SOCIAL LUMAscape & Social Marketing Management

LUMA Partners have refreshed their signature Social LUMAScape, one of the most valuable resources in our hyper-evolving industry. LUMA puts these infographics out for a variety of digital industries. As evidenced by the 1M+ hits on the Social LUMAScape, I am not alone in finding it to be an incredibly valuable resource for staying on top of key segments of social marketing technology providers.

We’re proud at Votigo to move up from Social Promotions to the Social Marketing Management category of the LUMAScape. For us, it’s a different kind of validation: that our technology (and team’s expertise) have evolved beyond the cross-channel, feature-packed, audience-engaging social promotions that we are known for, to a complete suite of tools that help brands like yours do the day-to-day work of finding, engaging, and activating customers from within your social audience.

The latest edition also features more red-dotted boxes- symbolic of this summer’s increased pace of consolidation among our peers in the Social Marketing Management category- Buddy Media, Vitrue, Involver and Wildfire.

As Votigo co-CEO and Founder Mike La Rotonda said recently at MediaPost’s Social Media Insider Summit, all of the consolidation validates something that your company and ours have known for a long time: Social Marketing is here to stay, entrenched as a key component of the full marketing lifecycle for most businesses. (You can catch video of the entire consolidation-themed panel here.)

It is absolutely an exciting time in the social marketing industry. Don’t expect this LUMAScape to stay current for more than a few months. But study up and choose your technology partners carefully.


Halloween: A Time for Candy and Contests

Few holidays have such a strong visual component as Halloween, making it the perfect opportunity for brands to engage their fans with a photo or video contest. Consider if your brand would benefit from a fun holiday promotion. Does your audience participate in Halloween? Do your fans like to dress-up?

Get creative and consider how your brand is relevant to the ghoulish season. Maybe you have a seasonal product that you’d like to promote for Halloween, or maybe a simple online costume contest would get your fans engaged. A Facebook contest can even provide you with visuals to use in future marketing efforts…so if you’d like to have some fun photos for a Halloween campaign next year, get those fan photos from a contest this year.

Need help getting started? Check out our guide to Facebook contests and sweepstakes.


Customer Q & A Session with Robin Leedy & Associates

Robin Leedy & Associates is a Votigo customer who launched client Conair’s “Make Waves, Get Raves” summer-themed Facebook Sweepstakes to promote the brand’s featured appliances to achieve beach wave looks every day. The giveaway ran for 10 days total, with one winner chosen per day. Each winner received a beach chic prize pack with Conair hair styling appliances and brushes, scünci hair accessories, a plush beach towel, nail polish, water-proof mascara, and SPF makeup – all packaged in a cute beach tote.

Here at Votigo, we love to not only share successful campaigns, but also goals, metrics and best practices of our customers so that you may recognize the benefits of running social media promotions.

V: Did you have goals going into the campaign?

RLAPR: Our goal was to increase theConair Facebook fan base among targeted hair enthusiasts while promoting several featured Conair hair appliances for summer styles. The products and timing were very relevant to the season and the current/expanding Conair social community.  We were also able to cross-promote this giveaway on the scünci Facebook page , which is also a Conair Corporation brand, allowing for more targeted exposure of the giveaway and messaging.

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

RLAPR: We measure the success of the campaign through several items. We take into account the number of entries, how many new Facebook fans we received, how many shares we received for the Facebook giveaway posts, how many people were talking about the page, and how many blog posts we received mentioning the giveaway. We never do a giveaway for the sake of a giveaway…it all MUST relate to the brand’s messaging and social goals, so each giveaway works harder than just a few posts on the Facebook wall.

V: How has the response been?

RLAPR: Our response rate is very high and exceeded our goals for such a quick promotion.  We do not like giveaways on Facebook to run for long periods of time.  We don’t want to take consumers out of the purchase cycle forever because they think they might win the product instead.

