How to Run a Sweepstakes Contest on Twitter

Thinking of running a contest on Twitter?

Sweepstakes Contests on Twitter are easy ways to engage followers, get new followers, and capture new leads for your business. It’s a method of enticing followers and customers with the chance to win prizes in exchange for signing up and sharing with their friends on Twitter. Read our 5-Step Guide to running a Sweepstakes Contest on Twitter to see how to make one:

1. Choose a Prize and Entry Method

The prize is the most important piece of your contest on Twitter. It’s what will entice people to enter or not enter. The best type of prize is a gift card for your business. Why? Two reasons:

  1. A gift card is enticing to all of your potential customers – it’s the prize that is the most enticing to the largest group of people. If you give away a certain product or service, you will only get entries from people interested in that specific product. With a gift card though, you will attract entries from everyone who is interested in the products you sell.
  2. It will only attract people who are interested in your products, which is what you want! If you give away an ipad you will get a ton of entries, but those people will only be interested in ipads, not your products. This will make it almost impossible to convert these users into actual sales for your business. Giving away a gift card ensures that entrants have an interest in your products, which makes it easy to convert them into sales.

There are two entry methods for contests on Twitter: Email-only entry and Twitter Connect entry.

Email-only entry requires people to write-in their email address (and other information depending on the fields you choose for your entry form) to enter. This method maximizes the rate of entries, as it has the lowest barrier to entry, but does not have the hooks of Twitter Connect entry that allow for organic contest growth on Twitter and customer insights.

Twitter Connect entry requires people to write-in their email address and connect their Twitter account with the application you use to run . This method requires you to use a 3rd party application like Wishpond’s Twitter Sweepstakes App (Disclaimer: Wishpond does not contact or sell your entrants information, ever).

The Twitter Connect entry method has two major benefits:

  1. You can set entrants to automatically send a custom Tweet to their followers with a link back to your contest on Twitter
  2. You can see who your entrants follow and create targeted email lists based on who your customers following using Wishpond’s Contact Database.

2. Create your Twitter Contest Entry Page.

The contest entry page needs to be simple and exciting. It must get people excited about the contest and prize, and make it easy to enter. Here are the 6 elements of an entry page for a contest on Twitter:

1. Attention-Grabbing Title: A short title phrased as a call-to-action is the best type of title. “Enter to Win a $50 Gift Card from Diamond Candles!” is both simple and informative – it tells visitors what they can do on this page, what the prize is and who is running the contest. This is the most basic information a person needs to take action and enter the contest.

2. A Great Graphic with Your Prize and Branding: An image of your prize is the best way to entice people to want to win it. If you’re giving away a gift card, include an image with the gift card value in text and a product that people can buy with the gift card.

3. Entry & Prize Details: Include a short paragraph with details of the prize, how to enter and any rules & regulations for your contest. We recommend adding a link to an outside rules & regulations page using our HTML Text Editor to keep from overcrowding your entry page.

4. Entry Form: An entry form for a contest on Twitter consists of an email address signup box and an “Enter Sweepstakes” button. It can also include custom fields like city, age, etc. to garner more information from entrants.

5. Share Buttons: Make it easy for entrants to share about your contest by including share buttons directly on the contest entry page. Wishpond’s Twitter Sweepstakes App includes built-in Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest share buttons.

6. Optimize for Mobile: A huge percentage of Twitter users visit Twitter on their mobile phones. Make sure that you use a mobile-optimized Twitter Sweeepstakes App like Wishpond’s.

Wishpond’s fill-in-the-blanks campaign builder makes it fast and easy for anyone to set up a campaign in minutes without technical or design skills. Our Twitter Sweepstakes App automatically builds a hosted contest entry page with the look-and-feel of your Twitter Page for you. People can enter and share directly from this page while still feeling like they are in the Twitter environment, which lowers the bounce rate of contests on Twitter significantly.

Check out this example of a sweepstakes contest on Twitter using Wishpond’s Twitter Sweepstakes App from Cherry Hill Coffee:


Here are a few free contest templates to help you get started.

3. Promote and share about your contest

With your prize, entry method and entry page set up, it’s time to promote your contest. Here are the six methods we recommend to promote your Twitter sweepstakes contest:

1. Tweet about your contest: Duh! Create a simple Tweet, optimally the title of your sweepstakes contest, with a link to your contest on Twitter. Only a small percentage of your Twitter followers see each tweet you make. Make sure every one of them hear about your contest at least once by tweeting about it every 1-2 days.

2. Send an email blast: Email your customer email lists – they will be the most likely to enter and share with friends to help jump-start your contest.

3. Promote your contest on other social networks: Share on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and anywhere else you have a social presence. This is a great way to introduce users from other networks to your Twitter and get them hooked more into your brand.

4. Include a banner on your website: If you’re an online business, you get the most traffic to your website, not your social network accounts. Capitalize on this traffic by including a banner on your homepage that links to your contest entry page.

5. Create a Twitter Ad: This is a great way to scale up the number of new entrants. Twitter’s recently released Self-Serve Ads platform makes it easy to promote your contest to targeted user groups on Twitter. Check out Wishpond’s Guide to Twitter Ads for more info.

6. List your Contest on popular contesting websites: There are a ton of contesting websites that allow for free submissions. These are a great way to get access to new communities of customers. Check out our  list of 19 websites to post your contest to.

4. Monitoring Your Contest

Before you start your contest on Twitter you should know what you’re hoping to achieve with it. You may be trying to get more followers, build brand awareness or collecting more leads for your business. Once you know your goals, you need to monitor the contest to see if you are meeting them. Ways to monitor your contest on Twitter include:

1. Hashtags, Re-tweets and mentions on Twitter: If you include a hashtag in your contest title or in custom share messages, you can easily track how many people are tweeting about your contest by searching for that hashtag.

2. Google Alerts: Set up Google Alerts to monitor mentions of your contest across the entire web.

3. Wishpond Campaign Reporting: Wishpond’s Twitter Sweepstakes App includes real-time campaign reporting, which allows you to track view, entries and bounce rates in real-time. This allows you to update your campaign in real-time as it is running.

5. Post-Contest Activities

Even after your contest is over, you can use it to promote your business further:

1. Profile winner(s) on your blog and share on Twitter and other social networks.

2. Create a video showing you choosing the winner to create excitement

3. Follow-up with contest entrants via email to convert them into sales

4. Share your plans for future contests on Twitter to keep your followers hooked

All of these activities keep the momentum going and will prime followers for future tweets and announcements from your business.

Ready to Start? Try out a Twitter Sweepstakes Contest for Free Today!

You can also run a Facebook Sweepstakes.

If you want to know how to run a sweepstakes on Facebook give a try to our app with a free trial.

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