How To: Use Facebook Live to Shape Your Brand


Facebook is always seeking to be on the forefront of social media outlets, often with great success. One of their more recent efforts to expand their means of communication is Facebook Live. It allows anyone to use Facebook to instantly stream live video to others, so they can share some of the more noteworthy events in their lives with others who can’t be there in person.

It is very much like being able to broadcast live events, and there is something very special about that. Live events, perhaps because of the possibility of failure (or unexpected great success), tend to draw the attention far more readily than scripted or rehearsed events. This applies to your brand as much as to personal events. In fact, with the rollout of Facebook Groups and Facebook Events, you can just as easily go live with only a certain predetermined group, including those invited to a given planned event.

As is typical of Facebook offerings, Facebook Live also gives those viewing your material the opportunity to respond, this time in the form of Live Reactions. It’s not possible to hear cheers or expressions of amazement over the internet, which is why Facebook has created the ability for viewers to express themselves. The viewer’s profile pic will appear with a starburst, and then their reaction – Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, or Angry – will appear in a brief animation. Once you end the video, it is posted directly to your timeline, reactions intact.

What Does This Mean for My Brand?

According to Facebook’s own statistics, Facebook Live streams receive 10 times more comments than usual videos. This gives you an opportunity to show people a side of your brand they would never see otherwise. Not only that, but you can also see what aspects get the most audience response. You’ll know instantly the parts they really like, and what needs a little work, because their reactions are visible to you in real time.

There’s a reason why sites like YouTube are popular – people love to watch videos. Combining this with the ability to react to it as it happens is an almost irresistible draw. And all you need for this great marketing tool is a Facebook account, a camera, and an internet connection.

How Is It Done?

There’s no one way to use Facebook Live. Your brand is a unique thing, which requires your unique spin on how things are done. Still, there are some general steps you can take to shine a light on what makes your brand stand out from the pack.

Go Live

One of the most obvious things you can do is stream any events or conferences you might be involved in, as they happen. When conventions or similar events are being held, most of the people who want to attend are not able to, for a variety of reasons. With Facebook Live, they can not only have a window into what’s happening as it happens, but cheer you on, laugh at your jokes, or express their amazement, just as if they were right there.

Naturally, there will still be those who will be unable to watch the livestream. Fortunately for them, it will be posted to your timeline, complete with all the audience reactions.

A Peek Behind the Curtain

When people love or enjoy something, they have an interest on its inner workings, on how that product they enjoy comes into being. You can give them that with a livestream of whatever process you undergo to bring your product to your customers – minus any trade secrets you don’t want to give to competitors, of course. Yet, even any secret parts can be made fun, with a little forethought and a sense of humor.

Keep Them in the Loop

Running a business can be a very ‘interesting’ experience at times. With Facebook Live, you can share that experience with your customers. The popularity of a reality shows can be yours, if you’re willing to stream a live video on a daily or weekly basis on how things are going in the day-to-day life of your brand. A more measured version if this is to share any insights about your brand that you or your partners or employees might have about some aspect of your work at the moment. This combines well with giving your customers the occasional peek behind the scenes.

Make Your Event an Event

If you’re going to start a livestream, whether a regular occurrence or a major one-off, you have to let your fans know in advance. You can’t hope for them to stumble upon it because they’re compulsively checking Facebook. Instead, make anything you plan to stream a big deal. Announce it on your Facebook page, more than once. If this is a new thing, or something rare, you could even announce it in countdown style until the big moment you go live.

Putting Life into Live

Though you can’t control any unexpected happenings during a livestream, you are still in control as much as possible, so take advantage of it. Give your video a great title and description, something that not only attracts attention, but tells everyone who tunes in what they’re about to see.

If you feel up to it, you can even shape the course of the video as it goes on. You’ll be able to see how many people are watching, and how they feel about it, and can respond accordingly. After a few of these, you’ll feel more and more comfortable about going “off script”.

Don’t forget to invite viewers to subscribe, so they will be informed automatically of future videos you choose to stream. Subscribed viewers will automatically be informed whenever you stream, which is good for those times you want to go live spontaneously.

Imagine having your own television station – that’s a little like the power of what Facebook Live can do for your brand, if you’re prepared to build up your audience and use it to its fullest potential.

This article was originally written by Shariq Toor for the Heyo blog.



Votigo’s Latest and Greatest Guide to Facebook Contests & Sweepstakes

Facebook promotions are a great way to grow your fan base and engage them in the conversation of your brand. With millions of people logging in each and every day, a Facebook contest or sweepstakes is a great way to capture people’s attention and get them to engage with your brand page on a repeated basis.

