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We all grew up listening to FM radio with all its genre bending music, morning and rush hour talk shows, varied programming, frequent advertisements and, of course, on-air contests. All these obviously entertained us listeners as they pushed brand promotions that deliver both the radio and their sponsors’ messages.
This type of varying pattern has always been proven effective from a marketing standpoint as it also rewarded listeners not only with the hourly dishing of current top rating music, but also allowed the station and its sponsors a platform to thank their patrons and potential followers as well as rewarding us with chances of actually winning something in return for our loyalty.
Proven as it is for traditional media like radio (and television and publishing as well, for that matter), it has also made a crossover to the Internet, as you may have noticed from tech and lifestyle portals. Marketers have effectively utilized it for their companies’ own Web site’s SEO strategy which. We’ll pick apart elements to plan a good contest to properly employ them over to our social media campaign through Twitter . We’ll start off with the planning stage.
Running a successful contest or game on Twitter entails sitting down and thoughtfully mapping out a clever set of steps and detailing them one by one. The top of the list should always be your objective; why are running such a promo and what do intend to achieve by doing so? Now, the answer to these can vary from simply getting more Twitter followers or gaining a significant boost to your site traffic, to simply improving on your brand awareness campaign while spreading the word about your brand’s new products or services.
While your intended contest can obviously hit more of these in one go, make sure to detail which one your prioritize is. This will definitely help keep you focused on your goal and you can craft a good contest aligned with it.
From your followers’ vantage point, the prize you’re rewarding them for their efforts should be…well, rewarding. Needless to say, something that can easily be bought from the neighborhood dollar store, no matter how useful it is, just isn’t as attractive as the latest mouse launched recently by a well-known IT manufacturer, for instance.
Depending on the budget you, your clients or sponsors are willing to shell out, you can get valuable items or services up for grabs. “Valuable” is such a subjective term; it doesn’t mean you have to go all-out, sometimes, little tokens like a signed baseball, gift cards for an online store like iTunes , Amazon or Audible and items carrying your brand’s logo would also prove attractive.
As an option, a quick way to choose a prize is by aligning it with your brand. Needless to say, it would be logical to give away copies of an album from the band, tickets to a ballgame or a concert being sponsored by your company or services to create a personalized blog or site from a Web developer you’re representing.
As with most games, there has to be a set of mechanics your followers need to follow to successfully win and these should tie directly to your game’s objective and the prize you’re giving away. A common practice on Twitter would have people to simply follow your tweets, another is by having them retweet a specific tweet you’ve sent out. These easily grows your Twitter followers which, in turn, gives you a boost in the site traffic and comments on your actual site, amplifies repeat visits and increases potential clients.
One way of going about it on Twitter is by running a sweepstakes type of contest by employing a simple randomizing application for drawing out a winner. Another is by actually giving your followers a fun activity, like providing a funny photo or drawing and then asking them to supply a funny caption or title. Maybe you can even target specific groups in your followers by setting a theme and then asking them to Photoshop a certain graphic to follow it. However, as mentioned, your prize’s value should also determine the mechanics of your contest and gauge the lengths at which your audience would go to attain them.
On Your Own Site
To integrate both the contest details and its mechanics while aiming to drive more traffic to your own domain, it’s best to set aside a specific landing page on your Web site. As the contest’s home on your domain, make sure that the page’s layout is clean and easy to navigate through for your readers. Since it is on your own site or blog, , it will not only allow your readers to read up on what else you have to offer, but it also affords them the security that what they are engaging in is a legitimate promotion and not some scam aiming to sponge off their details and links.
While this makes your readers focused and engaged on the contest details, it also catches the attention of your other readers and those who have stumbled upon your site who don’t necessarily follow you on Twitter. As a good measure, also include a small but easily seen splash graphic on your site’s homepage and a smaller one at the top of your sidebar announcing the contest with the necessary links.
Should the contest revolve around submissions, provide a separate tab on the same page where your users and others can view them. This works great if you’ve also allowed your readers to vote for the winner as this also increases social mentions across Twitterverse.