A Beginner’s Guide to Retweet Contests - Are They Right for You?

Learn how to take advantage of Twitter's growing user engagement by running a simple and effective Retweet contest.

By Will Blunt ・5 min read
Campaign & Contest Ideas
Social Media

There are mixed opinions about the value of Twitter when it comes to a brand’s social media marketing mix.Whichever camp you sit in, the stats tell an interesting story…Since 2016, daily active Twitter users have been steadily growing.This improvement in user engagement is a result of a concerted effort from the team at Twitter to improve the experience of their platform, reduce automation and spam, and focus on quality exchanges between active users.In short, the platform’s algorithm is rewarding quality content and engagement, rather than repetition and quantity as it has in the past.How can your business take advantage of this shift and tap into a huge community of engaged Twitter users?One way to ramp up your brand recognition on Twitter is to run a Retweet contest.

What Is a Retweet Contest?

The beauty of Retweet contests is that they are extremely easy to set up and for people to participate in. For someone to enter a Retweet contest, all they need to do is hit the Retweet button on your Twitter contest post.How you determine the winner is up to you, but the key to this style of contest is to keep it as simple as possible so that hundreds or thousands of people interact with your post and skyrocket your Twitter engagement.Here is a simple Retweet contest from Bed Factory Direct which asks contestants to “Retweet and Follow” to enter:

Happy Monday! 🌠

To get rid of your Monday blues we have collaborated with @JezzaMcConnellGiving away a fantastic @Birlea_Ltd Castello Side Open Ottoman Bed 🎆RT & Follow to EnterCompetition closes 23.08.19 #Giveaway #Free #bedroom #Bed#FreebieFriday #freebie #DIY— Bed Factory Direct (@BedFactoryUK) August 12, 2019

Why Run a Retweet Contest?

Retweet contests come with the typical benefits you would expect from any social media contest - awareness, recognition, leads, and reach - but here are a few things that this type of contest is especially good at achieving:

  • Naturally, by asking people to Retweet you are increasing the engagement of your Twitter post and your profile. Every time someone Retweets a post it is shown to their followers with your Twitter handle prominently visible.
  • New followers. For every Retweet your post gets you attract interest and visibility from a large group of followers that may not have heard of your brand previously. A portion of this audience, if your contest is well-targeted, will navigate to your profile, like what they see, and follow you. You could even be more deliberate about gaining followers by asking participants to “Retweet and Follow” in order to enter the contest.
  • User-Generated Content (UGC). Much like hashtag contests, Retweet contests are a great way to build up a stream of UGC associated with your brand. For example, you could ask entrants to Retweet and share a photo of them with your product, or Retweet and comment about their experience with your business.
  • Product visibility. Launching a new product? Retweet contests can get the word out there and increase the awareness of a new product line. For example, here is a simple Retweet contest from Boots which promotes the launch of a new product line:

*COMPETITION TIME* To celebrate the launch of Marvis and Cocofloss at Boots, we're giving you the chance to win this dental bundle. Simply RT to enter. Ts&Cs apply:

— Boots (@BootsUK) August 9, 2019

Making Sure You Follow Twitter’s Promotion Guidelines

As well as maintaining compliance with your local rules for contests and sweepstakes, Twitter has well-documented guidelines which you need to follow when running a contest, or risk having your account suspended.Here is a brief overview of the rules as they relate to Retweet contests:

  • Deter entrants from creating multiple Twitter accounts in order to enter the contest.
  • Reduce the chance of users posting duplicate content on Twitter by only allowing one entry per person.
  • Keep the contest on-topic and avoid encouraging participants to use unrelated hashtags to promote your contest.
  • Ensure both you and your contestants follow the general Twitter rules, too.

Promoting Your Retweet Contest

Ok, so you’re ready to launch your first Retweet contest, how do you get people to enter?Here are some tips for promoting your Retweet contest so you get the best bang for your buck:

  • Use the right hashtags. Hashtags make your Tweets discoverable. If you use the right contest-related hashtags you will pick up entrants who are actively looking for giveaways on Twitter and expand the reach of your campaign. For example, the contest below uses hashtags such as #competition, #giveaway, and #fridayfreebie:

⭐️ GIVEAWAY!! ⭐️

Wanna win a Hama Beads Accessories Set? We’re giving away 4... just RT to enter!Closes 23/08/19. UK entrants only. Sets have damaged packaging, but goodies inside are 👌 #competition #giveaway #fridayfreebie #freebie #friday #friyay #win #winning #hamabeads— Hama Beads (@hamabeads) August 9, 2019
  • Promoted Tweet campaign. Twitter’s advertising platform allows you to optimize a campaign for engagement. So, to encourage participation in your Retweet contest you could promote your Tweet to gain some momentum.
  • Tag a friend. As well as requiring entrants to Retweet and/or follow your profile, you can get them to tag a friend in your post as a way of increasing the campaign’s reach. Below is an example of this tactic being used by STS Tyre Pros:

🎉#Giveaway time🎉

🎵2 lucky winners will receive a pair of Pirelli headphones- get your summer playlist ready!🎵FOLLOW, #RT & tag 3 mates to enter!#Competition ends 11/08.#Friyay #FridayThoughts #FridayMotivation #tyrepros #win #FridayThoughts— STS Tyre Pros (@Tyre_Pros) August 9, 2019
  • Create a blog post and embed your contest Tweet. Just as I have done throughout this blog post, you can easily embed Tweets on your website. This is a good way to attract attention for your Retweet contest away from the Twitter platform where there is less noise.
  • Email your database. Another way to attract interest for your Retweet contest is to contact your current email database and alert them of the giveaway. Many of these people may not currently follow you on Twitter or could have missed the contest post.
  • Mix up your content. Most Retweet contests include a simple image in the main post. However, think about how you can utilize other types of content, such as video, to grab the attention of potential entrants. The LA Dodgers have done this effectively in the Tweet below:

Need a getaway? Enter for a chance to win a trip to Caesars Palace! Follow @CaesarsPalace and RT to enter. Rules:

— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 14, 2019
  • Takeover your Twitter profile. To really make the most of a Retweet contest, putting all of your effort and resources behind its promotion is critical. With this in mind, consider promoting the contest on your Twitter profile. Create a custom header image with information about the contest, pin the main Tweet to the top of your profile page, and mention the contest in your bio. This way, anyone that visits your profile organically will find out about the contest.
  • Cross-promote on other social profiles. Just because entering a Retweet contest is exclusive to Twitter, don’t underestimate the power of your other social profiles in driving participation. Consider promoting your contest on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media accounts you are actively using.

As with any contest, your prize, targeting, and follow up will all be critical to its impact on your business. But if you follow the promotion tips in this post, Retweet contests can be an effective way to make the most of an often forgotten social network.

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About the author

By Will Blunt ・5 min read

Will Blunt is the founder of Sidekick Digital by Will Blunt - B2B Marketing Expert - Sidekick Digital, a publishing business that launches, manages, and grows brands with content marketing.

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