7 Ways to Engage Your Contest Participants on Twitter

Posted by Tina Hoang

As a Community Manager, you’re constantly looking for genuine ways to connect with your audience.

“OH: Twitter opens doors for brands to develop ongoing dialogue with customers.”

“OH: Contests are a great way to increase fan engagement, strengthen relationships and encourage brand loyalty.”

So you’ve joined Twitter and you’ve amassed a decent following for your brand. And now you’re running a fun and interactive contest (with Strutta, of course)!

If you’ve gotten this far, you’re definitely on the right track. But to really connect with your following and maximize your contest promotion’s reach, use these proven Twitter tips:

1. Tell everyone you’re on Twitter

Work into the design or details your Twitter presence. Make it easy for your contest participants to learn your Twitter handle (they can’t follow you if they don’t know you’re on Twitter!).

Live @ YVR added a custom block with social buttons in banner section of their contest site.

The New York Intern Project created a social block in the Details section of the contest site using HTML and Strutta’s CSS Style Kit.

Launch @ Grow simply included a link to their Twitter Hashtag (#lpgrow) in the Details section of the contest site.

2. Create an official contest hashtag

Keep the hashtag short, memorable, and relevant. Use it consistently and make sure your participants know about it too. Having a go-to hashtag for the contest will make it easier for people to find official contest updates from you and for everyone follow the contest activity. Launch @ Grow used #lpgrow as their official hashtag. They also embedded a stream to showcase the hashtag’s activity on their website.

3. Monitor all contest mentions through streams

Unfortunately not everyone will use the hashtag you create. Make sure you catch all activity by tracking the hashtag, other keywords, sponsor accounts, etc. These streams were easily set up via Hootsuite.

4. Constantly engage with your community

Throughout the contest run (which includes before, during, and after), post updates, link to entries, and engage with participants. Fuel the excitement! Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism (@nltweets) did a great job of this during its 48 Half Hours campaign.

5. Collect Twitter names in the entry form

Have your participants share their Twitter names as a survey question in the entry form. That way you can swiftly thank them for entering through an @mention, and add them to relevant Twitter lists and streams, etc.

In Strutta’s Do It Yourself Contest Builder, you can add your own survey questions to the entry form. Use this tool as a way to build your Twitter network! You can then collect the answers and other data in a CSV download.

6. Customize the share messages

All contests built on Strutta’s platform come with built-in share tools. Participants can easily share pages and content from the contest site via Facebook, Twitter, and email. We can customize the default share messages for your contest upon request.

7. Track the action

Finally, as a part of your campaign’s overarching marketing plan, be sure to track and measure the response and activity you receive on Twitter. Understanding the data will help get a handle on your campaign’s ROI and it will also help set some benchmarks for your next campaign!

Track sharing activity via Strutta’s Stats Dashboard; monitor referral traffic and other metrics via Google Analytics (you can plug in a tracking code into your Strutta-powered contest); Log retweets, @mentions, plus other social indicators and sentiments through other social dashboards like Radian 6 or free services like Tweetstats.

What do you do to engage with your contest participants on Twitter?

to get started; it’s free!