Instagram #Hashtag Promotions Update

On December 11th, Instagram will be deprecating some features within their existing API.  The following features will be unavailable after that date:

  • Commenting – to post and delete comments on a user’s behalf on owned media
  • Public Content – to read any public profile info and media on a user’s behalf
  • Likes – to like and unlike media on a user’s behalf
  • Subscriptions – to receive notifications when media is posted

In advance of this release, we’ve updated our platform enabling you to continue to create hashtag campaigns.

New Campaigns
In order to create new Instagram hashtag campaigns or keep your existing ones running, you will first need to make sure your Instagram account is a business account.  Here’s a quick tutorial from Instagram – Creating a Business Profile on Instagram.

Once that has been completed, you’ll need to link your Instagram business profile to your Facebook page – Linking an Instagram account to a Facebook page.

Now, you’re all set to create new Instagram hashtag promotions in the Votigo platform.  We’ve added a quick authentication button within each promotion type –

Add Instagram Business AccountNOTE: As part of this update, content posted on Instagram will be required to include a @mention of your brand in order for Instagram to pass it to Votigo.

Existing Campaigns
If you are currently running a Votigo campaign that is accepting hashtag entries from Instagram, you will first need to complete the steps noted above to create an Instagram business profile and connect it to your Facebook page, then follow the instructions found in this doc – Instagram Migration.

Note: As with new promotions, entries will be required to include a @mention of your brand.  You may need to update your user facing copy to communicate this to entrants.  All content posted prior to this update will be retained in your promotion.

If you have any questions, please reach out to our support team.


Instagram API Platform Changes

Instagram recently announced changes to their API platform with some features being disabled immediately and others removed in the near future.

Let’s review the changes and what they mean for your campaigns running on Votigo –

The following capabilities will be disabled immediately (previously set for July 31, 2018 or December 11, 2018 deprecation):

  • Follower List – to read the list of followers and followed-by users
  • Relationships – to follow and unfollow accounts on a user’s behalf
  • Commenting on Public Content – to post and delete comments on a user’s behalf on public media
  • Likes – to like and unlike media on a user’s behalf
  • Subscriptions – to receive notifications when media is posted
  • Users Information – to search for and view users’ public content
  • Some information on Public Content returned through hashtag and location search – Name, Bio, Comments, Commenters, Follower Count, Following Count, Post Count, and Profile Picture

The following will be deprecated according to the timeline in the near future:

  • Public Content – all remaining capabilities to read public media on a user’s behalf on December 11, 2018
  • Basic – to read a user’s own profile info and media in early 2020

The only impact this will have on your Votigo campaigns is the ability to require that a user is following the brand in order to submit and entry via hashtag.  Unfortunately we can no longer access their follow list.

You will still be able to create an Instagram photo or video contest within the Votigo platform.  All public posts containing your promotion specific hashtag will be pulled into our system.

If you have additional questions, please contact us at


UGC and Cause Marketing Efforts Combine in Two New Promotions from The World Bank

When it comes to engaging your audience and involving them in the larger conversation for your brand, UGC contests are a great way to go. Things really get interesting when the conversation is about important global issues that give people an opportunity to have a voice and make a difference.

CGAP (the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) – 2016 Photo Contest 

Screenshot 2016-06-29 10.13.37

Now in its eleventh year, the CGAP Photo Contest is back in the form of a gorgeous contest microsite where entrants can upload photos that capture the importance of microfinance efforts around the world. This photo contest was custom built by Votigo’s talented development team and features multi-language toggle functionality, geo-detected landing page display and social sharing to increase reach and awareness.

Film4Climate Global Video Competition 2016

Screenshot 2016-06-29 09.49.11The Film4Climate video competition invites entrants to submit a video that shares what climate change means to them and what they are doing to promote action. This custom video contest also features a multi-language toggle, as well as One-Click Publish to YouTube functionality and dynamic insertion of pre-and-post-roll frames onto all video submissions.

Want to learn more about our products, services or platform level offerings? Click here to schedule a live demo with an Account Representative.



New UGC Contests From Aloft Hotels & California Walnuts

Interested in engaging your customers or fans while growing your audience?  A UGC Contest is a great way to spark excitement and create awareness for your brand and products.  This past week Aloft Hotels and California Walnuts launched promotions with their unique spin on the traditional UGC Contest.