And the great news is, you don’t have to be a big-budget brand in order to run a successful promotion on Facebook! Votigo has all the tools you need in order to go live with a promotion in no time, no matter what size your business is!

The sky is really the limit when it comes to the variety of ways you can run a promotion on Facebook, so we thought it could be helpful to share a few examples with you to help you brainstorm.

Conair #DiamondBrilliance Facebook Sweepstakes 

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Simple enter-to-win Facebook Sweepstakes like the one Conair is running are great ways to generate leads and create brand buzz. Since people only have to fill out a simple registration form in order to enter, the barrier to entry is low, which means registration numbers are likely to be high. The brand also added in a few custom questions to their registration flow in order to get a bit more marketing insights from their audience. The sweepstakes was built using Votigo’s self-serve platform and features mobile responsive design and email database opt-in functionality.

Blue Buffalo CoverPet Facebook Photo Contest

Screenshot 2016-10-24 10.35.15In this campaign, Blue Buffalo is inviting their fans to submit photos of their pets for a chance to be featured on the brand’s Facebook cover photo. The brand knows that people always seem to have pictures of their pets on hand, so they’re capitalizing on that low barrier to entry and collecting a ton of great brand-relevant content while they’re at it! This promotion was also built using Votigo’s self-serve platform and features direct upload, photo submission moderation and mobile responsive design.

Want to learn more about our products and services, or brainstorm with a member of our team on your next promotion? Click here to schedule a live demo with an Account Representative.



The Complete Social Guide to Millennial Marketing

It’s worth your time to develop a strategy for winning the business of millennials (18 to 34-year-olds) because they bring big bucks to the table — an estimated $200 billion annually. Catch their attention, win their trust, and your business stands to gain — big time.

The added value of finding ways to appeal to this generation and gain their trust is that they have an unprecedented level of engagement with their peers. Win them over and they’ll tell all their friends. It’s definitely worth your time to understand and engage with millennials.

But, your marketing messaging needs just the right touch to be successful. Millennials resist traditional advertising. You’ll need a game plan.


Millennials live in a digital world, which means your website and other aspects of your online marketing need to be in tune with them. It also means you can learn about them through digital engagement. Understanding customers and prospects is of critical importance to your marketing plan. Fortunately, if you pay attention, millennials will teach you to appeal to them!

So, let’s get started with five strategies guaranteed to head you in the right direction.

Elevate Mobile

Take a look around and you can easily see that millennials are practically hard-wired to their smartphones. Your marketing strategy needs to keep this in mind.

Do you use landing pages? If they’re not already, you need to optimize them for mobile. They need to load quickly and your call-to-action (CTA) needs to be bold and mobile-friendly.

Beyond that, you need to elevate your mobile engagement. Look for ways to be involved in their digital lives. As an example, a “mobile rewards network” called Kiip gives you a way to connect with millennials while they’re playing online games. Games reward players when they achieve a new level, for instance, and Kiip allows brands to sponsor the in-game reward.

It’s an example of a way to connect with millennials while they’re doing something they like to do, but it’s subtle and a better way to approach them than bombarding them with web ads that intrude on their activity.

Connect With The Connected

With a world of options for information and entertainment literally at their fingertips, millennials have learned to tune out traditional advertising. They’re online to meet their own needs and they don’t want interruptions.

Understand this and you will gain a great marketing opportunity.

Forget old-style outreach advertising. Instead, discover the people with online influence who millennials have come to trust. This will include YouTube personalities, podcasters, Instagrammers and bloggers. Most likely they are also millennials who have jumped onto the digital wave to amuse their peers or share their thoughts.

Given their huge audience, can you imagine how many millennials you can reach with just one mention of your product or service in these venues?

As affirmed in a recent study, and as no surprise to anyone, younger consumers are very much influenced by the opinions of their peers. Find ways to connect with those who have the attention of millennials and can get the buzz going about your business very quickly.

Social Sincerity

It’s not too difficult for a business to develop a social presence. But to reach millennials it’s important to properly engage. Remember, they’re a savvy bunch and resistant to being sold to. This is why it’s critical that they perceive your social involvement to be in their interest.

Make sure your YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook channels make those who engage with you there feel special. It could be said that millennials are the “me” generation, but really it’s basic psychology; no matter their age, you’re always going to do better if you can find ways to have your customers believe they’re special.

