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Social media competitions: tips to run a successful Twitter giveaway

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Social media presents any blogger or business owner with an array of innovative and effective online marketing methods. One unique strategy that many companies are taking advantage of is Twitter competitions. This is a method which can reap huge rewards if implemented effectively.  It’s a method that I used to successfully grow my Twitter following when I originally had my online boutique.  I ran giveaways twice a week for a very long time and could grow my following by up to 1000 new followers for each giveaway I ran!

Of course, this is just one of many strategies that can be used when it comes to social media. There are so many ways you can utilise Twitter to promote your business and interact with potential customers.  It’s worth reading guides on how to be a successful social media manager in a month if you need some assistance. You could choose to pay someone to manage your social media accounts for you, but if you have time then it’s totally possible to learn to do it yourself. 

Twitter giveaways are really easy to host by yourself.  They are an effective marketing tool to spread the word about your Twitter account, business and products.  They’re also a great way to quickly grow your Twitter following.

Here are some pointers on how to run a successful Twitter giveaway:

Social media competitions tips to run a successful Twitter giveaway

The prize

It does not have to be anything substantial. There are competitions which give out anything from a lip liner to tea bags to an Amazon gift voucher. The only advice I would give is to make sure you opt for a product which suits your goals.

If you have a niche product and want to build a customer base that are interested in this very specific product then give away the product itself or something that appeals to your target audience.

If your aim is to build a more general twitter following or to get more website traffic from anyone, then a gift voucher to a store that appeals to the masses is a better idea. Mass product choice equals more traffic.

You will always get the ‘compers’ entering who might not specifically have any interest in the prize itself, but they just love entering competitions not matter what the prize is.  I’ve had many of these compers turn into real customers or readers of my blog.

I used to sell scarves for £9.99 and less and would often give away a scarf on a Monday and again on a Friday in Twitter giveaways.  These giveaways would regularly attract around 500 entrants!

The tweet

What do you need to include?  

Firstly, there are some rules around giveaways and it’s worth getting up to speed on the information that you legally have to include.  Lucky Di’s website is a great resource and there are plenty of other useful guides online.  So first things first, make sure you have some terms and conditions that specify some important things like the end date and time, how to enter, the prize, how to claim the prize, how long to claim the prize and who the giveaway is open to (e.g. the minimum age or which countries).

It can be too lengthy to include all this information in a single tweet, so I usually put a link to some giveaway terms and conditions on my website at the end of my tweet, or put as much information in the giveaway image as possible.

Aside from the legal stuff, here’s what you should include:

1) The prize

2) How to enter (at least ‘Follow and Retweet’)

3) A hashtag

4) An image and/or link to the product.

5) End date and time

Here is an example of one of my giveaways.  As you can see it got 681 entries (retweets) which is a potential 681 new followers and also customers!

tips to run a successful Twitter giveaway

Follow and Retweet

It is essential that you follow the format of ‘Follow and Retweet' to enter the giveaway. This means more people will start following your Twitter account. Moreover, it means that they will share this message with all of their followers to see!

Let’s dissect this a bit further…

The average Twitter user has 208 followers (Gigaom). Let’s say your giveaway is retweeted by 665 people. This means your giveaway tweet has the potential to reach approximately 138,320 people!

Of course, we are not naive enough to believe this number of people would have seen the message. Nevertheless, this is a clear indication that if you keep the frequent giveaways coming then your follower base will grow.

An innovative suggestion

If you are giving away a product from your own online company then run a giveaway whereby one lucky individual can win their favourite item from your store.

This is a great marketing technique I used when giving away my scarves.  Sometimes I’d give a scarf of my choice, but I also regularly let the winner choose their own prize from my online store.

To enter this style of Twitter giveaway they simply have to follow, retweet and also reply with the link to your product that they want to win. This method advertises your website with more traffic going to your online store and more eyes on your products. It can enhance your conversion rate too, as a selection of those who did not win will be tempted to purchase the product anyway!

tips to run a successful Twitter giveaway - item of choice

Choose the right day

My final tip today is to choose the right day to run your giveaway on Twitter.  Of course you can choose any day you please, but it’s more worthwhile running a Twitter giveaway on a Wednesday or Friday as these are specific giveaway and competition days on Twitter.

Use the hashtags #winitwednesday on a Wednesday to reach more people or on a Friday use the hashtag #FreebieFriday.

Lots of businesses run their giveaways on these days as they’ll get many more entrants as compers and Twitter users will be checking these specific hashtags on these days.

Then just add a couple of generic hashtags to your tweet like #win #prize and #comp to reach even more people.  Retweet your own tweet half way through the day for more visibility and add it to websites like Loquax, Competition Database and ThePrizeFinder to reach as many people as possible!

Final word

So there you have it; a simple yet effective method for any business owner or marketing manager to use in order to increase your followers on Twitter and consequently advertising your website.

Alternatively, you can also hire a blogger to host a giveaway for you to reach their audience!