There are many types of contests you can run for your brand on twitter, the important thing is to choose the one which fits your company objectives for twitter best. If twitter contests are part of you strategy be careful to and take the  twitter official guidelines for contests into consideration.

twitter contest

Below I’ve given 3 examples of twitter contests mechanisms:

I. Q&A Contest

This type of contest is usually not going viral but you can engage with your customers on a daily basis. I recommend the questions to be brand/product related or related to activities which are related to your products. Below are a few things necessary to start a Q&A contest:

1. Prepare

  • Set-up a list of questions and a period in which you want to run the contest.
  • Choose the prizes, it can be your own products or something related to your products.
  • Inform the twitter followers about the upcoming contest. You could also have a custom avatar and background image with rules, participation dates and prizes.

2. Run the contest

  • Post the question and collect all the answers in an excel sheet.

3. Select the winners

  • For drawing the winner/winners you have two options, randomize the list and pick the first one or choose by the quality of the tweet. I would go with easy questions that have one possible answer, this way you can randomize the list of tweets and choose the first results as a winner.

II. Tweets and follows from your Blog/Website through Rafflecopter

Rafflecopter is a freemium service to create social contests based on Shares/Likes/Tweets/Follows. Based on the points you allocate for each action and the number of actions each user does, they earn points. Each point is one chance to win.

The service is free in the basic form, but you can pay a small amount if you want to have more features.

Here are the steps to follow:

1. Setup a free account on rafflecopter.

rafflecopter signup

2. Create a new contest

Give it a name, add the prizes, select how people can enter, choose a timeframe and write the terms&conditions.

People can enter the contest by doing a social action which you choose. In this case we should look at posting a custom tweet or/and follow you on twitter. Based on what they do you can give them points, each point being a chance to win.


3. Publish the Rafflecopter widget on your blog/website.

You have the option to embed the widget on Facebook, get a direct link to the widget, get a code for your site or publish it on several pages in the same time. Here is a contest widget example:



4. Pick the winner

At the end of the contest period you have the option to pick the winner automatically from the rafflecopter interface.

pick a winner rafflecopter


III. Getting tweets and followers with a landing page

This type of contest can be held on a long period and split the drawings weekly and/or monthly. You could have small prizes for the weekly drawing and big ones for the monthly drawings.

1. The Landing Page

  • Your landing page should have theme and feature the prizes. For example if it is for valentine’s day and your brand allows to be put next to hearts and stuff like this, do it.
  • Explain clearly to the user what he has to do to get in the contest. Ex: “Tweet this message XX and follow us to get in the contest for a XX”.
  • Have a simple, user friendly and short URL.
  • Have clear deadlines for submission.

2. The Tweet

The tweet has to be clear and have a chance of going viral.  In some campaigns I’ve used the following template: “Follow @username and RT this message to win a XXXPrize –  http://contest-landing-page”

3. The Mechanism

  • The user get’s to the Landing Page from different websites/social sites where your advertised the contest.
  • The users clicks on the “I agree with the Terms and Conditions” check-box.
  • The users clicks the button to follow your brand.
  • The users clicks on the tweet button where he has the standard message already filled up.
  • The user gets the “congratulations you are registered” message.

You can have all the actions above happening on the same page, as the user completes one of the actions, the next should appear.

At this point the user is registered.

4. Monitoring

This is the hard part, here you will need a third party monitoring tool set up to save only tweets that contain a part of your standard message, in this case “Follow @username and RT this message to win a XXXPrize –  http://contest-landing-page”. The number of tweets can be very high, so I recommend choosing a monitoring service that also allows export in an excel sheet containing the twitter handle, name and date when he posted the tweet.

A drawback is that you cannot collect the tweets that are retweeted with the retweet button. That is why it is very important to send the users to the landing page and tweet from there.

5. Drawing the winner

At this point if you did the job right and used a good service to monitor and export the data, it’s easy. There are several services that pick names from lists, one of the best and free I’ve used is .

random org list

You can use a list randomizer: . Copy  the line with the twitter handle from the document and paste it into “Part 1: Enter List Items” and then click on Randomize in the “Part 2: Go!” section. Now you have the entire list randomized and numbered. The first one in the list get’s the biggest prize followed by the next ones.


Do you have a tool or idea your would like to share with us? Use the comment box below.