Lately I’ve been witnessing more and more competitions and prizes being offered by Twitter users as a way of increasing subscriber numbers. Each time I see these competitions (and I’m asked to link up to them every 2nd day by those holding them so I see quite a few) I have mixed feelings. As someone looking to find followers a competition can and (in many cases that I’ve observed) does work.
The main reason I react against the idea of competitions as a way to build my own follower numbers is that I wonder if it’s actually a good long term strategy for building a profile on Twitter that has focus and will build a network that has value. I’m not saying that followers gained from a competition are useless – but I wonder whether going the route of essentially buying followers will end up providing you with a network that is valuable?
The danger of running a competition with a cool prize is that you could end up with a whole heap of followers who have little interest in you or what you tweet about rather than a network of followers who are engaged and actively interested in your topic. Focused Prizes that Attract Focused Followers – One idea that comes to mind is to do a competition that has a prize or giveaway that is strongly related to the topic that you tweet about. Community Building Competitions – the other type of competition that I think has potential on Twitter is the type that you run FOR your current followers rather than for recruiting new ones. I would prefer someone to follow me on twitter because of who I am than follow me because I’m offerring a prize !! I suppose he is an exception as he is tweeting purely for entertainment rather than marketing purposes. Anyway, if you have a large number of followers it will not be as personal as twitter was suppose to be. I can see a benefit in a competition if it is going to gain followers for the right reason. One potential that could work is as kind of suggest a competition that offers a prize that does not cause people to follow you because of the potential material gain. Raw follower numbers are interesting… Many people chase them, and yet the general sense of the comments is that the right followers, rather than raw numbers are best.
The conclusion is that all else being equal, having more followers leads to having even more followers. Hi Daren, about running competitions on twitter in my point of view its juts how you say, day do it juts to archive users, to have more user, an d it don’t wort because a lot of them its juts to twitterspam you whit promotion of there blog, i thing you say the say, in you post.
In fact, I won’t even follow anyone that follows me for the purpose of gaining subscribers, unless that person offers value. When I first started reading your post I thought I would disagree slightly with you, but once I finished reading the whole post, I do agree with you. I see some people join twitter and follow as many people as they can off of some list of twits that have auto-follow backs. Speaking as one that has run competitions, I have to say, I’m doing it to build followers.
As Murray stated above, I believe that prior to any campaign we need to ask ourselves what our goals are going to be. I do however, agree that it is an extremely valuable tool for a niche marketer or blog owner to have a controlled giveaway for their followers. For example, as a small business owner I setup a booth at a lot of festivals and expos to let people hang out in our lightweight hammocks and get to know our company. I think it would be interesting to also measure how many of these new followers drop out within a day, within a week and within a month after the results of the contest are announced.
I do like the idea of a providing a relevant incentive for people to at least notice you in the first place.
We’re also starting to see some negative sentiment around entangling re-tweets as a qualification for the prize. It is kinda like in real estate you have an open house and you advertise you are serving food, well the people that come are not going to buy a candy bar let alone your home, yes you did get a lot of traffic to your home but all your traffic disappears and you are left no food.

