Are you looking for a new, interactive way to engage your target audience? A Twitter contest may be the answer. A successful social media contest can do many things for your brand – increase followers, drive engagement, create brand awareness, and more. With Twitter specifically, there is the added bonus of your content potentially going viral.
All of these elements can add up to one winning combination. Here are 5 tips to create, promote and manage a successful Twitter contest or sweepstakes:
- Follow the rules: Make sure to do your due diligence and review rules and guidelines as stated by Twitter. For example, do not encourage participants to tweet duplicate updates or links for added entries. Phrases such as “whoever retweets the most wins!” go against Twitter best practices and should be avoided. Make sure to include all guidelines and stipulations in a “fine print” section somewhere on the entry page or within marketing materials. Be transparent about the contest rules – and make sure to follow them yourself – to start your contest off right.
- Craft a compelling message: There should be no limits to the creativity of your Twitter contest – just make sure it aligns with your brand mission and will appeal to your customers. Consider the reasons why you want to do a contest. Why do you want to do it through Twitter? Why now? What are your goals? The answers to these simple questions will help you narrow in on a message that will resonate with your customers. For example, your contest could be timed with a product launch or upcoming holiday. Everything from the contest language to the hashtag to the prize should be aligned with the message and your ultimate goals.
Helpful hint: Make sure to check your desired hashtag on Twitter to see if it’s already in use (you probably want to use a hashtag that isn’t already tied to other conversations).
- Determine contest logistics: Once you’ve crafted the message and goals for your Twitter contest, it’s time to focus on the details. What exactly do people need to do to enter? How many times can they enter? What if they don’t have Twitter – will you give them another way to enter? How long will the contest go on? How will you keep track of entries? It’s critical to nail down these details before the contest launches so you don’t overlook anything.
Twitter only lets you see hashtag results for a week or so. If you plan to use a hashtag to monitor your sweepstakes, you’ll need to keep an eye on the hashtag regularly. Otherwise, you can ask users to include an @reply in their tweet. If the updates include @username mention to you, you’ll be able to see all the updates in your Mentions timeline.
- Actively engage with entrants: You will likely track your Twitter contest entries once the campaign has started. Don’t be a bystander. Get involved. Re-tweet. Comment. Engage with people participating in YOUR contest. This will encourage others to enter and recognize those who have already done so who may be even more inclined to continue to engage with you once they get an initial response.
A powerful example of this is Punchbowl’s #AdiosEvite sweepstakes, which encourages participants to say goodbye to Evite® and hello to Punchbowl. To enter the contest, people simply need to send a tweet about why they don’t like Evite and include the #AdiosEvite hashtag for a chance to win $ 1,000. Punchbowl has been successful in re-tweeting some of their favorite reasons – which acknowledges the entry as well as helps to spread the word to others. The company has also replied to select participants’ tweets with words of agreement.
- Maintain momentum: You’ve just launched a well-planned Twitter contest – now what? The initial burst of entries will be exciting, no doubt, but it should not cause you to sit back and wait for them to continue to appear. Engage all aspects of marketing to keep the contest entries rolling in past the initial launch. Support the Twitter contest with cross-marketing to social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Leverage your email list to drive entries. And find ways to promote the contest on your website, possibly through a thoughtfully designed landing page with a clear call to action.
Follow these five tips to build and maintain a successful Twitter contest or sweepstakes. If your brand is satisfied with the result, the Twitter contest can easily be repeated with different messaging and prizes throughout the year.