers tools for that) or you need to work with a developer who creates an app for you (Votigo does that too). You also can’t use Facebook functionality as a means to enter a promotion, so “like this post to enter our sweepstakes” is not allowed – the same goes for “upload a photo to our wall to enter our contest.” You need to use an app. It’s that straightforward.

Step 4:  Promote Your Promotion.

The old saying “If you build it, they will come” is certainly not the case with Facebook promotions. You need to actively promote your promotion in order to garner entries and votes. This doesn’t need to be costly or complicated, in fact – one of the best ways to promote your promotion is by simply posting about it on your Facebook wall. Timely reminders and updates to your existing audience will help ensure that your promotion is a success. Email reminders, social media posts and website mentions are all opportunities to promote your promotion. For more information on promoting your promotions check out this recent post.

Step 5: Moderate and Manage

After your promotion has been launched, you need to continue to manage the promotion. How you manage your promotion will depend upon what details and format you’ve decided upon and also what your ongoing promotional plans are. If you’ve chosen a photo contest and you are going to pre-screen submissions – you’ll need to actively approve and reject submissions throughout each day, or at least once per day. You’ll also need to select and notify a winner once your promotion has ended.


Step 6: Use The Results

Running a promotion is a great way to get leads and quality user-generated content, so make sure you use your results. Nurture your new leads with an email campaign or another promotion. You’ll also want to find ways to use your UGC entries. Often times when a contest is over the marketer fails to capitalize on the great photos, videos, essays, comments and relationships acquired during the campaign. Instead, create a photo or video gallery of the entries on your website or mix a few quotes into your advertising campaigns. Any of these will strengthen the relationship you’ve built with your customers and make your marketing more authentic.

Once your promotion has come to a close, you’ll want to analyze the results and measure success. Take a look at the promotion as a whole, there may be benefits or successes that you had not anticipated. Perhaps your promotion revealed a new market for your product, or an existing perception of your brand or offering that you were unaware of. Take a look at what content you received from entrants and see if you can glean new insights about your customers. Try and learn as much as you can from the promotion. Find out what worked, and what fell short. Take these lessons with you the next time you run a promotion and build upon your successes, while learning where you can improve your strategy.