Twitter For Business: How To Run A Contest

Twitter For Business How To Run A ContestImplementing a viable marketing strategy is a key component to any successful business, regardless of how long your company has been around. One of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to get your name out there is by leveraging social networking sites, and luckily the best sites to use are completely free.

Social platforms like Twitter and Facebook provide optimal space for businesses to market their products and services to the public. Why? Well, because once your information is out there, people begin to like, comment, retweet, and share your content, which means that other people are essentially aiding in your marketing efforts without even realizing it.

Every time a social media user shares or retweets your content, you can take that as a method of cost-free marketing. They share your post with all their friends, and then another person shares the same post with their followers, and momentum will follow suit.

This may sound like a no-brainer, but it is actually quite tricky because your main goal is to create content that people want to share on their own accord. No one is telling them to share it, or retweet it, and that is what makes this strategy so effective.

So how do you create social media content that people will choose to share without you having to advise them to do so? Well, in all its trickiness, the bottom line is pretty simple. You need to provide an opportunity and an incentive, and the incentive is the most vital aspect because this component is what will create the domino effect that could change the face of your business.

Contests and Promotions

Promoting your business on social media is extremely important, but you need to do it in a certain way so as not to look like you’re begging for business. If we’ve learned anything from social media, it’s that begging is a huge turnoff for other users, no matter how great your offer is. Begging looks desperate, and no one like desperation, especially from a company who wants to gain visibility and profitability. Social media users the world over will see right through your marketing campaign if there is the slightest indication that you’re trying to buy customers.

Twitter is an ideal platform to run a contest, because those who use the site are constantly reading their feed and updating their own profiles by tweeting up-to-date information. So, running a Twitter contest is perfect for companies who want or need publicity, but don’t want to go to great lengths to achieve it.

If you’re considering running your own Twitter contest, then check out these five tips that will help your business thrive in the Twittersphere.

1. Follow Twitter’s Contest Rules And Regs

First and foremost, you absolutely have to follow Twitter’s rules and regulations for running contests on their site. If you don’t, then you’ll have gone to a whole lot of trouble just to get busted by the Twitter police for violating their clear-cut rules.

2. Create Your Own Hashtags

Hashtags are the meant to categorize and track trending topics, so creating your own tags is essential to crafting your own promotion. A growing number of companies on Twitter have mastered this tactic by including their company name in their tags.

From your very first post, you should make it clear to users that contest entry is only valid with the use of a specific tag. By implementing this method, you’ll gain visibility via custom hashtags, and you’ll make your own life easier because you can easily track who has entered your contest without having to weed through a million tweets.

3. Offer Something Appealing

If you’re going to run a contest in hopes that other users will enter and share your content, then obviously you need to offer something that people will really want. Put yourself in the shoes of your followers and ask yourself if your contest is realistically a) a kick-ass deal that they couldn’t be obtained by any other means, and b) worth the time necessary to enter and tweet about your offer.

4. Update Daily

There’s nothing worse than companies who create a contest, incentivize users, and then suddenly fall off the face of the Earth. If you’re serious about your contest (which you absolutely should be) then you have to keep up with it in order to maintain your momentum. Post a new tweet every day, or even a couple times a day with the contest information so that your name stays current your follower’s news feed.

Also, make sure to mix it up a little to avoid scaring people away via repetition. Posting a carbon copy of your original tweet will quickly delegitimize your content. Have fun and get creative! There’s no need to copy and paste the same tweet over and over again, because the truth is, no one likes a Twitter robot.

5. Follow Through

Perhaps the most important aspect of running a Twitter contest is to follow through with your initial offer. If you own a restaurant and you offer a free meal to the person who tweets the best photo, then make sure you keep your contestants updated, choose a winner, and follow up with them so that they can claim their meal. It’s very easy for companies to abandon their own contests after achieving their desired publicity, but you must maintain the integrity of your brand by following through with your offer.

When social media users see their friends and followers sharing information, they want to get in on the action because no one ever wants to be left out of something, especially if it’s something that could potentially benefit them on a personal level. Follow these five rules, and your Twitter contest is sure to be a success!

Angeline Vergara is a blogger from Denver, CO. She specializes in writing about marketing and social media best practices.

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