Competitions on Twitter are on the rise, with more and more brands using these contests to engage their followers, boost traffic to their website and increase their following.
You won't have to search far on Twitter to see businesses offering their customers a chance to win prizes in the form of a 'Retweet To Win', a 'Follower Milestone' or a 'Creative answer'.
As with any strategy, companies will always having mixed feelings as to whether to implement it. So as a representative of BeeLiked, the platform that specialises in Twitter competitions, I'm going to talk you through the bad versus the good of Twitter contests, and hopefully help you see that the positives far out way the negatives.
Lets start with the negatives...
THE NEGATIVES OF TWITTER COMPETITIONS
It seems that the main reason some marketing managers are unsure on Twitter contests, is because they are concerned, that the new network they are building on their profile is simply following them because they give away free prizes.
Businesses argue they would rather have a person who followed them because they are interested in the brand, news and updates they provide, rather than someone who is simply following because they want to win free things.
Managers are concerned this route is essentially buying followers, and ends up providing them with a network that is less valuable. By running a competition with an amazing giveaway it means could end up with a whole load of followers who have little interest in you or what you tweet about, rather than a network of followers who are engaged and actively interested in your tweets.
Secondly, another reason many companies hold off on a Twitter competition, is because managing a campaign can often be extremely time consuming.
Brands have to save all entries into a database one by one and then pick the winners, which can often prove complicated. This involves a member of staff collecting all entries as they come in, and then once the campaign has ended, picking the winners out a hat or scrolling and stopping on a name.
THE POSITIVES OF TWITTER COMPETITIONS
Firstly, I think it's important to stress that running a Twitter competition is not just about boosting your followers. It's about engaging with your current audience, promoting the ethos of your brand, driving customers to your website and yes, it can help to build a larger audience of followers as well.
I think it's incorrect to argue that you can build the wrong network of followers by running a Twitter competition, as it all depends on the sector of the business.
Twitter contests may build the wrong network in the case of B2B (business to business) companies and perhaps news services, who want a specific Twitter audience. However, for B2C (business to consumer) who are trying to promote a product or service, simple competitions like a 'Follower Milestone' or a 'RT To Win' are perfect, quick contests, that can grow a new audience, who are learning about the brand and engaging with it.
As for prizes, if a competition is well thought-out and enjoyable to participate in, people often won't mind want the prize is - it's simply a bonus and an additional incentive for entering. For those brands running 'retweet to wins' where the campaign is more prize focused, then giving away stock is still positive as customers get a free use of the product, may love it, and then tell friends about it or buy it next time around. For information on prize ideas view my blog post on 'Twitter Competition Prize Ideas'.
The contests that really build awareness and boost revenue are ones that require some creative input from followers. Here's a great example of how a brand used a Twitter competition to interact with their followers, promote their brand and drive customers to their website:
Last year in 2011, Nando's; supplier of tangy, Peri-Peri chicken ran a competition called 'Nando's Noise'.
Fans were asked to create a video of a 'noise' that you would make when someone says 'Nandos'. Entrants were asked to upload their 'noise' to YouTube and then tweet or post their video to Nando's social media accounts. Fans could then vote on which 'noise' they wanted to win!
The best Nando’s noises were awarded the chance to star in the next set of their online and radio ads, as well as each ‘noisemaker’ getting £250 worth of Nando’s goodies. Check out the cheeky chappy who won it here
Obviously not everyone has the same budget and audience as Nandos, however if you look at the simplicity of the campaign, all entrants had to do, was create a short video of a 'noise', upload it to YouTube and then tweet it in.
Finally, as for the complexity of managing a Twitter competition and picking winners...
BEELIKED CAN HELP!
BeeLiked enables you to launch a range of Twitter competitions within minutes, manage and moderate entries with minimal hassle and then pick winners at random in our easy to use competition suite. Why not check it out here