BREAKING: Wildfire Interactive Turns Off DIY Promotions

Today, Wildfire Interactive Promotions by Google has announced that they are shutting down their DIY Basic, Standard, and Premium promotions primarily targeted to Small and Medium Sized Businesses (SMBs).

Here is a link to their blog post with details on their decision.  We at Votigo understand how that negatively impacts all of their customers that will now have to find a new solution.  Thankfully we have a great offering that will do just that.

Votigo is pleased to announce that we are here for those tens of thousand of customers that need a new home.  Our Standard DIY Promotions for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Web, and Mobile are available as low as $30/week or $250/mo for unlimited promotions.

During this transition period we are going to offer a 20% discount on our $250 Subscription Plan to anyone who calls us and let’s us know they are coming over from Wildfire Promotions.  Simply visit and enter the coupon code “wildfire” to enter.  1.800.519.1850 

And as always, please contact us or call us if you would like to discuss our Premium / Custom Promotions and our Complete Social Marketing Suite.


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.”


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.



Like-Gating: Tips for a Great Design

When running a Facebook contest or sweepstakes, one important consideration for brands and agencies to keep in mind is whether or not to have a Like-Gate. Like-Gating, also referred to as Fan-Gating or Like-Wall, is a low barrier to entry requiring that a user first “Like” a brand’s Facebook page before they can access certain content on that page. This is a feature that will simultaneously increase your fan base and get your social marketing messages onto fans’ newsfeeds!  There are several types and styles of like-gates that brands can use. It is an optional feature that may seem like a no-brainer for most brands, but it simply depends on what the brand’s overall goals are.

Once you’ve decided like-gating is for you, you need to start thinking about the design of the like-gate. Something to keep in mind is while simple in concept and beneficial to fan growth; a poor like-gate graphic can seriously confuse and hinder fans from entering your promotion. Not to worry! Votigo is here to provide tips and best practices for customers who value like-gating and would like more information on the process and role that it plays.




A quality Like-Gate graphic image should contain the following:

  • A dynamic/unique/inspiring custom image that captures your brands personality and the theme of the campaign.
  • A call-to-action! This is a very important because you want to clearly define what the user has to do in order to enter the promotion. If you simply have a beautiful graphic image with no instruction such as, “Like us to enter this promotion!” then the entrant will be confused and possibly not enter all together. So, make sure to include instructional text on your custom image.
  • Take advantage of the Timeline Optimization and design your Like-Gate custom image to be the full 810px. Votigo’s platform allows for the max file size of 5MB and supported formats include: jpg, jpeg, gif. The platform allows you to preview the image before it is  published.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It is important to keep in mind that although Facebook Timeline did away with default landing tabs, the fundamentals have not changed at all. Brands can still promote their campaigns by directing their audience directly to their unique app url. Votigo further simplified this process for you with our recent platform release.You now have the ability to schedule posts and tweets about the campaign from your Votigo dashboard to social network channels and direct people straight to that unique app URL. When you have a like-gate attached to the campaign, then you are driving users to like your page. This is a win-win! So, if you are a brand or business who is focused on engaging fans on Facebook—why not try a promotion? You can add a Like-Gate to your unique app and simultaneously build your fan base. Visit our website at for more details or create an account and start engaging your fans today!

Customer Q & A – Successful Photo Contest

Here at Votigo, we love to chat one-on-one with our customers to get their feedback and insight on the benefits they received from utilizing promotions in their social media marketing strategy. While each brand might have different goals and approaches, they all recognize the benefits from running social promotions.

Steve Oberman at Flavorus is a Votigo customer who designed a UGC Photo Contest on our platform and received phenomenal user engagement and submission. Their philosophy is the belief that life is better when you go out and experience new things and take chances. Running with that philosophy, he created a “Get Out There” Photo Contest that engaged his fans by encouraging them to upload a photo of them going out and enjoying life in every sense! The photo that received the most votes from other Flavorus Facebook users received a pair of 3-day passes to Electric Daisy Carnival 2012 in Las Vegas. His promotion is considered a true success and not just because it received over 800 entries. We wanted to pick Steve’s brain on what his goals, metrics, and overall process was so that we could share it with you all. Thankfully he was kind enough to oblige.

Votigo: Did you have goals going into the campaign?

Steve: Yes.  This contest is a part of a broader plan to revamp the tone and purpose of our social media strategy, to make it more conversational and engaging.  My main goal for the contest was to increase our number of “likes” on our Facebook page.  To accomplish that, I could have just done a like-gate contest and run it as a sweepstakes, but since the prize is 4 three day passes to a huge music festival (a $2000 dollar value) I thought that people should have to work a little harder than just liking a page!  That’s when it turned into a photo contest.  My secondary goal was to incorporate our company’s core value: Life is better when you go out and experience new things,” so that’s how the theme for the contest evolved.  Other goals included encouraging our followers to be more interactive with our social media and to get people talking about the contest and our page.

Votigo:   How do you measure success- including the Facebook metrics and whatever else you look at?

Steve: If we can significantly increase our “likes” and get our customers talking about our client’s events, then I would consider the promotion a success.

Votigo:   How has the response been?

Steve: The response has been awesome.  I set the contest for an 8 week run and by the beginning of the third week we have over 500 photos submitted and 4500 votes.  Our “likes” have doubled from about 50 a day to over 100 per day, and social interactions and engagement on our page have increased dramatically.  People are starting to campaign for votes on their own Facebook pages which of course send their friends to us as well.

Votigo:    How did you start integrating social media and how successful have you been to date?

