The best Twitter contests have one thing in common: They’re fun!

Running a contest or giveaway doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple. Think about what your brand wants to do on Twitter—whether it’s gaining more followers or increasing awareness—and plan accordingly.

But remember, a successful Twitter contest is only as good as the social media strategy that underpins it. New followers may come for the contest, but make sure to give them something worth staying for, too.

We’ve rounded up the top 11 Twitter contest ideas and included examples to get your creative juices flowing.

Before starting any Twitter contest, be sure to read Twitter’s Guidelines for Promotions. Then, make sure you follow applicable laws and regulations.

Okay, time for the fun.

Bonus: Download the free 30-day plan to grow your Twitter following fast, a daily workbook that will help you establish a Twitter marketing routine and track your growth, so you can show your boss real results after one month.

11 Twitter contest ideas

From the simplest to most complex, these Twitter contest ideas are tried and true. Use these pointers and examples as inspiration for your next promotion.

Retweet to enter

Retweet to enter is one of the most simple Twitter giveaway examples. It’s easy to explain, easy for your audience to take part, and easy to adjudicate and draw a winner. If one of your primary Twitter goals is to increase brand exposure, this is option is a no-brainer.

Don’t let this kind of Twitter contest to get too spammy, though. For instance, don’t encourage to retweet your post more than once. As Twitter warns, “Your contest or sweepstakes could cause people to be automatically filtered out of Twitter search.”

Retweet, like, and follow to enter

Up the ante by adding a like and follow requirement to the retweet-to-enter formula. Besides exposure, this type of Twitter contest will increase your follower count and engagement figures. The added interaction could also curry favour with Twitter’s algorithm (so long as not too much duplicate content is being created or reposted).

Keep in mind that the more requirements you have, the more important it is for you to clearly state them. And remember: If you plan to increase your follower count and engagement rate with a contest, make sure you follow through with a Twitter strategy that will help you keep them.

Reply to win

A reply-to-win Twitter contest asks followers to engage with your content. You can be specific, and ask followers to reply with a specific emoji, hashtag, or phrase. Or you can ask followers to respond to a prompt or question. This may help improve algorithm ranking, in turn helping you reach a wider audience. Adding a RT requirement can help with that, too.

Tag a friend

A variation of the reply-to-enter format is asking your followers to tag a friend (or more) to enter. As with any other contest, you can add criteria such as like, retweet, or follow requirements.

This can be an effective way to reach a new audience and gain meaningful followers, since followers will typically tag a friend with similar interests. And done well, your Twitter contest has the potential to spread exponentially as each tagged person tags another.

Partner with a brand or influencer

There are many benefits from partnering with a brand or influencer. By joining forces, brands are able to reach two Twitter audiences without spending much more.

Depending on your mutual goals, these Twitter contests can work a variety of different ways. Maybe participants are required to follow one of both accounts to enter, for instance. Or maybe you’ve teamed up for a product launch and want to promote a hashtag campaign.

Regardless, be sure not to overcomplicate things. If participation seems to challenging, the extra brand power will be all for naught. These Twitter giveaway examples keep things short and sweet:

Use a hashtag to enter

If you’re running a Twitter hashtag campaign (or a cross-platform one), what better way to encourage followers to use it than with a Twitter contest?

This approach lets tweeters put their own spin on participation if they like. But keep in mind that most often, if all you’ve asked participants to do is use a hashtag, that may be all they do. So make sure your hashtag can stand on its own. If more context is important, consider a different Twitter contest idea.

Send in pictures to enter

Get more personal with your followers by asking them to send in pictures to enter. You could also ask participants to send in poems, feedback, or whatever applies to your brand campaign. Just be clear about where and how participants should share.

This type of Twitter contest could be centered around a theme like a throwback or the holidays—or even something more closely related to you brand. Check out the Twitter marketing calendar for holiday ideas and stats. You could even ask followers to send in pictures featuring your product or service.

You could run this contest based on merit (e.g. best photo wins), or as a sweepstakes. If you have a large enough platform, sometimes the chance to have a photo featured is prize enough.

Tell us why/Show us how to enter

Looking for engagement or feedback? Or maybe you’d like to illustrate brand proof points. All you have to do is ask.

For example, @ALTReign’s Twitter contest asks participants to comment their favourite ALT Reign skin to enter. This not only requires Twitter members to engage with ALT Reign’s brand, it also provides the company with potentially valuable feedback,

Meanwhile, this Twitter contest example asks participants to visit a partner’s website to take part, putting passengers in wish-list shopping mode. This will score you website visits, but more importantly, if they don’t win the sneakers, maybe you’ll have convinced them their worth buying anyway.

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Another example from @EntEarth asks participants to showcase their collection to enter. This shows their products (and potentially others) in relatable, real-life situations. This is a great example because the request appeals to participants’ desire to show-off their collections, and allows them to be brand ambassadors in an authentic way.

Get creative with this Twitter contest. Think about what you’d like to accomplish, whether its gaining feedback or fostering engagement, and consider what your followers may be eager to share.

Remember, the more you ask of a follower, the more worthwhile it has to be for them to take the time.

Vote to enter

For Twitter members, polls can be quick, easy, and fun to take part in. In the meantime, the poller can earn valuable feedback if they’ve asked the right question.

Add a retweet requirement if you want more exposure. Or, if you want participants to elaborate on their choice, ask them to like @KFCgaming does in this example.

Play to win

Make a Twitter contest what it should be: All fun and games.

Run a pop culture quiz and draw from those who provide the correct answer. Or ask them to guess how many of something are in a photo.

Twitter members are three times more likely to engage with tweets that have visuals in them, so if engagement is a core goal, this may be the way to go.

Try to keep the quiz or challenge as on-brand as possible. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to promote a product or service, or simply the idea that your brand is fun.

Engage elsewhere to enter

This Twitter contest example may seem counterintuitive at first. A cross-platform contest can be a good way to promote a new or less successful channel with your most engaged audience. For instance, if Twitter is your strongest platform, but you’d like to grow your Instagram audience, contests like @itsdougthepug’s could be a good idea.

Here’s another off-platform Twitter contest idea. If you’ve launched a new product, podcast, or something that would benefit from reviews, ask Twitter followers to leave reviews to enter. Internet users are pretty good at sniffing out fake reviews though, so put measures in place or try to encourage only genuine reviews.

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