Twitter contests and giveaways are a fun and easy way to drive engagement. They’re quick to set up, simple to run, and can help you gather useful information about your audience.
Best of all, running a Twitter contest doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. In fact, the simpler, the better!
Keep reading for an easy guide to running contests on Twitter, including nine great contest ideas to jumpstart your next promotion.
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.
You can use Twitter contests or giveaways to achieve a variety of different goals. Before you get started, think about what you want to accomplish with your contest.
For example, your goals could include the following:
Twitter giveaways can help boost your follower count. If your goal is to grow your audience, include a “tag a friend” or “retweet” component in your contest. Before launching, decide how many new followers you’re hoping to gain. (Remember, your goals should always be SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound)
Twitter contests are a great way to build brand awareness. As of mid-2022, Twitter has 206 million daily active users worldwide. That means your contest has the opportunity to reach a huge number of users. If you want to build buzz, include a clear and straightforward brand message.
Use a Twitter contest or giveaway to build hype around the launch of a new product. This type of contest relies heavily on imagery, so keep this in mind, as it may incur a cost. Make sure you have great photos of your product or giveaway bundle so your social posts pop.
Setting up a Twitter contest or giveaway is simple. It just requires a bit of planning on your part.
Start by defining a clear goal for your Twitter contest. Include measurable targets such as increased follower count or impressions. This will help you gauge your success after the contest closes. Solid numbers can help you decide whether to run contests again in the future.
Sort out the logistics for your contest, including:
- What type of contest or giveaway is it?
- When will your contest or giveaway start?
- How long will it run?
- What is the closing date? Be specific here to avoid disappointment, ex. September 30th, 2022, at 11:59 PM ET
Next, pick a prize for your contest or giveaway. This may be a digital prize or a physical item that must be shipped or picked up by the winner.
Digital prize ideas:
- Credit for your online shop
- Digital tickets to an exclusive event or special performance
- Digital experiences such as Zoom meet-and-greets
Physical prize ideas:
- Best-selling item in an exclusive colorway
- Special prize pack or bundle
- In-person experiences such as a party for the winner and a group of friends
If your prize includes an item or giveaway bundle, make sure to show off your prize with an eye-catching post. This will motivate users to share your posts and help your contest gain traction online.
What do you want users to do in order to win? Maybe they’ll need to follow your account, retweet your post, or submit specific content. Make your contest requirements and deadlines clear, so there’s no confusion.
Don’t forget to review Twitter’s guidelines for promotions before launching your contest. We recommend setting clear Twitter contest rules to discourage spam. These include barring users from making multiple entries in a single day or entering using multiple accounts.
Now it’s time to launch your contest! But the work isn’t over yet.
Schedule regular posts to promote your contest. Keep an eye on entries, too. Engage with users who have entered by liking their posts or responding to their questions.
Choose a unique hashtag so you’re not sifting through unrelated tweets to find contest entries. Try something like #YourBrandNameGiveaway or #ItemNameGiveaway22.
If your brand is active on another platform, try cross-promoting your contest. Try posting a direct link in your Instagram Stories to bring some of those followers over to Twitter.
A robust tool can help you track contest entries and monitor engagement in real-time.
Hootsuite Streams is a great tool to track the activity on your social channels. You can keep an eye on post engagement, conversations, mentions, keywords, and hashtags – all in one place!
Picking a winner can seem daunting, but don’t worry. You don’t need to close your eyes and point to a random tweet!
Many online tools can automate this process. They can also ensure that your winner has satisfied all the contest requirements. (Keep scrolling for more on those tools)
After your contest closes, review your original goals. Was your contest a success? Did you increase your follower count or boost your brand impressions?
An analytics platform like Hootsuite can help you review the numbers. You can even create custom reports to show the impact on your brand and bottom line. This data can help you design your next successful Twitter contest or giveaway.
Not sure how to structure your Twitter contest? We’ve outlined nine different types of Twitter contests to help inspire your next giveaway.
Choose one of the options below or mix and match to create your own unique promotion.
Asking users to retweet your post to enter is the easiest way to run a Twitter giveaway. It requires very little effort on the user’s part, so they’re more likely to hit the retweet button. If your goal is to build brand awareness, this contest option is for you.
🛒 RETWEET to WIN 🛒
Hit that RT button for a chance to win a $500 @Fred_Meyer gift card, as we celebrate the new Mariners Rewards Program! Accumulate points as you shop and cash them in for tickets, merch, memorabilia and more.
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) August 20, 2022
This variation on the “retweet to enter” giveaway requires a bit more work for users. But it delivers a better payoff from a brand standpoint. Likes and retweets help build brand awareness while asking users to follow to enter is a surefire way to increase your follower count.
