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Using social media for your business can help to elevate your audience and customer base. With more than two billion people using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms, you can achieve some serious exposure and therefore increase the chance to succeed.

Beginners in social media marketing often find the task of converting the audience daunting. Of course, there are numerous factors that influence the outcome of a social media strategy, such as experience. Lack of previous experience with social media audiences can result in some challenges.

This article is here to ensure that these challenges are eliminated even if you have little or zero experience with social media. It brings you ten laws that all effective social media strategies follow to provide the best possible outcomes.

Abiding by these laws will help you to build your brand on social media and create a foundation that will serve you well in the future. Let’s begin.

  1. The Law of Accessibility

Social media users encounter hundreds of posts every day. For example, 55 percent of them watch video posts every day, according to BrandWatch. Along with other posts, this translates into gigabytes of information.

With so much content out there, you need to do your best to stand out. Don’t disappear after publishing some posts. Always be available. This involves a constant effort to publish and participate in conversations with other users.

  1. The Law of Patience

The exact statistics are unknown but it’s safe to assume that the competition in social media is fierce. For brands, this means that immediate success is just impossible. There is no way you can become well-known and profitable overnight.

This law states that you have to commit to the long-term strategy instead of hoping for a quick success. You don’t want to get your heart broken, do you?

  1. The Law of Focus

Surveys show that people trust the brands that concentrate on something specific instead of being an expert in everything. It’s just better to avoid positioning yourself as jack-of-all-trades because you will turn into a master of none.

The law of focus is important for your social media strategy because it teaches you to focus on building a strong brand that specializes in something specific.

  1. The Law of Influence

Social media users now turn to influencers for information and entertainment more than ever. According to Influencer Orchestration Network, 86 percent of women use the experience of social influencers before making a purchase. The same source also suggests that 51 percent of social media marketers say that videos produce the best return on investment.

You’ve probably guessed what this law is all about. Use social media influencers to increase conversion.

  1. The Law of Listening

The idea of this law is pretty simple: instead of always talking, listen to what your online audience is saying. A customer-centered social media strategy is more beneficial because it helps to identify the most attractive content for potential customers. By listening, we mean reading the content of social media users and joining discussions to add some value to them. As the result of meaningful discussions, a brand can gain a positive reputation and image.

  1. The Law of Quality

People who are involved in discussions with the brand on a constant basis are quality followers who need to be kept close. They are the ones that keep the conversation going and build the image of the brand, so their importance should not be underestimated.

Even one quality follower is worth much more than a thousand people who don’t interact with the brand after the initial contact. Quality reigns supreme in this case.

  1. The Law of Value

As mentioned above, social media is a highly competitive environment. Brands that don’t value the conversations of social media users will inevitably fail. Those that try their best to create quality useful content for their target audience survive.

This is the law of value: your social media strategy must include only helpful content for your target audience. No value = no interest.

  1. The Law of Reciprocity

Converting social strategies involve taking interest in the content of social media users. Why? It would be unreasonable to expect them to take interest in your content if you don’t comment on and share their posts as well.

In simple words, a good relationship starts with a favor. The outcome is beneficial for both the brand and its followers.

  1. The Law of Acknowledgment

Making as many connections as possible is one of the primary objectives of brands on social media. No person should be ignored if he or she tries to contact you. Acknowledge them and try to establish positive relationships from the day one.

Otherwise, contacting you again won’t be an option for an ignored person. That’s the law.

  1. The Law of Compounding

This law is connected to the law of value reciprocity. If a brand produces interesting and helpful content for its followers, there is a good chance they will find it good enough to be shared on other social media platforms.

As the result, your content will provide more exposure, therefore better online presence for the brand.

This piece was originally written by Tom Jager for the Heyo Blog

The post 10 Laws of a Converting Social Media Strategy appeared first on Votigo Social Media Marketing & Promotions Blog.

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Why User-generated Contests Work for Marketers
UGC Contests Create a Dialogue with Consumers – Given the current online marketing landscape, it’s critical for savvy marketers to engage consumers in an open, two-way dialogue. By allowing consumers to contribute to marketing campaigns through photos, videos, text and user-voting, campaigns become personal. You can learn a lot about what resonates with your core consumers in a very short period of time based on what they share with you on the site, as well as what they send to friends and family as contest participants transform into viral evangelists for your brand.
Contests Virally Spread Your Marketing Message – Assuming your contest site is built well and with the right viral tools at the disposal of users (see tips), user-generated contests can be a great way to virally spread your marketing message. What is unique about contests is that entrants have an incentive to promote themselves in order to get the votes needed to win the contest. And as we’re learning, in a digital world with a lot of noise, consumers have a higher level of trust and interest in content referred by their friends. This provides brands with an amazing way to expose their message to a new audience of engaged consumers.
Photo, Video, and Essay Contests Build Community Around Your Brand – Creating a contest microsite with built-in social networking features provides the landscape for your customers to talk about the promotion. What’s a contest microsite you might ask? It’s a standalone web site or sub-section of your existing brand web site that is dedicated to the contest and fully customized to your look and feel. In addition to contest rules, guidelines, user entry forms and voting it should utilize key social features allowing visitors to share and interact with the contest entries and each other. Depending on the theme of your contest, this interactive conversation could be focused on your product or brand specifically or something with which you want your brand associated with.
They Allow for Safe Participation in Social Media – Some brands are reluctant to turn over control of their marketing to consumers for fear of what the masses might say. Contests can provide a great way for brands to safely participate in social media. By clearly outlining rules and guidelines for entering contests and making smart use of prescreen and moderation tools, your brand can remain protected.
Contests Grow Your Customer Email Database – Because of the viral nature of entrants reaching out to friends and family to promote entries, contests can be a great way to build your customer database for future marketing efforts. It goes without saying, however, that users must opt-in to receive future marketing messages.

