Twitter contests are a fantastic way to market your brand, their simplicity means they're easy for both you and your users and they're inexpensive and fun. Your audience is already active on the platform, so all you really need is a good idea to get people involved. We've listed our top tips to help you make the most of it:
Think about what kind of twitter contest you want to run
The most important first step is to figure out what kind of contest you want to run. Whether you're looking at a simple retweet to win, a caption competition or a poll - what kind of campaign you go for will have a huge impact on the logistics of how it's run, so think very carefully before deciding.
Here's some of the things you should think about before deciding:
•How will people notice your campaign? How many tweets will you have to send out for the competition and how will the data be collated? If you're running an RT to Win you will need to think about the amount and the timings of all tweets to get a good response
•If you're running a caption competition for example, you'll need to stipulate if you're only including direct replies into the contest or if @mentions will also be counted.
•If you're running an RT to Win, you'll need to figure out how many times to send out the tweet and find a good way of collecting all the RTs together - believe me, manually will take a while!
Come up with a clear goal
What is the point of your campaign? Are you trying to achieve something in particular? Think long and hard about what result you're looking for and be careful about focussing on follower numbers
There's a real focus on expanding your Twitter base and attracting more followers and certainly that's important, but what's more significant is how interested your followers are in what you have to offer. If you attract thousands more people to your profile but they aren't interested in what you're selling, then what's the point? The most vital thing is to make your campaign relevant to your brand and interesting, so that it always attracts the correct clientèle.
Follow to win contests are an interesting example, while it may seem like a good idea and a quick way of building your following it can backfire very easily. It's so easy to follow and unfollow accounts, so even if you gain a huge number of new followers there's no telling how many of them will just immediately unfollow you once the competition ends. Even if they don't unfollow you, you still don't know how interested they are in your brand.
It's much better, in my humble opinion, to just stick to trying to attract a quality Twitter base.
Set out the foundations
Landing pages can be especially important for Twitter campaigns.
It can be difficult to get across your campaign idea and all the rules and regulations in 140 characters - so creating a dedicated page to explain your concept, set out the terms and even feature a hive of entries to inspire other users is a good idea.
Laying the foundations to your contest in this way gives you an excellent platform to build your campaign from, along with reducing the risk of people missing your tweets.
Don't worry about doing this yourself, there's great software which can help
Beware of cheating
One of the major issues you'll come across with Twitter campaigns are the number of people who attempt to beat the system. It is relatively easy to do on Twitter, by simply creating multiple accounts and entering a large number of times entrants can give themselves an unfair advantage. This effect is most disastrous if you allow your users to vote on entries.
The effects can be terrible, your users would lose all faith in your company if they knew you had allowed cheating to occur (even if you were unaware of it), so make sure to set out your rules on number of entries and cheating. Perhaps more importantly, never let a winner be chosen by popular vote, you can definitely narrow your options down in this way, but make sure to pick the winner yourself or with a few other judges.
So there you go!
Our very easy tips for running an excellent Twitter campaign! Take a look at some brilliant examples of successful campaigns here