Archive for October, 2009

Consider Using a Twitter Promotion to Build Brand Awareness

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Today, many businesses are using Twitter as part of their online social networking strategy and in fact, the addition of a Twitter contest can be a great way to build brand awareness for your business. There are several different ways to run a Twitter contest.

1. Ask for Retweets: The goal of this type of contest is to ask your followers to get your message in front of as many of their Twitter followers as possible. The idea is for a company to post some type of promotional message and when a Twitter follower Retweets that message, they will be entered to win a prize. When asking followers to retweet, realize that they are going to putting this message in front of their loyal followers. Try to make the message have some sort of meaning or interest and hopefully you can get a chain reaction with the retweets.

(What is a retweet? A retweet is when you republish someone else’s tweet. The most common way to retweet, is to start your tweet with RT followed by the username of the original poster. For example, if I had a tweet under my username commorato that says “a&g Digital Consulting is the best!” and you wanted to retweet, you would tweet the following: RT @commorato a&g Digital Consulting is the best!)

2. Using Hashtags: Asking Twitter users to use hashtags is similar to asking for retweets in that your Twitter followers will be doing most of the work in the contest. If you have never used hashtags on Twitter,  a hashtag is when you use a pound sign (#) before a particular word in your Tweet. Once it the pound sign is added, it becomes a hashtag, which becomes a clickable link to all other mentions of that word. A user can click on the hashtag in someone’s twitter stream and see everything everyone else has said with that hashtag. In contest use, a company will usually allow a customer to Tweet whatever they want as long as they add a particular hastag to their post. For example, Live Nation, an online ticketing company, recently ran a contest asking their followers to post a Tweet about a recent contest, adding the #LiveNation hashtag somewhere in their post. This would enter a folllower in a contest to win free concert tickets.

3. Use Sign Up Forms: This is a new spin on the classic online contest format. In this case, you would be asking Twitter users to come to your website and sign up for the contest. This can be a great way to get more exposure for your website, especially if you can incorporate a trivia question, requiring the user to hunt around your website. For the best results, keep your entry form short and to the point and include contest terms which address how the participants personal information will be used after the conclusion of the contest.

4. Gathering More Followers: The final way to start a Twitter contest is to announce that your followers are going to be entered to win a prize once your number of followers reaches a certain level. The idea is that your followers will tell their followers to start following you to help you reach your goal and in turn, give out a prize. There are also varieties of this contest where bigger and better prizes are given as your different goals are reached.

No matter which type of Twitter contest you decide to run, expect to get your brand name in front of a lot of people in a relatively quick period of time. Aim to offer some desirable contest prizes and your name can spread very quickly across the Twitter network.