Example Rules for Twitter Contests and Giveaways

This article provides examples of Twitter contests and giveaways, highlighting the importance of following Twitter's rules for a smooth contest.

By Dana Kilroy ・4 min read
Best Practices
Campaign & Contest Ideas
Social Media

If you're using Twitter for marketing, chances are you've already run a contest or a giveaway, or you're planning to in the coming weeks (hint: it's time to start thinking about the holidays now). Contests are still a very effective way to reach prospective followers and customers on Twitter, and can generate tons of engagement and bring you the ROI I bet you're looking for.In this article, I'll show you examples of brands large and small that are running Twitter contests right now, and take a look at what they're doing to follow Twitter's rules for contests and giveaways.Why does it matter? Because following the rules will ensure that your contest runs smoothly.Ready to plan a contest or giveaway of your own?

What to include in Rules for Twitter Giveaway

Here's a rundown of Twitter's rules; include them in the terms and conditions for your contest or giveaway:

  1. Discourage the creation of multiple accounts
  2. Discourage posting the same Tweet repeatedly
  3. Ask people to mention you in their update so you can see all the entries
  4. Encourage the use of topics relevant to the contest
  5. Adhere to applicable laws and regulations
  6. Follow Twitter Rules with regard to prohibited content and trademarked content

Now let's take a look at some examples of Twitter contests and giveaways. Most of the examples are from small companies or bloggers, since these are the kinds of folks who tend to not have huge marketing teams to execute their ideas. In other words, anyone could run a contest like the ones featured below. Take a look at what they’re doing right, and what they could be doing better to follow Twitter’s rules.

Examples of Twitter Contests that Follow the Rules

Twitter Contest Rule #1: Discourage the creation of multiple accounts

If people create a lot of accounts in order to enter a contest more than once, they’re liable to get all of their accounts suspended. Be sure to include a rule stating that anyone found to use multiple accounts to enter will be ineligible.What's right with this example: Midway through their rules, Wyndham explicitly states, "Any attempt by any participant to obtain more than the stated number of entries by using multiple and/or different identities or Twitter accounts....will void that participant's entry."

Tip: Wyndam could also use ShortStack's marketing automation features to confirm entries and send other emails to let her followers know about upcoming events or even when she published a new blog post.

Twitter Contest Rule #2: Discourage posting the same Tweet repeatedly

Posting duplicate, or near duplicate, updates or links is a violation of the Twitter Rules and jeopardizes search quality. Don’t set rules to encourage lots of duplicate updates (e.g., “whoever Retweets this the most wins”). Your contest or sweepstakes could cause people to be automatically filtered out ofTwitter search. Set clear contest rules stating that multiple entries in a single day will not be accepted. What's right with this example: Chemical Guys states early "Don't spam your feed with repeated tweets."

Twitter Contest Rule #3: Ask people to mention you in their update so you can see all the entries

When it comes to picking a winner, you’ll want to see all the contestants. If the updates mention you, you’ll be able to see all the updates in your Notifications timeline (learn more aboutreplies and mentions). Simply running a public search may not show every single update, and some contestants may be filtered from search for quality.What's right with this example: SunRype asked people to share the link to their contest with friends and they used a unique hashtag #SunRypeFamilySweepstakes.

Twitter Contest Rule #4: Encourage the use of topics relevant to the contest

You might decide to have people include relevant hashtag topics along with the updates (e.g., #contest or #yourcompanyname). Keep in mind that hashtag topics need to be relevant to the update; encouraging people to add your hashtag to totally unrelated updates might cause them to violate the Twitter Rules.What's right with this example: Louisville Ladder used a handful of relevant hashtags perfect, for their audience. Well done!

Twitter Contest Rule #5: Adhere to applicable laws and regulations

Before starting any contests or sweepstakes please ensure that they comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Compliance with such laws and regulations is your responsibility; please consult with an attorney if you have questions about legal compliance.What's right with this example: Kirkland states right up front there are eligibility requirements and that the recipient must be a resident of the 48-contiguous United States and must follow rules and laws in the state where they live. Kirkland appears to leave it up to entrants to find out what these rules and states might be. And we're not entirely sure if alcohol is part of the prize for the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival, but just to be on the safe side, the contest's rules says it's limited to people who are 21 or older.

Twitter Contest Rule #6: Follow Twitter Rules with regard to prohibited content and trademarked content

Twitterreserves the right to suspend accounts or take other appropriate action when someone’s brand or trademark, including business name and/or logo, is used in a manner that may mislead or confuse others about your brand affiliation. Twitter also responds to clear and complete notices of alleged copyright infringement. You can read Twitter's extensive list of rules regarding prohibited and copyrighted material here.What's right with this example: Pep Boys has very specific restrictions listed: "Submission Requirements." Pep Boys goes way beyond what we've seen most brands do, and they're smart to be so detailed. The last thing any business wants or needs is to attract unwanted attention.

If you're interested in running Twitter contest and have questions about rules, get in touch. We're happy to offer advice.

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About the author

By Dana Kilroy ・4 min read

Dana Sullivan Kilroy is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience delivering compelling content. Her work has appeared in national, award-winning publications and sites, including: The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Fast Company, Inc.

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