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

RLAPR: Robin Leedy & Associates has been integrating social media since 2007. We’ve been very successful with working with thousands of bloggers, creating and managing clients’ Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube channels, creating and distributing videos, and launching numerous contests/sweepstakes, etc.  Like a giveaway, social media is not put in a silo. It is a mix within the brand’s marketing efforts because it then makes all the dollars go further.

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

RLAPR: Honestly, that would be like picking our favorite kid.  We have had many successful social marketing projects and their budgets were very varied.  One of our more successful and low cost ones was for Sea-Band anti-nausea bands  where the brand was ONLY doing social for our project period we could see its positive impact on sales, web traffic, etc.  Many times, our clients are doing a mix of marketing efforts, so it is hard to exactly measure the role of social media alone. We did bring the Softlips Facebook page to the one million fan mark earlier this year, and that was very special for us as a small agency…and we did it on a very efficient spend, as well.

V: Favorite tools & keys to success?

RLAPR: As far as social giveaways, our key to success is to make sure that all of the giveaways we run for our clients are done through Facebook sanctioned apps like Votigo. There are a lot of “illegal” giveaways that are done on Facebook, such as LIKES to a post or random comments chosen as winners. That doesn’t screen for age (COPPA rules), and creates privacy/legal issues.  If you are going to use sweeps and contests to market your Facebook page, do them in the way that protects your client vs. exposes them to legal issues or those that contradict Facebook policy.  Our overall key to success is to stay abreast of trends not only in the social/digital landscape, but the consumer mindset.  If you never heard of the term ZMOT, Google it.

V: How did you first find out about Votigo and what specific promotions have you run to date?

RLAPR: We found out about Votigo when we were searching for a more graphically-pleasing user interface for FB sweeps than our previous provider.  In the past several months, we’ve run more than 20 sweepstakes and contests for a variety of clients with Votigo and have been really happy with the set-up, costs, functionality and design.


Votigo Makes 2012 Inc. 500|5000 List!

We couldn’t be more excited to announce that Votigo has made the Inc. 500|5000. With a three-year growth rate of 1,493.3% since 2008, Votigo is #242 overall, and is #21 in the software category.

“We’re incredibly proud to be in the Inc. 500|5000,” says co-CEO and Founder Mike La Rotonda. “Achieving such tremendous growth is a symbol of our innovative approach to the rapidly-evolving social media realm and a testament to relationships with our customers, hundreds of brands and businesses in the US and abroad. Above all, it’s great recognition for our team, who have worked with great energy and ingenuity to help us achieve this growth.”

Thank you to all of our customers for helping Votigo make the list. It’s truly an honor and we could not have gotten here without your support. We’re looking forward to continuing to innovate and grow as the social media space evolves. It’s been a great ride and it’s only just begun.


5 Key Findings from the Most Successful Promotions

hanes2We’ve put together a short list of key findings we’ve found from some the most successful promotions powered by Votigo. If you’re looking for more ideas and inspiration, check out our case studies to see what the top brands and companies are doing to drive engagement.

1) Events drive engagement. Some of our most successful customers run frequent, event-driven social media promotions around holidays, business events, and other date milestones. For example, Halloween is just around the corner. Would your brand benefit from running a Facebook photo contest around Halloween to engage your fans?

2) Local marketers – businesses with destinations or physical locations – thrive on promotions that contain a call-to-action to visit the location. Give your audience a reason to visit your location by creating a tie-in with your contest or sweepstakes. You could ask fans to take a photo at your store and upload it to your Facebook contest app.

3) The most engaging and successful promotions are the ones that promote to an existing audience in at least one other channel– emails, blogs, tweets, ads, and more. Reach out to your fans throughout the duration of your promotion.

4) You’ve got to have a great prize! $25 gift cards don’t cut it. Swag doesn’t cut it. Giveaway something valuable, cash, product or something unique! Sometimes the coolest prizes don’t cost the most money – they are just limited or exclusive products or opportunities.

