Twitter is totally unique to all the other social media platforms and, when used well, can result in high engagement, incredible virality, and great marketing numbers.
A Twitter giveaway is a promotion where prizes are awarded to entrants and where Twitter is the primary means of acquiring those entrants.
Some giveaways require users to retweet, like, or comment on a tweet; others require users to follow the Twitter profile.
Most social media giveaways are held on Meta’s platforms, with just over 20% of brands surveyed indicating they use Twitter as part of a giveaway strategy.
Benefits of running a giveaway on Twitter include high engagement rates, growing your Twitter follower base, and, hopefully, high volumes of user-generated content (UGC) referring to your brand from active users.
Businesses should consider using Twitter giveaways to raise brand awareness, drive website traffic, and increase customer loyalty.
For contests in general, engagement rates are around 34% – far higher than other marketing channels.
In this guide, we’ll unravel the hidden secrets of the Twitter giveaway, including why you should include them in your marketing strategy and how to run them.
You’ll leave with a better understanding of Twitter giveaways from end to end and a host of ideas for how to implement them. Let’s get cracking.
Why Run a Twitter Giveaway
Social media is simply a must-play area for any brand, with over 3.9 billion social media users across the globe.
Twitter users comprise a good portion of that total – Twitter has over 330 million monthly active users. That’s a huge market to find new followers or increase engagement.
Twitter giveaways offer a good balance between immediacy and engagement, unique among social media platforms.
With over 54 million tweets posted daily, it’s the perfect platform for businesses looking to engage with potential customers, build brand awareness, or promote a new product.
Here, we’ll look at the various benefits of running a Twitter giveaway, including higher-than-average engagement, improved brand awareness, better customer loyalty, and higher sales volumes.
If we can learn anything from Instagram giveaways, Four Columns reports that giveaways, compared to regular posts, lead to 64 times more comments, 3.5 times more likes, and 70% faster subscriber growth.
Check out the levels of engagement that Xbox got during a giveaway of a collectible console.
Improved Brand Awareness
As we saw above, let’s assume an engagement rate of around 30% for giveaway-related tweets. Let’s also assume that the average Twitter user has 100 followers.
That means that each time someone engages with the giveaway tweet, 34 people will engage in it because of just that one person!
This is known as exponential growth, and your brand is very quickly placed in front of many people.
Increased Customer Loyalty
The only thing better than a ton of new followers is customers who stick around.
Good, legitimate prizes and operations should encourage the winners to post about them, giving you nice user-generated content (UGC) for your next giveaway or newsletter and, hopefully, loyal customers.
Broadly, there are two levers you can pull to increase sales: increase the proportion of people who make a purchase or increase the total number of people who walk through the door.
If you typically get 100 visitors and increase sales from 5% to 10%, you’ll make ten sales in total.
You’ll also make ten sales if you maintain 5% sales but double the number of visitors from 100 to 200. Easy right?
Understanding Twitter Giveaway Rules
Giveaways generate much traffic, tweets, and activity, so Twitter has, understandably, imposed contest rules. Let’s take a look at some of Twitter’s guidelines for promotions:
- You should discourage people from creating multiple Twitter accounts.
- You should discourage duplicating similar or identical content, which is against Twitter Rules.
- Make it easy to see all the entries.
- Use hashtags, but keep them relevant.
For the full list of guidelines, check out Twitter’s page here.
How to Run a Viral Twitter Giveaway
Here we’ll look at some best practices for running a Twitter giveaway, including picking a good prize, making the rules clear, choosing the right app to manage the giveaway, planning and launching it, tracking participation, and choosing the winner.
1. Choose a Prize
You’ll want the prize to be desirable so that people enter to win it, but you’ll also want it not to hurt your bottom line. Here are a couple of examples of prizes you might offer:
- A gift card.
- A product or service.
- A free subscription to your service.
- An invite to an exclusive event or experience.
Here’s a useful guide on how to use prizes and rewards effectively.
2. Define the Rules
Make the rules accessible to entrants, simple to read, and unambiguous. A few things that you should always look to include:
- The prize must be clearly stated.
- Outline how entrants can enter the giveaway (e.g., follow, comment on a post, some other action, etc.).
- Choose an entry deadline and adhere to it.
- Specify if there is a geographic restriction for entrants (e.g., only residents of the US).
Ensure you comply with privacy and data protection policies (GDPR, POPIA, etc.), as breaching these can lead to hefty fines.