But if you are building a following in blogging and social media, then attempting to build a substantial following by holding Twitter contests may not be the best way to go about it. Twitter contests are a nice diversion, but if you are trying to build a substantial Twitter following and you want to hold contests on Twitter, you had better take a hard look at your target audience. However, if the followers we gained through the exercise stick around and find it was worth following us – how much does it matter how they found us? Competition still works in Twitter because Tweeps are still ignorant about the value of followers, and marketers are taking advantage of the fact. In the future, getting Twitter followers are not limited to RT, but also from other media and advertising channels.
I recall a long time ago that I hit the unsubscription link in every email that did nothing but participated in a huge launch for the sake of prizes and provide nothing in return.
A lot of people are involved with social networks that include others with illness and I’ve been thinking of what give-aways we could do to promote our event in Sept without being tacky. Plus, our virtual conference last year had 19 seminars and we’ll be doing 20 more this year, which are all available through itunes.
I understand wanting a focused following and wanting followers who follow me bacause they have some sort of interest in what I have to share.
The book is about CSS and as a result its a promotion that will only appeal to a certain group of people – the type of people that Sitepoint are attempting to connect with on Twitter. These competitions are where you add value to your follower network by giving something away. I tweeted the contest to my followers, it directed them to sign up at the site, and they were entered into the competition, which was for a holiday directly related to the niche. He also celebrated 50k of followers with another competition – You had to use 50 L’s in one tweet! During the time of the competition, they can witness what you twit about and then they can decide if they like you or not.
Very specific product like a CSS book will bring plenty of webmaster geek only but a laptop will bring almost everyone. I definitely am of the mind that a contest has to be related to the subject of the blog, as well as the prize be related. For many advertising campaigns (whether web based or print media) the goal is simply to get massive blind numbers involved and shoot for a certain percentage to actually benefit from your product or service and continue using it or subscribing. Giving away something of value to your subscribers, especially if it is relevant to your site or blog (or Twitter account) is the most effective way to obtain more loyal subscribers through a contest or giveaway.
We secure iPhone app promo codes (which allows the user to download the specified app at no charge) and giveaway these codes to our current follow base. Someone had given me an item to use as a give-a-way and I thought about many avenues to do the contest. You’ll get all kinds of followers by holding a Twitter contest, not just tweeple interested in marketing, blogging and social media.
If you are a serious blogger than you are also a marketer, which means you can’t afford to ignore social media. My personal Twitter philosophy is to be myself, have an accurate profile and naturally attract followers who share my interests and passions. At this time, people have to start considering the cost of RT just for the sake of winning prizes and giving value to their followers.
You just have to make sure not to just jump on the contest bandwagon without first planning what you want to get from the contest, and you’ll do fine.
Still, even without the prizes, he’s still a valuable resource on coffee since he also produces videos that teach you the art of enjoying different coffees, reviews varieties and encourages (and helps) you to know more about coffee.
So that way we could give people an additional tool to hear the seminars on besides blog talk radio.

I’ve been doing some reading, but right now trying to build a solid base foundation on FB and Twitter.
Let me explain (and hopefully in the process of writing this post I’ll actually work out what I think on the topic). You might do this by doing a random giveaway or by asking your followers to enter by submitting a tweet answering a question of some kind. When do they have merit and when are they too much and even potentially harmful to your twitter profile? Though unless it is someone tweeting something of interest or value ‘ll probably unfollow after the competition ends. Some of the entries were bizarre, not sure he’s announced the winner of that yet, though he’s on 64k of followers barely a week later!!!
Yes you may gain hundreds of thousands of followers, but if you dont provide quality tweet’s that these new followers actually want to read and respond to then in reality you have gained absolutely nothing.
The whole point of Twitter in my opinion is networking with people and having conversations. That was run for the month of December, and the first 3 correct answers to Christmas questions (simple ones) got a credit for a domain. And I certainly don’t feel that having a contest to gain followers is of any benefit. There are a few Twitterers I’ve been very close to unfollowing because it seems like all they do is promote contests on their sites. This way your new followers will also be interested in everything else you are doing besides just the giveaway.
I would appreciate visits to my sites, and donations for my current ministry project, however, I don’t necessarily know that the Twitterverse will be open for that. If after following you don’t find any added value, then by all means, look somewhere else for your intellectual comedy.
This IS the method I prefer to use, simply because it is more effective for long-term subscribers than giving away something that isn’t relevant to my audience.
Having competitions got getting followers doesn’t make sense and in all probability folks who become followers during these competitions may not even look at your tweets. That way, people that took part were more likely to be interested in t-shirts as well, and would follow the account in addition to just retweeting. Who knows, getting your content in front of them may eventually pique their interest and stimulate them to engage. I don’t react as negatively to these types of competitions simply because they are more about increasing engagement with your current follower community than simply attracting the masses.
To me the whole benefit of twitter is when you have a quality network and when you interact with your network. I do care that I follow people who engage with me and provide useful information via Twitter. Perhaps the metrics are not that precise yet for Twitter, but still the contest is a rather cost effective way to attract followers. If your goal is to build a long term relationship with a group of followers and friends, contests don’t cut it. The happy effect of that is the fact that it has broadened that communication channel fo me. Building a large network of Twitter followers requires that you interact frequently with your followers, participate and add value in conversations with people you follow and a large dose of patience as building a follower network takes time.

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