Steve: We’re a tech company at heart, so when I joined the team late last year, the social media assets were pretty well developed.  It’s been an incredibly useful tool for us to talk directly to our users and answer customer questions.

Votigo:    Favorite tools & keys to success?

Steve: World class customer service and intuitive ticketing software that doesn’t crash is the key to our success.

Votigo:    What is your most successful social marketing project / campaign / effort to date?

Steve: We are lucky enough to sell tickets to some amazing, world class events, so we have access to great tickets as prizes which make our contest and giveaways extremely effective.  We also just launched our Facebook ticketing app which allows people to buy and sell tickets directly from Facebook, which takes advantage of the social aspect of events.

So there you have it folks! Fresh insight and words of wisdom from an experienced social media marketer who utilized a Facebook contest to engage his fans and drive brand exposure. If you are looking to integrate promotions or social engagement apps into your social media marketing strategy then please visit our website at to get the details or try out our DIY tools for creating your own photo contest. It’s free to design and preview!



Announcing Votigo’s Social Marketing Suite

Today is an exciting day for Votigo. We’ve officially announced our full Social Marketing Suite, expanding the scope of our software and services beyond social promotions. This is a milestone day for us: as we celebrate our 6th anniversary as a company, it allows us to meet the needs of our existing customers while targeting new ones with an always-on subscription product for managing their customers and social conversation across all social channels.

We are very proud of what our team has developed in recent weeks and really since we launched Votigo in 2006. Major advances like this are a true team effort and we appreciate everyone’s hard work, from our California office to our Colorado to our Hyderabad office.

Our Software-as-a-Service platform enables marketers to run cross-channel promotions, manage conversations and social contacts and analyze metrics across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Web, and Mobile. Fortune 500 enterprises, mid-market companies, and growing small businesses alike are already using our flexible, proven software to manage social marketing at any scale, for single brands and users to complex international enterprises. Some of Votigo’s current SaaS customers include Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Sony Online Entertainment, Kaiser-Permanente, NCM Fathom Events, Energizer, and GoPro.

Votigo is used to manage brand-consistent promotions across 1,000 unique Facebook Pages for Starwood Hotel & Resorts Worldwide; to allow growing businesses of all sizes to run promotions and marketing apps for as low as $15 per month; and to execute international cross-channel promotions on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Web and Mobile for category-leading brands like Ford, Fox, JBL, Random House and many more. With the launch of our Social Marketing & CRM Suite, we now offer a full set of tools that our customers- the market’s leading social businesses- demand.

At the Enterprise level, Votigo’s platform allows for multiple administrators, user hierarchies and workflow management. Abbey Reider, Global Search & Social Media Strategy, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, said, “With over 1,000 hotel Facebook pages Votigo’s Platform provides a scalable solution that satisfies our corporate and legal team needs, while allowing our individual hotels the autonomy to create unique and engaging promotions.”

“This is a very natural evolution for us,” says Jim Risner, CEO and Co-Founder. “For nearly six years we’ve been fortunate to work with world-class brands and agencies, and fulfill their social promotions needs with innovative campaigns for any channel and in any country. We’ve always been known for our strong technology platform and excellent service. We’ve listened to our clients who were looking for an always-on approach to promotions and the ability to manage the conversation and track and target social contacts. We’re very excited to be expanding our platform to be a single, comprehensive software solution that handles all their social marketing needs.”

Votigo’s Social Marketing & CRM Suite includes:

• Promotions Manager – A full-featured platform for publishing the cross-platform promotions that Votigo has been known for since 2007. Marketers can launch photo and video contests, sweepstakes, and other promotional apps to engage their audiences in multiple languages across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social networks on mobile and the web. Promotions Manager powers the full promotion cycle, from creating the apps, to sharing and publicizing them to social audiences, to moderating submissions and fan commentary, making it simple and cost-effective to run promotional campaigns throughout the year. Promotions remain one of the most effective marketing tactics for engaging and activating social audiences and Promotions Manager makes it simpler than ever to run promotions of any scope.

• Conversation Manager – A powerful new interface for managing two-way conversations with fans on Facebook, Twitter and beyond. Marketers can use Votigo’s Conversation Manager to simultaneously schedule and publish posts, links, photos and video and promotional campaigns to multiple social channels and accounts, plus manage responses, user-generated content, comments and interactions with fans. By consolidating all social conversations and accounts into a single interface, Conversation Manager saves marketers time and provides actionable insight to effectively measure post engagement.

• Social CRM – A seamlessly-integrated Social CRM system for managing Social Contacts, tracking engagement and influence, and targeting special offers and communications. Votigo’s Social CRM makes it easy to cultivate and maintain a growing audience across social networks – from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn and beyond – within a single platform

• Engagement Apps – A set of rich engagement applications including photo and video galleries, fan exclusives, polls, coupons, and more, each with a clear marketing purpose designed to engage your customers on an ongoing basis.

• Analytics – Votigo analytics let social marketers quickly measure and assess social marketing efforts to understand how their audiences interact with their businesses, focus on what resonates and activates customers, and optimize social marketing resources.

We are still planning continuous updates to the Social Marketing & CRM Suite throughout the remainder of 2012. And we couldn’t be more excited about the expansion of our product offering and the continued growth of Votigo. We’ve had 1,400% revenue growth from 2008-2011 and 15% quarter-over-quarter revenue growth for the past year without having to raise more capital. Most importantly we’ve added 300 new customers in the last twelve months. We’re amazed at what our small team of talented people has been able to accomplish.”