Simon Says: I love Twitter...and it's many competitions


They say in life you get one love. The “one” that you share your thoughts and feelings, your ups and downs and everything in between. For me, this is Twitter. Don’t sigh at me just yet, I’ve got a girlfriend – although she doesn’t Follow me.

People who know me even a tiny bit know I love Twitter much more than Facebook, I actually stopped using my personal Facebook completely 9 days ago.

Twitter is a beautifully simple platform (at the moment) that does one thing well – communications. I hope it stays that way while it tries to increase it's profits.

A recent social media study into Twitter showed that people who Follow brands are much more likely to buy and recommend the brand and it's associated products / services.

Given how important recommendations are for consumers, this should make brands take note and investigate how to start their own Twitter communities. Sadly all too many jump in the deep end, launching a feed with no direction and offering no useful content.

In that study, 75% of people claimed they’ve never un-Followed a brand, showing the loyalty of users over time. The same study showed the main two reasons people Follow a brand is to be “in the know” and receive information about promotions.

We always must remember social media is about engagement, not sales. Engagement leads to conversation and ultimately word-of-mouth recommendations, which can lead to sales.

Because of the limited size of a Tweet, you’ve got to get the contents right. Content is king in social media. But even with the best content not everyone will Follow you.

Promotions have always been 'big' news on Twitter. I was asked recently what the difference between a Re-Tweet and Reply competition is, so I thought I'd break down how I see they’re different and why each is important.

Re-Tweet Competition

In traditional marketing, you pay the most money to have an advert placed where the largest amount of people will see it. In social, it's a similar theory, only you have to carve out the "place" for yourself.

Sometimes this “place” or “reach” isn’t enough. You’ve got some great things to say, or a new product launch coming up and you want the largest amount of relevant people to know when it goes live.

If you offer something for free (it could be your product / service) just for Re-Tweeting a Tweet you extend the reach of that message. Your logo and brand name get passed around a deep circle of friends of your Followers. This type of word-of-mouth marketing is great for brands. If I see a brand or celebrity name from a Re-Tweet I usually check out their profile – we all do. This increases the chance of someone clicking the Follow button.

Even if they don’t check out the brands Twitter profile or hit the Follow button, it’s likely they’ll Re-Tweet the Tweet to enter the competition, putting your logo / brand name on their profile.

The only downside of this type of competition is you have to giveaway some product. But as cost verses rewards go, I’d say it’s worth it. It’s not something you should overuse as people will get bored and you’ll start to attract competition trolls who exist in their millions on Twitter.

Reply Competition

Personally, I prefer reply competitions. They actively encourage engagement and filter out a large number of the competition trolls who spend their days entering contests.

A Reply competition is where the brand asks a question and people Tweet back an answer.

The advantage of this type of competitions is it rewards the brand advocates and allows you to identify your most loyal Followers. These can later be outreached to for bigger and better campaigns.

Other Advantages

It’s traditional to encourage Twitter users to Follow your account to enter the competition. This has the obvious advantage of widening your potential audience but also speeds up the process of messaging the winners privately to send them their prizes.

I am a firm advocate that it is not about the number of Followers / Fans you have but the number of Followers / Fans who care about what you have to say.

If you enjoyed this blog post and liked what I had to say you can Follow me @ThisMadeMeCool.

Photo (cc) Robert Scoble.