About Shayna

Shayna has a love of social media and community building. She has spoken at national conferences and panels on social media marketing and social promotions.She is the Marketing Manager at Votigo, a social marketing platform powering social for some of the world's biggest brands.

Introducing Photo Sweepstakes

It’s no secret that photos rule in the world of social media. According to Facebook, posts that include a photo album or picture generate about 180% or 120% more engagement, respectively. Photos create an emotional connection and help personalize your brand. They command more attention in the news feed, and they are a great way to showcase a lifestyle or put your customers on display.

Photo contests have long been used as a way to engage fans and get great quality content from your fans. Fan photos can be used in your marketing materials and on your social channels to help build your brand and tell your brand story.

Now – we’re pleased to introduce Photo Sweepstakes into our Standard DIY apps. Photo sweepstakes incorporate photo engagement in a low-barrier-to-entry giveaway. Unlike a photo contest, photo sweepstakes award a winner randomly, so entrants don’t need to worry about how their photo stacks up against the competition.

If you want to incorporate voting – you’ll want to use a Photo Contest app.  But, if you’re looking for a simple giveaway that awards a random winner, a photo sweepstakes is the way to go.

You can create a photo sweepstakes by logging into your Votigo account, or by creating an account now. In addition to photo sweepstakes, we’ve also recently launched Twitter sweepstakes – which can also incorporate photos or video.

Get started now


New Viral Features & Apps: DIY Update

More than a year after launching self-service tools for social marketing on Facebook and mobile, we’re proud of the work we’ve done to package our innovative promotions, engagement apps and other tools into a cost-effective, DIY platform.  These tools are being used by start-ups, international brands, small businesses and agencies alike.  If we’ve learned one thing from working with these businesses, it is that there is an unending demand for more viral features, flexible tools and apps that help brands target and activate their growing social audiences.

Here are some of the latest and greatest additions to the Votigo self-service platform:

  • iFrame App: A flexible HTML app with a simple WYSIWYG editor that allows brands to customize a dynamic Facebook tab with multiple elements include text, images, video and other embeddable objects- including Votigo-powered promotions
  • Referral Incentive Sweepstakes: a simple, measurable feature that reinvents the classic promotion, making the sweepstakes app more viral by rewarding entrants who share the promotion with additional entries for each social friend they successfully refer to the sweepstakes
  • Promotions Messenger: A valued-added feature for scheduling posts about promotions to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ audiences. The posts are optimized for mobile users and customized with images and text
  • Mandarin: The 10th language available to self-service customers, who can now choose to launch promotions in English, Spanish, German, French, Portugese, Thai, Japanese, Korean, or Indonesian

Don’t take our word for it:

“Votigo’s new features are important for us in engaging our brand’s growing audience,” said Alexander Hagard Gronwall, Co-Founder and Marketing Director of Pambox, a Thailand-based beauty sample subscription service that recently ran a giveaway promotion in Thai that also tied in the L’Occitane brand. “For a start-up, it is critical for us to be able to target our audience right down to their language preferences.  The viral features are a bonus.”

“In launching our new travel goods web retail brand, we needed a way to quickly boast the number of engaged fans in our Facebook audience,” says Kristi Daeda, Internet Marketing Manager of  “We devised a weekly giveaway with all the elements- from great prizes to low barriers to entry. The referral feature was critical, though, in getting our new-but-growing audience to share the promotion with other friends and likely potential customers.”


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!


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!



VTech Toys Facebook Video Contest

VTech Toys recently launched a Facebook video contest. They wanted to engage their audience and get children to interact with the brand in a fun and meaningful way while promoting the Switch & Go Dinos products. Votigo created a custom Facebook app that requires users to “like” the page before entering and allows fans to easily upload and browse through entries.

The Show and Tell with Switch and Go Dinos video contest asks fans to create a dinosaur and upload a video of their creation.  The child can choose 1 of 3 ways to show off their art project:

Draw: They can use markers, crayons, pencils and pens to sketch their creation on paper

Build: They can use foil, paper, cardboard, or any non-branded household items to build their Dino

Customize: They can update their own VTech Switch & Go Dino with accessories and fun props to give them a new image!

Fans can enter through the end of September, with voting taking place between October 8th and 19th.

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


How to get more Facebook Likes

We’ve often asked how a brand can get more Facebook likes and grow their social media audience. It’s a great question and one that will get a wide variety of responses depending on who you ask. We’ve compiled a list of 10 ways that you can get more Facebook likes. Luckily, these tips will also help you build a community of engaged fans – so you’ll be getting way more than just “likes”. Ready to get started?



Guide to Facebook Contests and Sweepstakes

Facebook contests and sweepstakes are a great way to get more Facebook likes and engage your fans. With millions of people logging into Facebook each day, it’s a great place to run a promotion. Some of the most successful brands regularly run contests and sweepstakes to ensure that they are maximizing their engagement with fans and keeping them interested and visiting their Facebook page regularly.

Of course, you don’t need to be a Fortune 500 brand in order to create a more rewarding Facebook experience for your fans. Brands and companies of all sizes can benefit from running a Facebook promotion. In fact, we’ve seen tons of smaller brands doing Facebook contests and sweepstakes and getting lots of entries and buzz!

If you’re ready to start getting more Facebook likes and engaging your fans, download Votigo’s Guide to Facebook contests and sweepstakes. Inside, you’ll find lots of great tips for designing your promotion, getting more entries and maximizing engagement.



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.


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?



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!