Twitter Contest Observations

twittercontestI mentioned that I would share the outcomes and some observations from our Twitter contest we ran at the college I work at, so here is my report.

Contest Background

We ran the contest in conjunction with the launch of our new campaign microsite. The contest had three objectives:

  1. Increase followers of the main college Twitter account
  2. Raise the awareness of the marketing campaign
  3. Experiment with social media as a marketing tool

The contest ran from September 24 – October 30 and was open to everyone (excluding college employees).  Participants needed to send a tweet about what they hope for their future.  They could also get a bonus entry by sending a tweet promoting the contest and microsite.  $500 in prizes were available, shared over 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.

Outcomes

The outcomes listed here are based on web analytics and other trending tools.

Twitter Followers

twittercounter
Based on this chart, which was produced by TwitterCounter.com, our college main Twitter account saw an increase of 91 followers from the start of the contest until November 10th.

Microsite Web Traffic
Based on Google Analytics, there have been 150 visits originating from Twitter since the start of the contest.  Unfortunately, none of the visitors completed a goal, but that was not the intent of this contest.

Contestants
There were 49 individuals who entered the contest, the majority of people being local residents.

Observations & Recommendations

While the contest did not generate any qualified leads on the campaign microsite, there was an increase in Twitter followers.  I do not deem this contest as a failure.  That being said, there are some observations I would like to offer that may allow us to be more successful in the future.

  • Smaller Prizes / More Frequent: Instead of offering a large ($500) prize pool, offer smaller prizes ($50) and run more frequent contests every other month.
  • Allow Multiple Entries: The nature of Twitter is real-time and as such a single tweet can ea sily be missed.  Allow multiple entries for people that re-tweet messages each day.  This will promote the contest more and may help it become viral. NOTE: The multiple entries approach may require a larger prize than $50 to encourage the effort of re-tweeting.
  • Shorter Contest Periods: This contest ran for over a month, and towards the end may have lost the excitement.  Having a longer period may not instill a sense of urgency to enter and people may put of entering.
  • Increase Offline Promotion: The success of any contest (offline or online) stems on the promotion of the contest.  While some offline activities were focused on promoting the contest, increasing these efforts may prove successful.  Some examples could be; working with Students Association, flyers, digital screens, etc.
  • Cross-promote: Cross-promoting contests across multiple social mediums can help reach a larger audience.  I’ve seen some contests that actually allow entering through Facebook, Twitter, etc.
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