Twitter competitions are a highly effective form of generating buzz and engaging with your audience online. Not only can a Twitter campaign increase your followers and traffic to your website, but a well thought-out Twitter competition can significantly push awareness of your brand, as well as boost revenue in your venue or store.
But, with so many different possibilities for a Twitter campaign, which concepts are the best for leveraging a competition's reach and uptake?
Here are 5 great examples of effective Twitter competition strategies to help you make your mind up...
1. Follower Milestone
The Follower Milestone helps to increase your followers on Twitter. This is a good strategy for a campaign when you are nearing a landmark figure on Twitter. You can set a follower target for example '1000 Followers' and ask people to Tweet you guessing the time and date you will reach this milestone. People can then continue to tweet in days and times to increase their chances of winning
Lord Sugar recently ran this type of competition on his personal Twitter account. He asked his followers to tweet him the exact time and date he would reach his 2 millionth follower, with the hashtag #2MLORD. The lucky follower who guessed nearest to the correct time and date won a signed copy of his new book.
Here's example of a tweet to Sugar. "@Lord_Sugar you will reach 2 million on may 23 at 5 pm #2MLORD by the way you are fab and sexy and I enjoy reading your tweets please RT."
Although you may not be Lord Sugar and already have an audience of millions, this strategy is great as you are engaging your current audience at the same time as increasing your following, all within a short period of time.
This type of competition is where winners are chosen at random through a 'lucky draw'. This concept is usually carried out via one of two methods, a lucky tweet with a hashtag, or an 'RT to win'.
a) Lucky Tweet (#Hashtag) Competitions:
For this campaign, each tweet that contains your chosen hashtag and @mentions your twitter username is entered into the draw.
For example, a restaurant could create a sweepstake 'hashtag campaign' as followes..
To celebrate the big unmentionable sporting event being held this summer in London, we are giving away free mains to 3 lucky followers. Tweet us with #goodsport to be entered!
@TheMillPub Loving the offer, and I love the venue. Hope to win a free meal! #goodsport
b) Retweet To Win
This is one of the most popular competitions on Twitter as it's simple but effective. As the name suggests, entrants are asked to retweet you to be in with a chance of winning. Much like the hashtag sweepstake, after the duration of the campaign has ended, the winner will be picked at random from all retweets.
Here's a nice example of a 'RT to win' competition from Doritos, their tweet was retweeted over 500 times.
3. Twitter Poll
A question and answer campaign is very straight-forward. All you need to do is create a question and then post it on Twitter. Entrants then simply have to reply with the right answer. Winners could be selected in a sweepstake form from the correct answers, or possibly through the fastest time.
This may not be the most creative type of competition, however, it is a form of engaging your followers and there are a number of fun, interesting questions you can ask your audience. People will also then continue you to visit your Twitter page to look for questions.
All entrants must @mention you in their tweet as well as reply with the correct answer. Each possible answer you give should use a hashtag for example:
To win a free night in our hotel - answer this question. In which year did the hotel open? #1951 #1967 #1969 or #1971 - Tweet us now!
This type of competition could also be used to get suggestions and feedback for your venue, for-instance this could be used to vote for a new cocktail or a perhaps a new dish.
Frito-Lay's crisps are currently running a social media campaign to develop a new potato chip flavor, which, in the old days, would have involved a series of focus groups, research and trend analysis.
Today, they are using Facebook, where visitors and fans are asked are asked to suggest new flavors and click an “I’d Eat That” button to register their preferences.
This type of poll competition is brilliant as it tells you exactly what customers are interested in. You could easily change this idea to work on Twitter, giving different #hashtag options for followers tweet to in. You could then create an incentive for people to participate, by offering the customers who choose the winning product a free sample or perhaps enter all entrants who tweeted an answer into a sweepstake to win a special prize.
4. QR Codes
Quick response or ‘QR’ codes are the latest craze to grab customer’s attention on a number of promotional materials. The codes are great for use on posters, business cards, leaflets and menus, acting as a method to turn passive people into active customers.
The codes, once scanned by a smart phone take customers to a bespoke URL that is selected by the company, this is often simply the customer website. However, why not use a QR code to drive traffic to a competition landing page on your website or Facebook Page.
For example, a bar could give out a card with a QR code with every drink. The code once scanned could take the customer to the bar's website that has a question on it, or perhaps instead plays clip of music (this could be done using SoundCloud). The guest has to then tweet the answer to the bar's Twitter handle for a chance to win a three-course-meal or a round of drinks.
QR codes for competitions have endless possibilities as they can take users to any URL. They are also a fun, and highly interactive method of engaging with your customers.
5. Creative Answer To Win
In a ‘creative answer’ competition, followers are asked to participate by answering a question from you using a hashtag. The answers need to be as creative as possible, and the winners and their ideas will be chosen by you.
People love it when they can actively get involved with a campaign and use their creativity and humor in order to win prizes. This type of campaign could simply ask a fun question about your brand or perhaps could be a innovative idea that you want your audience to participate in.
Olympic sponsor Innocent smoothies recently ran a 'creative answer' competition on Twitter titled 'Tweet For A Seat’. The smoothie specialists offered followers the chance to win seats to different London 2012 events, every day for a period of two weeks.
Fans were asked to tweet innocent (@innocentdrinks) saying who they would take with them and why, using the #tweetforaseat hashtag.
Each morning, the brand would look back at the tweets from the previous day and pick its favourite, based on ‘originality, creativity and humorous tweets'.
There are a number of Twitter competition strategies out there for you to choose from. Once you have decided on a concept, make sure it is clear and simple for people to enter, and then start spreading the word!
Once your competition is up and running, don't neglect it. Make sure to thank users for entering, tweet out and remind people to enter and retweet the best entries, (where relevant) to create some buzz and show others what they are missing out on!
If your company's own Twitter account doesn't have many followers, why not partner with another company and jointly run a competition?
Need help picking a winner for your competition? Just scrolling through your tweets and stopping is not a fair way to pick a winner! If possible you should save entries to a database and pick a winner at random.
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