Aloft Hotels – Project: Aloft Star 2016

Aloft 2016After three successful years, the Project: Aloft Star contest is back in 2016 with new features.  Entrants can now submit 2 original songs in audio or video format.  Votigo contests can support any combination of photo, video, essay and audio entries.  Allowing users to choose their preferred entry format ensures that anyone can enter, maximizing the reach of your promotion.

California Walnuts – I Heart Walnuts Recipe Contest

WalnutsUsing a campaign specific hashtag lets your community to enter a contest or sweepstakes directly through their Instagram and Twitter accounts.  Hashtag promotions are a great way to to spread your contest virally while still creating a centralized hub to display the content.  This week California Walnuts launched their I Heart Walnuts recipe contest asking users to submit their best walnut creation via Instagram or directly on the contest site.  The promotion was embedded into their main site offering a seamless user experience while benefiting their SEO.

Want to learn more about our products, services or custom campaigns?

Click here to schedule a live demo with an Account Representative.






Case Study: Live Nation, Ticketmaster & House of Blues

See how Live Nation has used the Votigo Enterprise Promotions Platform to grow their Newsletter by over 300k Subscribers

logo-combinedLive Nation / Ticketmaster / House of Blues

Live Nation and several of its divisions utilize Votigo’s Enterprise Promotions Platform to run nationwide Facebook, Web, and Mobile promotions across all of their active markets.  Since first coming on board in early 2014, they have created over 5,000 promotions resulting in over 2.5 million user entries and over 300,000 new email subscribers.  The brands run standard Enter-to-win Sweepstakes, Refer-a-friend Sweepstakes, Photo Sweepstakes, and more.

FooFighters_Flyaway_810x614Marketing Objectives

One of the most important goals for Live Nation is to increase the number of customers who have opted-in to receive email communications from the brand and their partners.  Over the last two and a half years the brand has generated over 300,000 new subscribers.


Work-flow Approvals

The brand has over 150 users and managers with different user privileges and access to create, edit, and publish promotions within their platform.  Once a promotion has been created, the Live Nation legal team receives an automated notification that a new campaign is ready for their review and approval.  Once the campaign has been approved, the original creator is then notified via the platform and can then publish the promotion.

Want to learn more about our products, services or custom campaigns?

Click here to schedule a live demo with an Account Representative.


New Promotions From Country Financial & Healthline

UGC Contests and Galleries are a great way to engage your customers and create awareness on social media for your brand or cause.  Here are a couple recent examples from Country Financial and Healthline.

Country Financial – Own Your Future Challenge Video Contest

Country Financial ScreenshotUpload a video telling Country Financial how you would use $5,000 to own your family’s future and how $5,000 could help a local school of your choice.  This Video Contest was built on Votigo’s Enterprise Platform and features mobile responsive design, video upload, social sharing and user voting.

Healthline – You’ve Got This! UGC Gallery

Healthline ScreenshotAdd your video or photo and give hope to over 5.7 million recently diagnosed with Bipolar.  $10 will be contributed to the International Bipolar Foundation for every submission.  Users can upload their entry directly to the site or via Twitter and Instagram using #BipolarEmpowerment.  The You’ve Got This! UGC Gallery was built by the Votigo Custom & Full-service team.  Custom promotions are developed by our expert team of designs and engineers to meet your specific needs.


2 Great Ideas For Your Father’s or Mother’s Day Promotion

Spring is here and it’s not too soon to begin thinking about launching a Contest, Sweepstakes or UGC Gallery for Father’s and Mother’s Day.

Over the years our clients have launched some great holiday promotions on our platform.  Here are a couple ideas to celebrate the moms and dads out there –

Mixbook’s My Dad’s Got Talent Photo Contest – Showcasing your Dad’s hidden talent is a great way to brag and reward him at the same time.  Mixbook celebrated Father’s Day by giving away $1,500 to one lucky dad with the most unique skill.

Dads got talentBabyganics The Daddy’s Day Card Creator – Looking for a more personal way to let your fans thank their dad?  Babyganics launched a promotion that allowed users select from multiple card templates, upload their photo and email it directly to their dad.