Here are some ideas that have been proven to work:

  • Contests
  • Loyalty programs
  • Featuring content from users
  • Sincere engagement with comments

As an example, many businesses have had great success with Instagram campaigns featuring photos taken by followers. An example is Apt2B, a Los Angeles-based furniture retailer. Their customers are encouraged to take pictures of the sofas and accessories they’ve purchased in their own apartment. Customers like it because they get to see how the product will look in an actual apartment instead of the showroom. And the customers who provide photos feel valued by the company that is sharing their contribution.


Be Authentic

Millennials may have tuned out traditional advertising, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want information. They value any information they deem to be authentic. Remember, they’re very tuned-in and don’t want to be conned.

Don’t bother trying for a hard sell, it won’t work. Instead, develop believable content. Be trustworthy. They’re actively looking for information that will entertain or inform them.

With a soft sell, you’re looking for opportunities to get your message to them in the context of experiences they already value and appreciate.

In today’s digital world, and especially when targeting millennials, you need to adapt your game to reach them where they are, through content they trust. If they perceive that your business understands and respects their core values, you’ll have them hooked.


Chipotle’s “Farmed and Dangerous” online video series did a great job with this.  An entertaining satire, the series featured a millennial sustainable farmer fighting a battle with big corporations.  Other than including the company’s mission statement, “food with integrity,” there was hardly any reference to the restaurant chain in the videos. Instead, Chipotle counted on consumers seeing the company as a healthy dining choice. Did millennials share the video through their social channels? You bet!

Involve Them

Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” campaign is a great example of reaching millennials’ by involving them in the creation of products you want to sell to them.

Since 2012 in the U.S., annual campaigns have offered a $1 million prize and encouraged the public to suggest new flavors for potato chips. Outreach through various channels including Facebook and Twitter resulted in millions of submissions, each representing engagement with Frito-Lay.

Most companies can’t manage a promotion on that scale, but the take-away is that it helps to have a direct relationship with your audience and make business decisions based on input.

The Wrap-Up

What does it take to market to millennials? It’s pretty simple, really — the human touch. Authentic engagement will score high here. Engage with them to learn more about their wants, needs and desires  — then keep these in mind when developing your products or services and you’ll be ahead in today’s new marketing game.

This article was originally written by Therese Moten for the Heyo blog.


New Promotions From Live Nation, Gore-Tex and Fujifilm

We know you love to see live examples of campaigns that are using Votigo’s technology, since they are the easiest way to understand how our platform works. They’re also great for inspiration as you start planning YOUR next campaign! So without further ado, here are some new campaigns from Live Nation, Gore-Tex and Fujifilm that are using Votigo’s platform technology.

Live Nation’s House of Blues Ticket Giveaway Sweepstakes

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Sweepstakes are a great way to grow your marketing database and drive awareness for your brand. Since they usually only require users to complete a quick registration form in order to enter, their barrier to entry is low, which means your chances of engagement are high. In this campaign, Live Nation is promoting the Grand Opening of a new House of Blues property by inviting people to enter for a chance to win 2 VIP tickets to the event. By promoting it across a variety of social channels, they’re driving campaign awareness while collecting email addresses at the same time! This sweepstakes was built on Votigo’s Self-Serve Platform and features mobile responsive design and social sharing.

Gore-Tex’s “Bad Weather, Good Day” #Hashtag Photo Contest 

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We’re seeing a lot of campaigns making use of #hashtag entry methods these days. They’re a great way to engage fans that are hanging out on Instagram or Twitter, and with Votigo’s Platform, you can build a campaign hub to serve as a home for all the content that is submitted for entry. In this promotion, Gore-Tex is inviting their fans to share photos using the hashtag #goretexday in order to be entered to win some Gore-Tex gear. No matter which way someone enters, their entry will appear in the gallery that lives on the brand’s Facebook page. Also built using Votigo’s Self-Serve Platform, this campaign features both direct and hashtag entry, mobile responsive design, and photo content moderation.

Fujifilm’s “Greatest American Roadtrip” Essay Contest

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Essay contests are a great way to gather valuable insights from your audience that you can use in future marketing efforts. They’re also a great way to bring your fans into the conversation for your brand.  In this campaign, Fujifilm is inviting their fans to share what they love about our country’s National Parks, for a chance to win a brand new camera! The entries give Fujifilm great information about their audience, which is always useful from a marketing standpoint. This campaign was also built using Votigo’s Self-Serve Platform and features mobile responsive design, essay content moderation and viral referral functionality.

Want to learn more about our products and services, or brainstorm with a member of our team on your next promotion? Click here to schedule a live demo with an Account Representative.




