10 Steps to Running An Awesome Twitter Contest

Twitter contests are a great tactic for increasing your online presence, but are often underutilized by brands. Not only are they simple to run, but are also fantastic for increasing your Twitter visibility and an awesome way to acquire new followers.

Although a Twitter contest itself is not that tricky, there are some recommended steps to keep in mind that will help you drive a successful and optimized contest.

Here are the ten steps that I feel can help make a good Twitter contest into a great one:

1. Set Objectives

Without objectives, it’s impossible to judge success. Consider what your goals are for the contest and how you want it to impact your brand. Is it new followers you’re after? More retweets? Acquiring email leads?

2. Check Twitter Guidelines

Be sure to read the guidelines for contests on Twitter. While Twitter are pretty flexible with their regulations, you want to ensure you avoid any complications or difficulties down the line by staying within the guidelines.

3. Make Entry Easy

The easier the entry process, the more entries you can expect. Keep it short and simple – one-click entry (just a retweet, for example) or providing a tweet for them to simply copy and paste are both great entry tactics.

4. Optimize Brand Visibility

Make sure you are optimizing your visibility by ensuring that all contest tweets include a mention of your brand. Additionally, you can consider including a link to your site and you could even create your own hashtag.

5. Join Forces

One thing to keep in mind is how you are going to get the word out on Twitter about your contest. Use a Twitter tool like Crowdbooster to determine some of your most influential followers, and reach out to them to see if they might help you spread the word.

6. Choose Prizes

Prizes are obviously an important part of any contest: will there be one big prize? Several small ones? In my experience, giving away small prizes regularly is a great tactic for Twitter – ensuring the contest remains interactive and engaging throughout.

7. Vary Promotional Tweets

No doubt that your biggest form of promotion will be via Twitter itself. One top tip is to vary the time you publish contest tweets and the language you use. Testing like this will allow you to optimize your reach and find out when your audience is most receptive.

8. Choose Promotion Channels

Other than Twitter, consider where else you can promote the contest. Can you cross-promote on Facebook? LinkedIn? Perhaps you contribute to a blog and could write a post, or know of other bloggers or marketers that can help out? Think outside-of-the-box and be creative.

9. Build Excitement

Make your community aware that you will be running the contest in order to build excitement. This could involve “taster tweets”, which highlight the prizes you’ll be giving away, or tweets which countdown to the contest start.

10. Analyze results

Finally, be sure to monitor the contest and analyze the results. The metrics you measure will depend on your objectives, but considerations would be followers, @ mentions, retweets and impressions to name just a few. Find out what worked (and what didn’t) to ensure that your next Twitter contest is even bigger and better!

Have you ever run a Twitter contest? Is there anything you would add to this list?

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