How To Run Effective Twitter Competitions & Giveaways

Twitter Competition

Twitter competitions are a superb way to engage your audience and gain new followers. Unsure where to start with your promotion? Follow our guide to pick up the important rules, tips and strategies you need to know in order to run the perfect Twitter promotion!

How do you create a Twitter giveaway?

Firstly, you need to think about your goal: why are you running your competition? Do you want to…

  • Boost engagement?
  • Increase followers?
  • Build brand awareness?
  • Reward and incentivise customer loyalty?

Maybe you want to achieve all of the above… Either way, you’re thinking along the right tracks by considering a Twitter competition. The objective of your Twitter contest will more than likely determine your entry requirements…

Twitter Competition Ideas

If it’s Twitter engagement and/or followers that you seek, your best bet is to create a captivating contest that requires people to complete one or two of the following actions:

  • Follow you – A straightforward action that’s doable with the simple click of a button. This has its positives and negatives. On the one hand, people are likely to do it as it requires little effort, but this can also mean that you attract the wrong type of engagement: people that are just looking for free stuff, not the values that come with your content. This is why we recommend another entry requirement on top of this one…
  • Retweet you – Again, a simple action, but retweeting shows a little more loyalty as those who enter are allowing your content to appear on their own timelines. The more retweets your content gets, the more people see it and therefore the more brand awareness and engagement you receive.
  • Reply to your tweet – This would be the safest bet in our eyes, as it challenges people to fully understand and appreciate your content. Maybe you could ask a quiz question or allow them to take part in a Twitter-based survey or challenge; this way, they feel a part of your brand and you can use their tweets for a bit of user-generated content in the form of a blog.
  • Use a hashtag/mention your Twitter handle – An additional requirement you could whack into the above is to ask entrants to use a unique, campaign-themed hashtag based on your brand. If you also encourage them to mention your Twitter handle in your tweet, these are two simple measurement tactics you can use to discover who has entered your contest and what people are saying about your brand. Who knows, it may even get you a Twitter Moment or result in your brand trending!

Twitter Competition Rules

Twitter Competition Rules

Now comes the boring bit… As is the case with most social media giveaways, there are rules you have to abide by when running Twitter competitions.

“We believe that everyone should have the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers. In order to protect the experience and safety of people who use Twitter, there are some limitations on the type of content and behaviour that we allow.”

Twitter Rules & Policies

As the above quote suggests, Twitter’s competition guidelines are not too restrictive. Unlike Facebook’s Competition Rules, the social network does allow brands to incentivise the act of following, tagging and overall engaging with your content as an entry requirement.

The only rules Twitter explicitly provide in terms of the content of contests and giveaways are:

1) Discourage the creation of multiple accounts

Creating multiple accounts for the purpose of generating numerous contest entries goes against Twitter’s Guidelines For Promotions. Therefore, your competition should explicitly discourage this by including “a rule stating that anyone found to use multiple accounts to enter will be ineligible.”

Twitter is always on the lookout for duplicate accounts and will suspend those it finds suspicious.

2) Discourage posting the same Tweet repeatedly

As is the case with Twitter accounts, duplicate tweets are also “a violation of the Twitter rules” as they jeopardize search quality. This means that identical or near identical updates from the same account will be “automatically filtered out of Twitter search“, which certainly does not help in terms of your brand awareness and engagement.

To protect yourself against this, we advise that you limit entries to one per person and avoid things like “whoever retweets this the most times wins” or “most uses of this hashtag wins”.

3) Content Boundaries – Intellectual Property

When running a competition on Twitter, you want your visual content to grab people’s eye, forcing them to stop scrolling on their timeline and take notice. However, you also need to abide by the Twitter rules when it comes to intellectual property.

The social network reserves “the right to suspend accounts or take appropriate action when someone’s brand or trademark, including business name and/or logo, is used in a manner that may mislead or confuse others”.

While it’s always best to use original, unique content (in the form of your own photos, graphics and/or videos), if you do need to use someone else’s, make sure you comply with the following policies:

Picking the winner of your Twitter Competition

Twitter Competition Winner

The ideal winner of your Twitter giveaway should be someone who:

  1. Fits your customer profile – Are they likely to continue engaging with your brand or potentially buy one of your products? Explore their profile and content to see if they share similarities with your customers in terms of interests, location, age etc. If you are giving away stock as a prize, you could try to reward someone who has either bought from you in the past or someone who seems likely to enjoy your product/service and continue purchasing after their free prize.
  2. Has completed all entry requirements – If you have asked people to follow your Twitter account and retweet your content, make sure you pick someone who does both of those actions!
  3. Does not religiously enter competitions across Twitter – It is not unusual for people to utilise Twitter competition bots to scour the timeline for giveaways and enter as many as possible. These are users who are not valuing your offering and are just using you as a potential source of free stuff. Avoid rewarding these people!
  4. Has been selected fairly – If your Twitter competition is not some sort of judged challenge (like a caption contest, for example), and you have stated that your prize draw will be random, make sure your prize draw is fair! Here are some useful online tools for random giveaways. It’s also worth checking if there is any potential for bias – you don’t want to give the prize to someone who could warrant justifiable complaints from other entrants – an employee, for example!
  5. Is able to receive their prize – If the winner of your Twitter contest has to collect their prize, make sure that is made clear in your original competition tweet. The last thing you want is to announce a winner who is based on the other side of the world!

Social Media Competition Ideas

Now that you have all the ingredients to run a competition on Twitter, why not dip your toes into running other online competitions? Check out our guides below to further your engagement, reach and sales on your other platforms!

Facebook Competition Rules

Instagram Competition Rules

Oliver Wilkinson
Content Manager