Q&A with Jim Belosic and the ShortStack.com Team

Clients often come to us looking for ways to promote upcoming on-property events, approaches to positively advertise renovations, or creative ideas to highlight new amenities or special offers. Running a promotion is an excellent way to do all of the above… and more! If your hotel is going through an expansive overhaul, hosting a giveaway on Facebook could help get potential guests excited for a process that often times is burdensome to someone in the planning stages of travel. By giving away a two-night stay upon completion of the renovations, users will see the light at the end of the tunnel and build up excitement among their network, family, and friends.

Not only are promotions good for increasing brand awareness and developing brand advocates, they are an excellent way to boost engagement, gather feedback, collect leads, develop your email marketing list, and grow your following. Once the promotion has ended, this newly collected data can foster relationships (especially via email marketing efforts) and improve overall guest experience based on feedback you received. Bonus: Campaign entries make for great user generated content that can be shared across your social networks.

At Blue Magnet, we have implemented and managed many promotional giveaways for clients and are excited to announce that our process is now more efficient than ever thanks to our friends at ShortStack! To celebrate our launch of this new tool, we wanted to educate those interested in running a promotion about the options available and why this is an exciting development for our clients!

What do you want our clients to know about Shortstack?

First, the basics: ShortStack is a super versatile platform that’s used to build marketing campaigns — including contests, sweepstakes, landing pages and sign-up forms. We offer more than 100 DIY templates that users can quickly customize, using their own images. For our users with more advanced skills, such as CSS, ShortStack can be used to build very elaborate, interactive campaigns. The platform is flexible enough that it’s used by enterprise businesses as well as SMBs.

Why should our clients be excited about Shortstack?

Our users love how flexible ShortStack is, and how affordable. We also offer customer service that is way beyond what most people expect. We have customer support available seven days a week — including for free users. Our support teams gets kudos every day for their friendly service. So, flexibility and affordability, and service with a smile, are three things that our users appreciate.

What do you feel are the benefits of running Campaigns?

There are too many to count. Seriously. But here are some of the most important:

  • To boost SEO!
  • To build buzz around a new product or service. You can build a simple landing page Campaign to give your customers a focused overview on an upcoming launch, event or product.
  • To start and/or grow an email list. If you don’t already have an email list that you use frequently to communicate with your customers, a contest or similar Campaign is a great way to get one going.
  • To gather user-generated content. A recent article in Inc. magazine highlighted the effectiveness of user-generated content. When customers share their first-hand experiences with a brand, this essentially works as a word-of-mouth recommendation. And word-of-mouth is one of most effective ways to draw new customers to your company, as customers trust the recommendations of their friends and family.
  • To learn more about your existing customers’ wants and needs. It’s important to let your customers feel like they have a voice by giving them a chance to offer their opinions or ideas.
  • Encourage them to weigh in on a decision, such as picking the name of a new product, and you’ll engage them and get some valuable feedback for your brand.

What is your favorite/ most creative Campaign you’ve seen on Shortstack?

Around the holidays our multi-day giveaway template is always very popular and it’s fun to see what brands do with it. And our new “personality quiz” template — which allows you to build “Buzzfeed” style quizzes has been really popular lately — everyone wants to know what kind of “dog” they are!

What Campaign data do you recommend honing in on to increase overall effectiveness?

When a Campaign ends, the interesting work is just beginning. This is when you take the time to see how your Campaign performed — including things like how many views did it get? How many entries? If you were asking for demographic information, such as gender or zip code, ideally you wanted that info for a reason, so see what you can learn so you can fine-tune some things when you build your next Campaign. You should also pay attention to user flow. Did most people enter your Campaign from a mobile device? Was your Campaign really easy to view and enter on mobile? You’d be surprised at how many businesses don’t pay attention to this issue. And it’s one of the reasons that we always advise embedding Campaigns instead of — or at least in addition to– publishing them to Facebook. The Facebook mobile experience isn’t always great so you’ve got to make sure everyone can see your Campaigns from whatever device they’re on.

What is your preferred platform to host Campaigns on?

For the reasons noted above, we don’t recommend hosting or even promoting Campaigns on one specific network to the exclusion of others. For one thing, you miss out on a huge potential number of entrants if they have to be following you on, say, Facebook or Twitter, or wherever, in order to see your Campaign. We recommend hosting Campaigns on landing pages, or using iFrame code and embedding them on your existing website. Both of these options make the Campaigns universally accessible — and easy to navigate on mobile devices. We have case studies showing that embedding or using landing pages, multiplies the number of views and entries by tenfold — or more.

What are your favorite features?

Our Action Widget because it lets you set up unique “if this, then that” triggers. This means you can create unique experiences for your customers.

Any exciting, upcoming developments with the software?

We have a few new products nearing the beta stage of development. They’re natural extensions of ShortStack so we’re excited to expand our offerings!

Are You Ready to Run a Social Media Promotion?

The benefits of running a promotion are well worth the effort, time, and investment. In fact, one of the top reasons people engage with brands on social media is for incentives. Connecting with potential guests and social customers is crucial to success and having the knowledge and tools to do so is right at your fingertips. Let’s talk about your hotel’s goals and objectives and how they can be achieved through social media marketing; contact our team to learn more about creating compelling social campaigns for your hotel.

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