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Customer Review: Shortstack designs campaigns, contests and product galleries for social media


ShortStack is an app for designing social media campaigns, including contests, sweepstakes, product galleries, and contact forms. Clients can fully customize design, theme, style, font, content, entry restrictions, data collection, and more. 

The app includes multiple sharing and engagement features and the ability to push data to Highrise, MailChimp, AWeber, and Constant Contact. It also integrates with Google Analytics, Google Maps, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Monthly cost ranges from $29 to $499. A 20% discount is offered with an annual plan.

Matthew Knell, VP of social media and community strategy at About.com, has been using ShortStack for nearly a year.

How do you use it?
ShortStack is a great, cost effective way to grow and engage our Facebook audience through sweepstakes and giveaways and to build email lists for our newsletters.

We log on to the tool and create a new campaign. We usually create some custom content and brand it for our audience. Then we select the fields we want to capture for our users, and the campaign is good to go.

ShortStack provides a lot of flexibility. You can customize what each page of a promotion will look like, and you can create a custom thank you page for recirculation messaging. You can also customize share messaging. ShortStack lets you snap together all the components you want relatively easily.  

Having a little tech knowledge helps when setting up a campaign, but ShortStack offers a lot of prefab templates as well. It’s flexible in terms of ability to build custom images, videos, form fields, and share opportunities. The ability to create exactly what you want is great for us and for potential advertisers who want to work with us.

If we have a problem we submit tickets to ShortStack’s support team via email. I’ve reached out to them via Twitter as well. We always get a response within the day, and usually within a couple of hours.

How does it serve your business needs? 
When I started at About.com in July 2013, social media wasn’t as much of a focus for the company as it is now, so our audience is still relatively small. Audience acquisition is really important to us. We want to grow additional audiences in aggregate and at our brand level.

We’re relaunching many of our verticals, such as health, food, and home. It’s important for us to grow audiences for the main About.com Facebook page and for all of our vertical Facebook pages. 

The ability to create custom promotions with calls to action allows us to acquire people at much less expense than buying likes. It also lets us understand more about our audiences because we can ask them custom, simple questions about their interests and other topics, which we can’t ask when buying Facebook ads.

We hosted a tax day sweepstakes this year for our money channel. We gave away gift cards. The sweepstakes doubled that channel’s audience in about a week and a half. 

We also did a holiday/winter break sweepstakes for our education channel in which we gave away a Chromebook laptop. Our education channel’s audience more than doubled in a about a week through that promotion.

We haven’t tried this yet, but you can also build a sweepstakes around a website rather than on a Facebook page. 

What are the main benefits?
Flexibility. It’s really easy to customize components. ShortStack is willing to help you build anything you want. Integration is super easy, we don’t have to involve our tech team. Our marketing team can do everything.

It’s really inexpensive for what we get out of it. It’s considerably less expensive than other options, and it’s just as flexible, if not more so. 

What are the main drawbacks?
It requires perhaps a bit more technical knowledge to customize campaign components, but technical knowledge is certainly not required to use the app. 

What would you like to see improved/added? 
Integration with Twitter would be nice. The reporting is good, but ShortStack could make it more user-friendly to create presentations from reports. These are small things. For the price it does everything I need it to do.

Offerpop: allows clients to easily run photo contests, referral programs, sweepstakes, and curated collections on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Oracle Social Cloud: provides a suite of social listening, engaging, publishing, and analytics tools.

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