— ColourPop Cosmetics (@ColourPopCo) August 19, 2022
Increase brand awareness and boost engagement with a reply-to-win Twitter contest. Asking users to reply can help boost your post in the algorithm rankings, so get creative! For example, ask users to drop an emoji in the comments or have them answer a simple prompt, like “Tell us why you want to win….”
COACHELLA GIVEAWAY ROUND ✌️
We’re giving away free VIP @Coachella passes for weekend two. Follow these two simple steps for a chance to win.
— LAY'S (@LAYS) April 9, 2022
Want a Limited Edition #LiveFromTheUpsideDown hat? Come onnnn, you know you do. Reply below with your favorite moment from the #StrangerThings4 vol. 2 drop, and you just might get one. pic.twitter.com/2gbQ3M8DP0
— Doritos (@Doritos) July 6, 2022
If you want to increase your follower count, include “follow and tag a friend” in your contest requirements. Tags allow you to reach a broader audience without requiring too much effort from users to enter.
Win your own personally customized YETI Rambler 64 oz Bottle With Chug Cap!
— Perfect Game USA (@PerfectGameUSA) February 11, 2022
Reach a new audience by joining forces with another brand or a social media influencer. Pick a contest type that addresses your mutual goals, and ask users to follow both accounts to be eligible to win.
— GameStop Canada (@GameStopCanada) February 14, 2022
Don’t forget to create a unique hashtag for your Twitter contest. No one wants to spend hours sifting through unrelated tweets to find contest entries. Hashtag contests are a great way to increase brand awareness.
The @Twins just hit their first homer!
— Budweiser (@budweiserusa) August 20, 2022
Football watching just got even better 🏈
Never miss a play again with the Pepsi Gametime Fridge TV.
— Pepsi (@pepsi) August 18, 2022
A photo contest makes it easy to gather user-generated content (UGC). UGC is original, brand-specific content created by customers. UGC can be photos or images, videos, reviews, testimonials, and more.
Win a trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina!
Submit a photo & story of you living The Beach Easy lifestyle for a chance to win a 5 day, 4 night trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina courtesy of @MyMyrtleBeach!
— Frisco RoughRiders (@RidersBaseball) August 22, 2022
Flat Blades made it to Sweden for #BearTracks🐾!
Through Labor Day, you can print and color in Flat Blades and take him with you on your summer adventures. Submit a photo for a chance to win a signed Bruins puck.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) August 21, 2022
If you want to build your following on another platform, try running a Twitter contest that drives traffic elsewhere. For example, you can send followers to your brand’s Instagram account or custom app:
Scan your Menchie’s app in-store for a chance to win a SEGA Mini Genesis console & 3 Sonic The Hedgehog games! You will get 1 entry every time you scan our app in stores thru 8/31, so time to get scanning! 3 winners will be selected in September. Visit https://t.co/EDs99X75oY pic.twitter.com/UqFmktL4SR
— Menchie's Yogurt (@MyMenchies) August 2, 2022
You could win a TFC Kit plus more great prizes from @Dawson_Dental during today's game!
Play now and come back after kick-off for more chances to WIN! ⤵️
— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) August 20, 2022
Here’s a great contest example that combines several Twitter contest types to create a unique promotion with a social twist.
- A unique hashtag
- Brand partnership with Ben & Jerry’s
- Influencer/celebrity partnership with Stephen Colbert
- Engaging elsewhere to enter by directing traffic to HeadCount.org
Are you #GoodToVote? Check your status at https://t.co/5NHPDV89qY and you'll be entered to win a trip to NYC and VIP tickets to a taping of The Late Show! Don't delay, enter today! cc: @benandjerrys & @HeadCountOrg pic.twitter.com/MOalWABqhs
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) August 12, 2022
Picking a Twitter giveaway winner can seem intimidating. What if your contest receives thousands of entries? How do you choose a random winner who has followed your contest’s rules?
Luckily, many online Twitter contest tools can automate this process. These sites can help you pick winners from retweets, likes, or your existing Twitter following.
No matter which online tool you choose, review their selection policies carefully. Some tools can only select a winner from the most recent 100 retweets, which may not include all contest participants. Look for a tool that will pick from all your contest entries, not just the most recent ones.
We know you’re excited to launch your Twitter contest! But to avoid running into any issues, review Twitter’s Guidelines for Promotions first.
Twitter’s guidelines are primarily designed to discourage spam. Contest rules should discourage users from creating multiple accounts to enter. Don’t forget that Twitter’s rules regarding safety, privacy, and authenticity apply at all times.
Make sure to cover your bases when it comes to local and federal laws. For instance, giveaways that include alcohol must be age-restricted to protect minors. Once you’ve chosen your giveaway format and prize, do some research to make sure that your contest isn’t violating any laws.
Save time by using Hootsuite to manage your Twitter presence alongside your other social channels. You can run contests, share videos, schedule posts, and monitor your efforts — all from one convenient dashboard! Try it for free today.