NMA Asks If Competitions on Twitter Are Spam!

August 5th, 2009

Competitions on Twitter are the subject of an interesting article on The NMA. They ask if brands risk being labeled as spammers if they run competitions on Twitter and cite recent examples from Moonfruit and Mpora.

The article is very interesting and has plenty of valid points. The best part of the piece comes from We Are Social who suggest that “brands would have to ask people to be creative” in order to use Twitter effectively as a competition channel.

One of the best competitions we’ve seen was from Twitter legend Stephen Fry who asked for tweets, that made sense, for his L competition and we’d like to see more of that ilk.

At the moment retweets or using hashtags, often aimlessly, seems to be the way most competitions run. Mpora and Moonfruit for example were appended to thousands of tweets – something that may well be classed as Twitter spam! Interestingly, in The NMA article, Wendy Tan White, marketing director at Moonfruit suggests the “spam” annoyance of competwitiions is much less of an issue in the US than the UK!

One competition site that has tried to be innovative with Twitter is Scramble although this has been overlooked in The NMA piece. Scramble works by asking it’s visitors to tweet a product they would like and then have their friends retweet. The item with the most tweets in a selected time wins.

Whilst at first glance this is a very impressive competition it has inherent issues with user spam and also demonstrates that entrants aren’t willing to tweet quite possibly as the site expected. The good news is that Scramble are scrambling for a solution and are adapting accordingly. In fact they are actually a good reflection for all Twitter competitions.

It’s still early days and therefore there will be problems that need to be overcome. With a few tweaks, a bit of creativity and innovation hopefully competitions and twitter can sit comfortably together.

However, it does seem unlikely that retweet and hashtag competitions will just disappear and it will be interesting to see how Twitter and the Twitter community react to the growing number of competitions.

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