The post Why UGC Contests Work for Marketing appeared first on Votigo Social Media Marketing & Promotions Blog.

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Frigo Cheeseheads – “Build a Bright Future” Contest

Frigo Cheeseheads – “Build a Bright Future” Contest

This is a really great concept that allows anyone to nominate a teacher by uploading a video or an essay explaining why their teacher should win.  Then there is a Votigo period to engage the community and finally the judges will announce the 60 winners!  Here is another post on Why UGC (user-generated content) Contests Work for Marketing.

http://cheeseheadsbrightfuture.com/

How it works

The UGC Gallery displays the video and essay thumbnails which allow users to expand to full size, vote, and share across social media.

Videos and essays

Enlarged view.

UGC full size view

Please enjoy checking it out and let us know if you have any thoughts or questions about the campaign.  Feel free to contact us to learn more about Votigo and how you can create one of these types of campaigns for you or your clients.

The post Campaign of the Week! Frigo Cheeseheads – “Build a Bright Future” Contest appeared first on Votigo Social Media Marketing & Promotions Blog.

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A Facebook Contest or Sweepstakes is a great way to generate more ‘likes’ for your brand, engage your audience and spread brand awareness. And the good news is, it doesn’t have to be complicated! Follow these 8 Steps for Running a Successful Facebook Contest or Sweepstakes and watch the entries roll in!

Step 1: State Your Objectives

Having a clear idea of what you want to accomplish with your promotion will help determine if a contest or a sweepstakes is right for your brand. For example, if a high number of entries is your goal, an enter-to-win sweepstakes is probably going to receive the most entries, since they have the lowest barrier to entry on the social promotions spectrum.

Step 2: Outline The Promotion Details

This includes defining the timing of your campaign, how winners will be determined, what your prize is, and a variety of other considerations. For example: What information do you want to collect during registration? How do you want to use that information down the line for future marketing purposes?

Step 3: Follow The Rules

When running a Facebook promotion, it’s important to follow their guidelines. The team here at Votigo makes it a point to stay completely on top of all of Facebook’s rules and regulations, and we’ll always make sure that the campaigns that you run with us comply with them. In addition to Facebook’s promotional guidelines, you’ll also want to make sure that you create your own contest or sweepstakes rules and make sure that you are compliance with any relevant state or federal regulations. This is also something that Votigo can help with so just let us know if you need that!

Step 4: Design Graphics

Depending on your specific promotion and what time of features you are using, this can vary from a simple header graphic to more advanced design and customization. Either way, a few general rules will always apply: Make sure the imagery is eye-catching and inviting to the user and make sure it conveys the important details for the campaign like how to enter, what you can win, etc…

Step 5: Launch!

Once your promotion has been designed and set up, it’s time to launch! Make sure you test the user flow to make sure it’s exactly how you want it, and that it’s clear for users to understand. Once all of these pieces are in place, it’s time to publish your promotion to your Facebook page and start getting more engagement with your fans!

Step 6: Promote Your Campaign

You’ll want to actively promote your promotion in order to get entries and votes. Rely on all the channels you typically use to communicate with your audience (like social media, email newsletter etc…) in order to let them know about the campaign.

Step 7: Moderate and Manage

After your promotion has launched, you need to continue to manage it. This will depend on the format of your campaign but for example, if you’ve asked people to submit photos in order to enter, part of your campaign management will involve pre-screening these photos to make sure they’re appropriate. You’ll also want to keep an eye on entries to make sure that they are coming in steadily, and adjust your promotion efforts accordingly if needed.

Step 8: Use the Results

Running a Facebook contest or sweepstakes is a great way to get leads and quality user-generated content, so make sure you use your results! Nurture new leads with an email campaign or another promotion. Get creative with how you use any photos or videos that were collected during the campaign. Use the information you collect during registration to learn more about your audience and tailor future marketing activations based on this knowledge.

Ready to put these tips into practice with your next Facebook promotion? Click here to speak with an Account Representative today!

The post How to Run an Amazing Facebook Sweepstakes or Contest in 8 steps appeared first on Votigo Social Media Marketing & Promotions Blog.

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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 –

NOTE: 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 steps below –

  1. Login to Votigo click the Social Channels tab, select the Instagram account and click the uninstall button.
  2. Install your Instagram business account
  3. Click the Campaigns tab, select your promotion, navigate to the Publish tab and unpublish / republish the promotion

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.

The post Instagram #Hashtag Promotions Update appeared first on Votigo Social Media Marketing & Promotions Blog.

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