Three Surefire Ways to Launch a Contest on Twitter

3 Surefire Ways to Launch a Contest on Twitter (Source: - used as royalty free image)

Social media contests are an extremely effective way to strengthen your brand, draw more users into your community, and, with a little skill, drive fresh leads to your site. And Twitter, with its active and engaged user base, is a great place to launch a contest of your own.

Before starting, think about just what you’re trying to accomplish with your friendly competition. Is your end goal to increase overall traffic to your website? To encourage more email newsletter signups? To generate mentions or increase your follower count on Twitter? 

The good news is that there’s a type of contest perfect for your brand’s unique needs. Ready to get started? Here are three ideas for launching a contest on Twitter:

Run a Sweepstakes

If the primary objective of your campaign is to drive traffic from your company’s social platform to your landing page, a sweepstakes is a surefire fit. Offer a giveaway (and be sure to include a fixed number of prizes, as this is proven to increase your number of retweets, according to Twitter) and include a link to your site.

Bear in mind that the success of your sweepstakes will be impacted by the size of your Twitter following - to spread the word further, be sure to include tweets encouraging spreading the word along with your tweets linking to your page.

And don’t forget that running the contest through your site offers another advantage: You’re not just limited to promoting the campaign on Twitter, which frees you up to plug the sweepstakes on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat, as well.

Encourage Engagement With a “Retweet and Follow” Contest

If your goal is to increase engagement – including attracting new followers, encouraging retweets, and boosting your number of mentions - a “Retweet and Follow” contest may be the right option.

How does it work? Just promote a tweet – preferably one with a compelling visual attached – that encourages your followers to retweet this message and follow your account for a chance to win. This encourages engagement, grows your audience, and offers your already-loyal follower base a reward for being a part of your community.

Want a little help getting started? Rafflecopter is a proven tool for running effective online giveaways.

Make Use of the Hashtag

Hashtags are a vital and unique part of the Twitter ecosystem, and they offer a great way to both run and promote your contests.

To launch a contest, create a unique, branded hashtag and encourage your followers to enter by using it. For instance, if you own a restaurant, you could hold a competition to name a new pasta dish. Offer a gift certificate to whoever submits the best name and use the unique hashtag to keep tabs on all the entries.

And to get your contest in front of more eyes, make use of simple contest-related hashtags – including #win, #giveaway, or #competition – to organically amplify your reach.

Whatever your method, remember to schedule a number of posts promoting the contest beforehand to drum up anticipation. After the contest ends, be sure to thank your followers for participating and be announce the winners (with their permission). And while it’s ongoing, remember to make use of fun visual content – like pictures and GIFs – and make sure you use a simple, clear call to action on all of your tweets.

Ready to start using social marketing more creatively? Looking for help getting a content marketing campaign off the ground? We’re here to help! Drop Geek a line for all of your digital marketing and design needs today. 

Stay up today on the latest Tech and Digital Marketing Trends with our newsletter.


Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).