Votigo & Sprout Social Team Up in Exciting New Webinar :: Save Your Spot Today!

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Save your spot today for our latest (free) webinar on October 13th!

Social media contests and sweepstakes are a great way to grow your email list and social followers while engaging and activating the followers you already have. They’re easy to launch and with the right call-to-action, are a super easy way to get your audience to participate in your brand’s conversation.

That’s why Votigo & Sprout Social have teamed up to present this webinar, to help you plan your next Social Media Contest or Sweepstakes. You’ll learn:

  • How contests and sweepstakes benefit both your brand and your consumer
  • Which kinds of promotions are best for different campaign objectives (ex: drive leads or curate content)
  • How to launch a new social media campaign
  • Best practices for promoting your contest or sweepstakes


We’re looking forward to ‘seeing’ you there!

-The Votigo Team


7 Social Media Marketing Success Tips for Your Business

The role of social media in our lives is no longer limited to just sharing your story and life events to everyone or getting in touch with your long-lost relatives or forgotten classmates from high school. Social media has extended its importance into the business industry. If you want to be successful with your business, social media plays a very important role in achieving this goal.


Social Media serves as an easy and accessible platform where you can market your business, get potential new customers, keep in touch with your local supporters and advertise your brand. For a small entrepreneur who has only started with their own business, it would be wise to dive into the world of social media and use its power to your full advantage.

Here are some tips on how to maximize social media as a marketing tool for your business:

  1. Be consistent – When you market your company, it is important that your brand voice is clear and consistent. Brand consistency plays a vital role in social media, as you want your company’s image to be consistent and similar throughout the multi-platform social media experience. Being consistent with the content of your social media posts strengthens recall of your brand name. You want your product to be easily identified by a specific tag-line or personality. An inability to maintain consistency in your social media accounts puts you at risk for losing the interest of your avid supporters, because they get confused with the content of your product or might find it unappealing.

  2. Social Media Marketing is Going Mobile–Almost all people use their smartphones when using social media. We live in a world where we can easily share events in real. Consumers can get access to products conveniently by just flipping through their smartphones. Use this channel as a marketing strategy to reach out to your current supporters and gain new customers.

  3. Engage with Social Media Influencers and Bloggers – Social media influencers and bloggers are people that have an established online reputation and have gained a large amount of followers. Once you have identified your social media influencers, it’s time to connect with them and start a conversation through the content that they are sharing. It is also important that you maintain your relationship with them by constantly following and engaging with them through the content that they share. Being constantly engaged with social media influencers and bloggers can increase the awareness of your brand, increase your reputation and popularity online and increase awareness or improve SEO traffic.

  1. Analyze Past Content to Improve Posts – Social media is an affordable platform where you can advertise your brand or product without having to spend a lot of money. To attract more followers though, the content of your social media should be engaging and interesting. Take time to review your previous posts in order to see what has and hasn’t worked, so that you can use that information to inform how you market yourself moving forward. Analyze what is missing on historic posts and use this as an opportunity to get more followers on your future posts. Maybe that post would have gotten more likes if you incorporated an interesting photo or video? Use trial and error to understand what will resonate the most with your followers.

  2. Use Social Updates to Write Blog Posts – A large number of business owners today have turned to blogging as another platform to market their brand or product. Blogging is worth your investment, since original online content is very important in creating your digital footprint and building your brand. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms are important channels for your marketing strategy. Your blog posts can reach a large portion of your online audience through the use of viral tools like such as liking and sharing of posts through social media. In order to get unlimited mileage online, your blog should be well-written and include relatable content.

  3. Start an Employee Advocacy Program – Employees are known to be the biggest marketing asset your brand can have. Employee advocacy refers to the exposure that your employees generate for brands using their own online assets. This might include chat, email, forums, discussion, boards and of course, social media. The reach of your employees could possibly be beyond your own brand’s reach and beyond the platforms that you are currently on. To get more employees to promote your product through social media, you can give out incentives or perks that will reward them for being an ambassador of your brand.

  4. Find a balance between popularity and business–In order for your business to gain major followers, the content that you share on social media should be something that consumers can easily relate to in order to engage their interest. Make sure that your posts include a well-balanced blend of entertainment and business-oriented content. Keep things interesting and always make sure that you are consistent with your brand voice.

You do not need to be an expert of all the ins and outs of social media to be able to use it to its full potential as you promote your. Just follow some or all of the tips above and you will be able to maximize the social media channels to your brand’s advantage.

This article was originally written by Andy Bell for the Heyo blog.