5) You need to allow time. Make sure you are giving your fans enough time to enter your contest – it can take fans several weeks to put together a video entry or pic the right photo. Make sure you give them that opportunity.

What other keys to success have you found when running promotions?



A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words…or Likes

Generating quality content is a hot topic in the social media space for brands and agencies alike. They are constantly evolving their social media marketing strategy to better engage their current audience and attract new fans on Facebook. In an era where content is king, it’s hard to determine which specific type of content will receive the most engagement. This may be the reason why we see such a vast variety of content posts; brands are testing to see which type receives the most “likes,” comments and shares. What is your opinion?

While Facebook users are receptive to different types of content, various studies have shown that the primary media commanding the most attention and interaction is photos. A picture is of one of the simplest and most effective ways a brand can capture attention because it is more visually appealing than a status update or link post. Think about it this way, when you scroll through your newsfeed what usually captures your attention and makes you pause for reaction? PHOTOS. It allows for a more immediate emotional reaction from users on Facebook thus urging them to engage by commenting, liking or sharing your post.

Now that brands are aware of this fact, they can and should use this to their advantage! Here are some great ideas to kick start your efforts:

Try posting a unique photo with a question attached. This will drive dialogue with your fans and encourage them to interact and share with their friends! Behind the scenes photos are also great – they give fans a view into the personal side of your business. Aspirational photos and product photos are also great options for driving engagement. Try out different types of photos and see what your audience responds to.

If you’re looking to increase engagement even further, consider running a Facebook photo contest. A photo contest is a great way to not only interact with your fans directly, but to also increase your fan base, acquire data and receive great images for use in future marketing efforts. A unique theme and/or great prize will ensure entries and drive engagement! Learn more about how to run a Facebook contest.

So, if you are wondering how to increase engagement on your Facebook page, trying using photos! Product photos, aspirational photos and behind the scenes photos are all popular choices. To really engage fans and grow your social presence, run a photo contest – your fans will love to browse entries and they will have an incentive to share their photos as well.



3 Ways To Get More Entries in Your Contest

Running a social media promotion is a great way to engage your audience and grow your fan base. We are always seeing and sharing best practices with our most successful customers in terms of audience engagement. There are always lessons to learn and areas to improve upon. Consider these possibilities and see how they can make your next promotion a huge success that will exceed your expectations and get more entries!

1)      Promote It

In order to garner entries and votes, you need to actively promote your promotion to your existing audience, and possibly to a larger audience by utilizing display ads. 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.

2)      Offer an Enticing Prize

People enter promotions for a chance to win a great prize, so make sure your prize is great! The best prizes are relevant to your brand, and resonate with your audience. Making the prize a limited or once in a lifetime opportunity can help build excitement and get more entries. Offering a low value prize or a generic prize is a common mistake, so always keep in mind the value of your prize in relation to what you are asking of the user. This leads us to our #3 reason why you didn’t get entries in your contest.

3)      Lower the Barriers

You always need to keep in mind what barriers to entry exist within your promotion. In other words, the more you ask of a user, the less likely they will be to enter. Of course, volume of entries is not always the most important metric, so consider what your goals and objectives are. If you want maximum engagement of a few die-hard fans, then asking them to create a short video for your Facebook video contest may work perfectly. If you are looking to grow your audience and get lots of entries, a sweepstakes is going to have the lowest barrier of entry because all you are asking of the user is for them to enter their email address. Something to keep in mind with a photo contest or video contest is how difficult it is for the entrant to produce the photo or video. In some cases, you may be asking for a photo type that an entrant would likely already have on file – such as a baby photo. If you ask for a photo of user holding your product while dancing…well, they are going to have to produce that photo specifically for your promotion, which takes more effort.

Crafting a successful social media promotion takes some planning and strategy, but it is well worth the time and effort up front to ensure your promotion meets your expectations. Always put yourself in your fans’ shoes, would you want to enter your promotion? If you can proudly answer yes to that question, you’re well on your way to a great promotion!