BabyganicsWant to learn more about our products, services or custom campaigns?

Click here to schedule a live demo with an Account Representative.



How To: Use UGC Content With Permission

consentUsing a branded hashtag can be a great way to boost brand awareness, interact with your audience and acquire content from your followers.  However, since the rise of the hashtag there has been a grey area in how you can obtain approval from the content creator before using their photo or video.

Last fall the New York Times published an article detailing the story of a mother that posted a pic to Instagram of her daughter wearing Crocs sandals.  Crocs liked the image so much they left the mother a comment asking for her permission to use the image in their marketing activities.  The trouble began when they posted the image to a gallery on their website before she responded agreeing to their terms.

So how do you know if and when a user has given your brand consent to use their image?  We recently released our Enable Consent functionality for any UGC promotions that aggregate hashtag content from Twitter and Instagram.  It offers a seamless way to automatically request and confirm consent from from anyone using your hashtag.

The Enable Consent feature is available through our Enterprise Plan.  If you would like to upgrade your existing plan, click here to schedule an appointment with an Account Representative.

View the Enable Consent tutorial here.

Want to learn more about our products, services or custom campaigns? Click here to schedule a live demo with an Account Representative.


Increase Your Customer Base Using Social Promotions

There are a variety of different social promotion types you can use to achieve goals in growing your customer base.  Increasing your mailing list, boosting sales and generating product awareness are all objectives that can that can be met by using the correct promotion.

Let’s take a look at how you can increase your customer base using social promotions:

  1. Viral Sweepstakes – Viral sweepstakes offer the lowest barrier to entry and the highest number of potential entries on the spectrum of social promotions. These two features combined make them a great tool to use in order to increase your customer base. This would be our recommendation for growing your mailing list by including a newsletter opt-in during the registration process.  Fine Woodworking recently launched a Viral Sweepstakes with a newsletter opt-in to commemorate their 40th anniversary.40 Years
  2.  UGC Photo Gallery – Looking to have your existing customers generate awareness about your products through social media?  A UGC Photo Gallery is another example of a social promotion that allows customer to showcase their appreciation for your brand and products.  And when a campaign like this is promoted in the right channels, it’s also a great way to increase your customer base. Biscoff Cookies launches a year long photo gallery for their fans to show their Biscoff moment by sharing photos of them enjoying cookies.  This promotion allows users to upload their photos directly through the Facebook application or via Instagram and Twitter using #MyBiscoffBreak.Biscoff Break
  3. Coupon App – Rewarding your entrants with a coupon or discount is a great way to increase entries for your promotion and sales of your product while also increasing your customer base.  With the Votigo Coupon App, you can supply digital codes or printable coupons.  Nutritional supplement and fitness company Isopure recently launched a photo contest that provided each entrant with a 10% discount code for all purchased made through their website and a chance to win a year supply of their products. Isopure

How To Make Instagram’s New Algorithm Work For Your Brand

Earlier this month Instagram dropped a bombshell that it will be introducing an algorithm to display posts they feel are most relevant to that user.  Since then, many brands and agencies we’ve spoken to have been panicked in what they feel will impede their ability to reach and grow their follower base.

notificationsWe’re here to tell you that yes, the change could potentially impact the number of users seeing your posts but you can also leverage it to work for your brand with these 3 tips –

  1. Post Quality Content – This is the single most important thing you can do to guarantee your followers see your posts.  Engaging images that encourage users to interact with your content ensures your future content will appear at the top of their feed.
  2. Work With Influencers – This is the one group group that is sure to benefit from the new algorithm.  Influencers typically have the highest rate of engagement from their followers and by working directly with them, you can use that engagement for your brand.  They key is learning who the potential influencers are for your brand and fostering a long term relationship with them.
  3. Pay For Promoting – It’s no secret that the ultimate goal of implementing the algorithm is to generate revenue.  You could look at this update as Instagram improving their advertising platform and use it as an opportunity for your brand to begin promoting on Instagram.  We suggest analyzing which of your posts received the most engagement and experimenting with a small advertising spend.

Interested in running an Instagram campaign for your brand? Plans start at $29/month and you can cancel anytime! Sign up free to check it out!