About the Post

Author Information

Twitter Contests

The types of Twitter contests

Right now – and this changes quickly – there are four main types of the simple Twitter contest: sign-up forms, follower gathering, retweets, and hashtags. There are certainly others, but these seem to be the most popular at the moment.

Sign-up forms are a fairly old-school tactic that encourage people to sign up to be entered to win a prize. It’s a quick, easy way to build your contact list for newsletters and company mailings. People can be hesitant to enter email addresses or even Twitter names for fear of spam, so be clear why you’re collecting contact info and what you will do with it.

Follower gathering is a Twitter version of the traditional “when we reach X goal you win” promotion. In this case, participants are eligible to win when the target Twitter account reaches a certain number of followers. Followers are encouraged to tell their friends to follow the target account.  The more complex contests involve multiple goal tiers with increasingly valuable prizes.  Sometimes these can seem like blatant popularity contests, so think carefully with your wording of contest rules.

Retweets are one of the best forms of viral marketing on Twitter. They are fast and simple and they put your message in front of your followers’ followers.  The goal is to get your followers to promote your promotion for you. Everyone who retweets the promotional tweet is entered to win. The trick with this kind of contest is to make the promotional tweet as interesting, valuable and transparent as possible. People don’t want to spam their followers any more than you do.

Hashtags are another way you get your followers to promote your contest for you.  On Twitter, a hashtag is a hyperlinked keyword. Any word that starts with a pound sign (#) becomes a hashtag, which becomes a clickable link to all other mentions of that word. It’s instant advertising; if that hashtag shows up in someone’s Twitter stream, that person can click on it and see everything everyone else has said with that hashtag. If someone sees a particular hashtag often enough, they’re likely to use it themselves. This type of contest can work very well, as Moonfruit saw recently, if you allow users to tweet whatever they want as long as they use the hashtag. The catch here is that they might tweet negative or totally unrelated things with the hashtag.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply