Social Media Contests… That Work.

In my trial and error in planning a contest for my company conference, I realized a few things that I thought I would share. First off, my observations came with watching both a Twitter contest and a Youtube contest launch. As you probably have realized by now, the Twitter one was much more effective, and for a multitude of reasons. Let me count the ways.

  1. The ability to click a button to retweet for a contest is quick, simple and invaluable. People will do it for their followers if they see the magic words “please retweet”.
  2. While everyone likes the IDEA of a video contest, not everyone wants to participate in them. It’s a lot of effort
  3. Some people WANT to post a video reply but they are camera shy and/or compulsive about how they look on video
  4. The video contest isn’t over yet, so people could very well procrastinate until last minute to see how many others leave a response
  5. Alot of brands and bots on Twitter re-tweet without even realizing what they are retweeting. The power it holds is AWESOME, however, it can also work against you. I personally don’t follow bots or many BIG companies…if I wanted to get my message out there fast on Twitter I would probably fail miserably.

So that, ladies and gentleman, is my quick insight into why my video contest is not taking off in the way it should. While videos for entertainment purposes on YouTube and Vimeo are taking off, it seems like actual video responses are simmering down. Either that or the ability to click a button on Twitter trumps having to record a video and look pretty/awesome. Who knows. I guess this was a great lesson for me to learn though- next time I need to plan some kind of contest I’ll know what works and what doesn’t.

If you’re interested in knowing more about said video contest, and (::crosses fingers::) you would like to enter for a chance to win a free ticket to our summit, then please visit my post at Search Engine Journal. Maybe you can prove me wrong about my video theories :) Our summit is May 3rd and 4th… you can find more information about it on the Search & Social Summit website.

Also, if you’re interested in reading another one of the many posts related to this topic, visit this article on how to use social media¬†effectively.

How to Tweet Effectively

Twitter. It’s gone from some foreign platform to a household name. I find myself saying, “Did you get that tweet I sent you?” or “Can you re-tweet that for me?” It seems like everyone is incorporating twitter into their brand- and that’s a good thing.

But how do you get the most out of Twitter? What can you do to engage your Twitter followers so that you’re actively and effectively promoting your own brand? The answer is simple:

User Interaction.

Nobody ever wants to just follow someone who only talks about themselves. Twitter is almost as dynamic as human nature. You can reply to people, you can regurgitate things people have sent out into the Twitter-sphere and you can also talk about things going on in your life.

The most important factors to remember while using Twitter are:

  • Don’t be extremely narcissistic. No one wants to follow someone who ONLY talks about themselves… I’ve been guilty of this when I get super excited or wrapped up in something.
  • Reply to people that you follow. Like an article they posted up? Tell ’em.
  • Tweet out useful articles you find for other people in your industry. You’ll become someone worth following.
  • Use programs such as TweetDeck to manage multiple lists and also have a 360 degree view of the Twitter-sphere.
  • Look at trending topics- there may be something useful that you might want to converse in.
  • Pffft. who says you ONLY have to follow trending topics? You can hashtag out your own tweets that follow the same topic. They’ll be easier to search up when people want to follow more of what you’re saying.
  • Also, make sure you have a picture of yourself. Icons work if you’re endorsing a brand but if you want to build your PERSONAL brand people need to see the real you.

Now, like I said before, I’ve been totally guilty of only talking about myself on Twitter. It’s so easy to do also, because you figure: you have this audience who is following you, and of COURSE they won’t UNFOLLOW you (lies!) if you start tweeting more than usual.

You feel like you can just kind of plug yourself and noone will want to take you off their list for it. You’re completely wrong. Maybe on Facebook it’s a little harder to de-friend someone (and a lot more noticable) but people have no qualms about unfollowing you on Twitter. Don’t have such a big head. You may turn out like the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland. Initially holding people’s interests but eventually getting thrown out like bad milk.

What do I want you to take away from this? Engage and Inform. Don’t use Twitter as a tool for shameless self promotion. One day Twitter may not be there and you’re left as nothing but a bad taste in other people’s mouths with no way to redeem yourself.

Have any other tips that you can add to this? Something I left out? I’m interested in what other strategies Twitter-holics like myself might be using :) Feel free to discuss!