Each year there are dozens of opportunities to create a promotion, whether it be holidays, seasons or annual events. Having an annual promotions calendar allows you to effectively strategize and market each promotion while keeping your community continually engaged.
Let’s review 4 tips to help you begin planning your 2016 calendar.
- Determine the number of promotions you would like to run. You’ll want to ensure that your company has the resources to manage each promotion. Large organizations with a full social media team may have the capacity for weekly promotions while a small business would benefit from running bi-monthly campaigns. As a rule of thumb, we believe that one promotion per month is a good place to start.
- Start with holidays. Build your promotions around holidays such as Independence Day, Black Friday, Halloween, etc. Focus on national holidays first and then incorporate others that appeal to your business such as retail holidays.
- Complement your current marketing schedule. Take a step back to review your other objectives this year and plan promotions to complement those activities. If your company has existing promotions on the schedule, adding in a contest or sweepstakes is a great way boost their performance.
- Don’t forget about the seasons. Back to school campaigns at the start of fall, cold weather themed winter promotions, starting new in the spring and beating the heat of summer are all opportunities to engage with your community.
One of the most important aspects to running successful promotions on Twitter and Instagram is the selection of your hashtag. Let’s take a look at the first 3 questions to answer when choosing your campaign hashtag.
- Am I running a contest or sweepstakes? The FTC updated their guidelines for running contests and sweepstakes on social media requiring brands to include “contest” or “sweepstakes” either within the promotion hashtag or as a it’s own hashtag. For example, if we wanted to run a sweepstakes called #VotigoTrip we would also need to include #Sweepstakes in order for entries to be eligible. Another option would be to use the single hashtag #VotigoTripSweepstakes. Your brand can use either option with our multiple hashtag promotion builder
- Is my hashtag easy to remember? When promoting your hashtag you’ll likely only have the attention of your potential entrant for a brief moment. Having a long or complex hashtag could result on misspellings or the user forgetting it all together. If you are giving away a big trip, it can be tempting to use #BrandHonoluluHawaiiTripOfALifetimeContest but you’ll be much better off simplifying that to #BrandHawaiiContest
- Has someone already used my hashtag? There’s nothing worse than launching a social promotion only to find out that another brand already used your hashtag. If you’re using a simplified hashtag, we suggest including your brand’s name to ensure a competitor hasn’t used it previously.
While promotion-oriented campaigns such as contests and sweepstakes are a great way to grow your audience, Votigo engagement apps are a great way to bring your audience deeper into your larger brand conversation. Today’s blog post looks at 3 promotion ideas guaranteed to boost customer engagement.
1. Voting App
Through our Voting App, you can feature new products or gauge the popularity of an item in your product line in order to increase customer engagement. Gordmans recently launched a Voting app in partnership with Earl Jean that encouraged fans to vote for their favorite jeans and win prizes!
2. Quiz App
Trivia and personality quizzes are a fun way to learn more about your users, engage them in your brand conversation, drive traffic to your website or create product awareness. Mission Imagination is a new trivia quiz promotion from the minds of NASA and Texas Instruments created to inspire the next generation of innovators, inventors and explorers by engaging them in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
3. Social Content Hub
Looking to regularly aggregate content while also boosting customer engagement? Votigo’s Social Content Hub is a great always-on solution where users can submit photos, videos or essays into your gallery at any time. Content can be submitted directly on the app or by pulling in content from social media. Realtor.com is using #SockSwag to pull entries from Twitter and Instagram into their app on Facebook.
When brainstorming for their next big promotion, our clients often ask if we suggest running a photo, video or essay contest. While each entry method has it’s own unique benefits, our Multi-Format UGC Contests empower the user to decide.
First, let’s take a look at some pros and cons for each entry type –
- Pro: Nearly everyone has a camera phone in their pocket and are ready to take a photo at any moment
- Con: Given the ease at which someone can snap a quick photo, the quality of submissions may not be as high as video entries
- Pro: Video entries are often the most dynamic and engaging entries
- Con: Some users may lack time, the know-how or tools to create a video. This could potentially reduce the number of submissions. The good news is that with the proliferation of smartphones with video cameras the barrier is lower than ever.
Essay / Text Entries
- Pro: By not requiring a media type, essays generally offer the lowest barrier to entry of any contest format
- Con: An essay contest will not include any user submitted visual content that can be aggregated or repurposed by your brand and they are not as engaging
As you can see, all three forms of user-generated content entry can play a crucial role in meeting the objectives of your next promotion. With Votigo’s Multi-Format UGC Contests, you can ensure that your users can choose how they would like to participate and ultimately maximize the engagement of your audience.