Running a Retweet Contest | Quick & Easy

Nov 18, 2014
Running a Retweet Contest | Quick & Easy

Running a contest on social media is a fun and effective way to build a relationship with current and future customers while growing your Twitter following.  Some contests are thought provoking and some are as easy as clicking a few options on your screen. The main thing to know is, who can't resist entering a contest when all you have to do is follow a Twitter user and hit the Retweet button? It's a super easy contest to set up, promote and enter if you learn what to do.

Have a Great Prize

One of the first things you want to do is make sure you have a great prize for people to win. This can be a product or a service and the bigger the prize value, the bigger the uptake. You may want to spend some money on having a really amazing prize.

Select Your Message

Now that you know what you are giving away, next you want to select an important message (tweet) you want to share with the Twitterverse. This can be promoting a product, service or anything else that is fun and interesting. The thing to remember is that you only have 140 characters and need to leave space for when the tweet is retweeted. In my opinion, 120 characters is the magic number of characters. This tweet can have abbreviations, a shortened link or even a picture. Another imperative part of this tweet is including "RT to Win" or "Follow us & RT to Win" so people know in order to win they must retweet this tweet and follow you.

Twitter -contest -3

What is important, and often missed by brands, is setting up valid contest terms and conditions. You need to make sure that your contest follows Twitter's contest guidelines and that you have contest terms and conditions available to the public. There are terms and conditions templates online or you can consult with a lawyer. This will help let you fans know how a winner will be selected, who is eligible to enter and helps protect your company. You can post your contest terms on your website or in your Twitter bio. It is important to include both the start and end times of your contest and running it for three to five days is best.

How do you plan on promoting your contest? There are many options such as:

  • Promoting the RT to Win tweet on Twitter (be aware that promoted tweets cost money)
  • Create a custom header for your profile promoting the contest
  • Send out a press release
  • Email your database to inform them
  • Share the contest on other social media platforms
  • Write a blog post
  • Add the details to your Twitter bio
  • Tweet about it

Monitor Your Contest

Monitoring your contest will help you track entries. There are a few ways to do this and the best ways are either through Twitter or a social media management app like Hootsuite. You will need a way to keep track of each entrant and you should assign each of them a number. This can be done in Word or Excel (or any way you can keep a list). At the end of each day you can collect the data or you can wait until the end of the contest. If you are running a promoted tweet, you can check those analytics in Twitter, as well.

Announce the Winner

Once the contest is over you should send out a tweet announcing that it is over and that you will announce the winner shortly. Remember to thank everyone for following and participating. By this time, each entrant should have a number assigned to him or her. You can use a website like  to randomly select a number that will correspond with your winner. If the winner meets all of the eligibility criteria, you should contact them by Twitter (by tweet) asking them to contact you because they won. Once they contact you and they acknowledge that they are the winner you can send out a congratulatory tweet.

If you have never run a Retweet to Win contest, this may seem like a lot of things to do and to remember, but it really isn't. This type of contest does require planning and organizing ahead of time. I believe that every brand that is on Twitter can run a contest like this and have a lot of fun with it. If you have any questions about this type of contest please leave them in the comments below and we will do our best to help you out! 

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