For example, when collecting personal data from entrants for a Twitter giveaway, obtain the entrant’s consent and clarify how their data will be used.
3. Choose a Tool to Collect Entries & Choose a Winner
Most of your entries will come in the form of tweets, likes, retweets, hashtags, and comments, so you’ll want a tool that will be able to collect them all together in one place.
A common solution is to use a purpose-built Twitter picker app to manage and track entries and sometimes even to pick and notify a winner.
One such app is ViralSweep’s Sweepstakes, which proves helpful in keeping everything organized. ViralSweep also has a free tool called random name picker.
If you’d prefer to track all your entries manually, you can upload the list to the random name picker online tool to select a random winner.
ViralSweep’s apps are great for Twitter giveaways and picking the winning Twitter account, but the real benefit comes when you want to jump over to other social media channels.
ViralSweep allows you to distribute the same giveaway easily across multiple platforms – it integrates smoothly with all the main ones (Meta, LinkedIn, etc.).
Two more lesser-known benefits: using a 3rd-party tool means transparent winner selection, which fans like, and spam and fraud protection on entries.
4. Create a Hashtag
Simple but powerful when it works. Pick something simple, memorable, easy-to-read, and that’s not already popular.
5. Plan Your Promotion
Consider paid ads on Twitter, organic posts, and shares from influencers in your industry.
An original post from an influencer can go a long way, but so can user-generated content from other legitimate entrants.
Videos are more engaging than images, but they’re harder to make. A happy medium is something like a short, 5-second animation or GIF.
Cater to different audience segments: perhaps a trending meme or emojis for a younger audience segment and a historical event or older song for an older audience segment.
6. Launch the Giveaway
Share the giveaway on Twitter and any other platforms you plan to use, including Meta and LinkedIn.
Promote it through ads if you have a budget for them or just plain old organic content. Be patient; virality can take time.
7. Track Participation and Engagement
To monitor, consider tracking the hashtags, retweets, and posts and giving them a quick count. You might also respond to some of the entries.
Read what people are saying and tweak your strategy accordingly.
8. Choose and Announce the Winner
Make sure you pick a winner fairly and transparently. There are a few ways to do this:
- Use your judgement if the type of contest allows it.
- Use a random name picker tool (like ViralSweep’s one), if it’s a matter of random selection or some other type of comment picker or retweet picker.
- Have a panel vote on the best entry, if applicable.
- Tally up the number of entries per person if multiple entries were allowed.
Announce the winner on Twitter and any other platforms you used. Thank everyone who participated.
3 Twitter Giveaway Ideas
Let’s look at two contest ideas to get your creative juices flowing for your next Twitter giveaway. Your product or industry can inform the type of giveaway you choose.
Here, followers take a photo related to your brand or product and share it.
This is a way of leveraging user-generated content (UGC), where your customers and entrants create the viral content. Conditions?
Perhaps your product must be featured in the photo, or the photo should feature the problem your product solves. Here’s an example by Chewy:
Comment to Enter
Ask followers to comment on your post as part of their entry requirements.
This idea simultaneously gathers entries and helps boost engagement on your posts as people try to be creative to get their comment to stand out from the rest.
Here’s a great example by Lay’s:
Points for San Francisco means it’s time for a kickoff. Let’s put a little cheese on it. Reply with #CheesyWithAKick + #Entry and we may send you a bag of new Lay’s Cheddar Jalapeño chips! #SuperBowlLIV pic.twitter.com/PkWXe1knJL— LAY’S (@LAYS) February 2, 2020
Sweepstakes are often used when the post or hashtag doesn’t lend itself to photo or creative writing contests.
It’s straightforward – all the entrant needs to do is click through to a landing page you’ve created, where they’ll find a form to enter the contest.
Engagement is lower on this sort of post because users must click through instead of commenting or liking.
Run a Successful Twitter Contest With ViralSweep
Hopefully, you now feel well-equipped to build and launch a Twitter giveaway of your own.
We looked at the benefits of Twitter and social network giveaways in general and detailed the best practices for designing a viral giveaway. We also saw three existing giveaway ideas.
Manually managing giveaways, entries, prizes, and winners quickly gets out of hand. A dedicated contest app like ViralSweep’s Sweepstakes app will be your new best friend for something like this.
Or, you might consider using their free random name picker tool, into which you’ll upload your list of entries. Check them both out here.