Running A Twitter Competition

Twitter, like Facebook, has become a popular place for competitions. Brands/retailers/individuals use competitions to attract more followers and to get their messages retweeted time and time again. This can be quite effective and very easy to set up! Once the comping community has seized upon a promotional tweet it's pretty quick to spread amongst a number of followers.

Before embarking on a Twitter competition it's important that you do check Twitter's Guidelines.

Examples of Twitter Competitions

  • Follow us to enter a prize draw.
  • Retweet a message to enter a prize draw.
  • Respond to a tweet to enter.
  • Prize awarded to X follower.
  • First person to reply wins.

Example Tweets

1. Follow @sitename for your chance to win a chance to win a (prize). Link to rules. Ends xx/xx/xx. #hashtag"

2. Win a (prize). Follow @sitename and RT this message to enter. Link to rules. Ends xx/xx/xx. #hashtag"

3. Tweet us with #hashtag and tell us your favourite item on our site. Link to rules. Ends xx/xx/xx."

Top Tips

We advise against running "prize awarded to X follower" and "x person to reply wins" competitions. The latter is unfair whilst the former results in people unfollowing/following the nearer you get to your goal. It also doesn't reward the followers you've already accumulated.

We also advise that you have some terms and conditions of entry - and make sure your followers are aware of them by posting this along with your competition tweets. This protects you (if there are any problems) and protects entrants. Twitter competitions will attract a lot of compers! If that's something you wish to avoid then don't run an easy competition! The easier it is to enter then the more likely you'll get serial retweeters and followers.

In our view Twitter competitions shouldn't always be about increasing followers or getting your tweet repeated over and over again. Consider being more interactive with your followers, perhaps asking them to visit your site and pick a favourite item! This will mean less entries but a higher level of social interactivity!

Always include a unique hashtag as this makes tracking entries and picking a winner a little easier!

Picking A Winner

Just scrolling through your tweets and stopping is not a fair way to pick a winner! If possible you should save entires to a database and pick a winner at random. A good reason for doing this is if you run a competition that's several weeks long you may find that you're unable to retrieve all the entries from Twitter's API - and that makes picking a winner fairly a tough task.

If you have the techie know how then that's great otherwise you could look at something like Competwition to help you. Other tools that might be useful for picking winners are Twitrand and Tweetaways.

When you've picked your winner make sure you're following them so that they contact you via DM. Make sure your winner has adhered to your terms and conditions before announcing them too - if other followers discover that your winner has entered multiple times for a "one tweet only" competition then they won't be shy in telling you.

In Brief..

  • Decide what you want your competition to achieve!
  • Create a page on your site explaining the competition and rules
  • Make sure you can collect all entries.
  • Always include a unique hashtag!
  • Pick a winner fairly and make sure they've played fairly.
  • Follow the winner so they can contact you.
  • Consider being more interactive than just getting more followers.
  • Tweet @loquax and tell us about your competition!

Time for Twitter to Improve Contest Guidelines
12 Top Tips for Running Twitter Competitions

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