The Secret to Running a Successful Twitter Competition

Hands up if you love Twitter competitions. We do too! Who doesn’t love the chance to win something for free? For brands, competitions are a whole different ball game. The truth is, every time you give something away for free, you need to be sure it’s worth it. It’s very easy to waste your precious time and money on something which frankly has no benefits. Worry not! Before you tear up your plans for world domination by way of social media prize giveaway, we’ve got some advice that’ll help you #win at it. Here's how to run a successful Twitter contest.

The secret to running a successful Twitter competition


Outline Your Goal

Like everything in business, you need a goal to aim at. What do you actually want to achieve? We’re going to stick our neck out here and say it’s something along the lines of higher engagement, more followers, higher traffic, more conversions or even just greater brand awareness. Now you’ve settled on the end result, you need to make a competition that’ll get you there.

Pick a Prize

Ergh, are you really trying to shift that old stock no one wants to buy? That’s not going to get anyone’s juices flowing. Pick a prize that’s irresistible. We’re talking about something that showcases your brand, something that people just can’t help but retweet. Remember a retweet is free marketing, be sure you’re displaying the best your brand has to offer. 
Now, before you get carried away we’re going to interject with a little advice from Social Media Examiner. It sounds great to give away something like an iPad, who doesn’t want a free iPad? But (and it is a big but) “it’s unlikely to generate long-term gains or brand engagement unless your company offers iPad related products or services”. Basically, make sure it’s impressive but relevant to your company.

Entry Requirements

Okay, so you’ve got your prize and we’re all chomping at the bit to win it. Where do we enter? Now this is really up to you but it’s important to consider it properly. You’ve got two main routes with this one.
You can ask people to ‘retweet and follow’ you. Which is simple, easy and stress free, the world and its dog are going to get involved. Exciting times! But is your company actually targeting the world and its dog? There are lots of people out there who are purely interested in winning competitions. They’ll retweet you but never look at your brand again. Great for exposure, poor on retention.
Alternatively, you can get creative – sounds like fun doesn’t it? You can ask people to be inventive and send in pictures or quirky ideas. The best one wins. But will anyone actually enter? And will anyone actually retweet you? Will it actually be worth it or will it all fall a little flat? This isn’t always going to be the case though it could cause difficulties for you. 

Influencer Awareness

Want to give your competition a push in the right direction? A great way to get the ball rolling is for influencers to share it on Twitter. Now let’s get this clear from the start. By influencer, we’re not talking about Kim Kardashian or Joey Essex. The chances are, these guys aren’t going to come cheap and they’ll probably just be a waste of money anyway. Your ideal influencer will be someone who’s directly relevant to your brand and has a loyal following. If you’re struggling to get someone’s attention, share their content, get your name on their notification feed. Be realistic about who you target, bloggers are perfect influencers.

Analyse Performance

Oh we do love analytics. Everything we do is data driven so it’s only right to help you here too. Your competition metrics should be checked every day. Look at Google Analytics and be sure you understand the figures you’re met with. Observe the level of traffic to the competition landing page and use the ‘Source/Medium’ option to see where this is actually coming from. Don’t stop here, delve into the juicy details surrounding behaviour and page engagement. What does the bounce rate look like? How long is spent on each page? How many pages per visit are there? 
If you want to achieve something specific like registrations, now’s the chance to monitor it. Notice the trends which are occurring and the interest you receive. If you’re not on course to achieve your goal, take action and adjust your approach. 

How to run a successful Twitter competition


A Tasty Example

We didn’t want to preach advice to you without showing you how this actually works in the real world. For this we’re going to introduce you to our friends Eatapas. They’re an online retailer of high quality, authentic Spanish food and wine. Now we’ll keep this brief because we know we’ve just made you hungry. Before you run off to buy some tapas we’ll explain how we worked with this company on a successful Twitter competition. 
The brand was approaching their second anniversary and wanted to mark the event with a contest. After a little bit of discussion, we understood the main objective was to obtain registrations to their site. So to enter the competition, users were required to retweet a picture, follow the account and sign up for free on their website. 
We took a multi-channel approach to the competition. Yes it’s a Twitter contest but that doesn’t mean marketing activities should just stick to that channel. We used Facebook ads, content marketing and a nicely designed email campaign too. Twitter direct message campaigns came in handy here. We then sought out a few of our food blogger friends and asked them to share the competition. 
The concept received lots of attention. We did however notice that after a few days, registrations were not rising as fast as they should be. We looked again and realised that many people were overlooking the registration process. We decided to change our approach. We tweeted regularly about the free sign-up and how important it was. We also contacted users who retweeted our posts to remind them to register. 
We employed some rather tantalising growth hacking techniques to get the campaign back on track. We’re talking about the small wins that pile up to make a rather succulent end result. We split tested the direction of traffic to compare the difference between sharing the blog landing page link or a link to the registration section. We optimised our call-to-actions to ensure we put greater emphasis on the importance of signing up. We also cross linked from other pages, older blog posts and even a few select third party sites.
After these efforts we saw a monumental rise in site registrations, far more than the guys at Eatapas had expected. A pretty tasty result all round.
Eatapas Registrations Competition

Quick Tips

Whether you’re running a Twitter campaign and need some assistance, or simply skimmed this article to the sparkly bullet points labelled ‘Quick Tips’. Here are some useful points to follow:
  • Unique hashtags – add a unique hashtag to every comp tweet #NetleadzGiveaway.
  • Create a landing page – direct traffic to a landing page for your competition.
  • State your rules – we know rules can be boring but no one likes a cheat.
  • Piggyback – ride the wave of trending hashtags, just make sure they’re relevant.
  • Tease the crowd – send out teaser tweets beforehand.
  • Include a visual aid – it’s important to use a high quality image to share with your competition. Keep it on brand and unique
  • Use an effective call-to-action – your tweet is likely to be shared on many different timelines, be sure your CTA is strong and appropriate.
  • Don’t just Tweet the competition – it’s easy to forget your loyal following, don’t lose them by solely Tweeting about the competition.
  • Share the competition on relevant sites – your Twitter competition needn’t be solely on Twitter. Seek out relevant competition sites and submit yours.
  • Influencer involvement – if you can get an influencer involved in your competition then you’re likely to see a big jump in popularity. Just be sure they’re directly relevant to your brand.
  • Announce winners and share the love – create a bit of envy among your followers by praising the winner and sharing pictures of the prize. This’ll boost future comp engagement figures.
  • Be fair.
Forget the hassle of running a Twitter competition on your own, let us help you. We offer a whole host of digital marketing services that’ll help boost your reach, visibility, relevancy and authority. Find out more about our full range of services here.

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