Finish Strong: Launch a Q4 Promotion!

If you want to get more Facebook likes and generate social media buzz, a contest or sweepstakes is a great way to accomplish your goals. With 2012 rapidly coming to a close, a fourth quarter promotion can help you end the year on a high note and build momentum for 2013.

As the holidays are fast approaching, now is the perfect time to get your audience engaged with your brand to ensure you are top of mind during the peak shopping season. A sweepstakes can help build awareness of your brand or a specific product you’d like to promote and with our new viral referral incentive you can ensure your promotion has the built-in features that make it easy for people to share with their friends. Right now is also a great time for a contest, as photos and stories are an integral part of the holiday season.

Remember to keep your promotion easy to enter, offer a great prize and keep it all relevant to your brand and your audience. Here are some of our favorite holiday promotions from previous seasons to help inspire you.

Brooks Running created a fun and quirky holiday promotion that asked fans to upload awkward family photos for a chance to win.

Champs Sports Scratch and Win promotion engaged fans during the peak holiday season

Pier 39 ran a sweepstakes to promote their Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

Homage jewelry asked fans to upload a Christmas photo for their chance to win a beautiful necklace during the holiday season.

Need help getting started? Download our free guide to Facebook contests & sweepstakes.

We’re also giving away a free month of UNLIMITED promotions to help you grow and engage your audience. Just answer a few questions for your chance to win!


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.



Viral Social Sweepstakes: Simple Fan Activation

Votigo’s basic sweeps app now has a viral referral feature that makes this simple promotion app even more useful in reaching your social marketing goals.

So…what are the goals of your social marketing?  Most likely they go something like:

  • Engage your fans on all social channels: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and where ever they are
  • Find new fans- especially through viral influence from your current ones
  • Reward your fans for their attention
  • Improve their awareness of your brand, your products and offerings
  • And ultimately, convert social fans into customers!

That’s a tall order, and it takes a consistent, always-on effort to achieve it. There are no shortcuts.

But if you want to take action today toward these goals, the single most-effective thing you can do is to run a Facebook Sweepstakes, and ask your fans to share it on Facebook, Twitter, email and all relevant channels.

With low barriers to entry, an incentive to share and spread the word, and simple set up, social giveaways are still one of the most effective ways to engage and grow your audience and collect email addresses for future marketing.

Even though we’ve expanded the capabilities of our social marketing platform, we continue to focus on our promotions apps, adding features and flexibility that make them more viral and better for engaging your audience. We believe promotions are the core for engaging your audience.

A sweeps might be the simplest type of promotion to launch. Here are a few other reasons to consider a Sweeps:

Easy For You: If you have a prize, simple rules, and a header graphic, you can set up a sweeps in minutes

Easy For Them: Sweeps have the lowest barriers to entry. You’re asking very little of your audience…although you should take advantage of the opportunity to ask them Custom Registration questions to gain feedback or further demographic data

Great Ice Breaker: Not really engaging your fans, or struggling to find things to Post or Tweet about? A sweeps gives you a natural hook and something to post about

Viral: Sweepstakes aren’t naturally viral, but with Referral Incentive feature like the one we just added to our basic sweeps, participants now have a reason to share your branded sweeps with their friends: every entry they refer automatically gains them an additional entry

Cross Channel: It’s really easy to create a Facebook Sweepstakes that is also mobile-optimized, embedded onto your website or blog, and shared from Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and your other key channels. From some premium work, you can easily integrate Instagram and other social channels, too

Like-Gated: Votigo’s basic sweeps include this Facebook sweeps option; we still see it as the simplest way to expand your Facebook audience

A Gateway to Activation: As an ice breaker, it’s natural to follow a short giveaway with more elaborate social promotions, like a user-generated photo contest.  Meanwhile, you can directly activate anyone who enters your sweeps by sending them a coupon, sneak preview, invitation or whatever else will help you convert social fans as customers

Sweepstakes have been a marketing staple for decades.  It’s no surprise they’re equally effective on social media. So as you expand your always-on social marketing strategy, plan more elaborate campaigns and increase your analysis of social marketing ROI, don’t forget this staple of social activation.



Be Vital Twitter Sweepstakes

Johnson & Johnson wanted to spread the “Be Vital” message to their fans and customers through a Twitter promotion. Working with their agency Baldwin & Obenauf, Votigo created a custom Twitter sweeptakes that allows users to submit a tweet for a weekly chance to win a $100 prize.  By creating a Twitter promotion Johnson & Johnson is encouraging their fans to follow their Twitter page and to engage with the brand through tweeting.  Fans are asked to follow @JNJUniversity on twitter before submitting a tweet.  Once users are successfully following the twitter page they are asked to tell Johnson & Johnson what being vital means to them and how they define being vital in their life, their community, and in our world.  Users are able to enter their own stories in 140 characters or less.  Tweets are asked to be directed to @JNJUniversity with the hashtag #BeVital in order to be eligible to win. All of the tweets are displayed on a custom landing page, where uses can also submit tweets directly.

Each week, between the dates of August 27 and November 2, one winner will be selected at random to receive a $100 gift voucher for  All of the winners are announced on the Twitter page with a total of ten winners.

The Twitter sweepstakes runs alongside the Be Vital Challenge, which asks student organizations to upload a video showcasing how they play a vital role in their community.

The unique idea behind using Twitter as a part of their promotion is that Johnson & Johnson is able to have their fans help spread their message of what being vital means and why it is important.  Their fans are also able to follow what other fans are tweeting.  This is a great way to engage fans with a campaign.  If you are looking for a simple and fun way to keep your customers engaged contact us today about running a Twitter sweepstakes!


Design Tips for Contests and Sweepstakes

Running a Facebook contest or sweepstakes is a great way to boost engagement on social channels and grow your audience. There are many variables to consider when you decide to run contests and sweepstakes. One of the biggest opportunities for making your promotion standout is with your design. Great design can increase the number of entries you receive, improve engagement and help your promotion get noticed. We’ve put together some design tips for contests and sweepstakes that will ensure your promotion is a success. Download the free tip sheet now!