#Twitter #Contest Guidelines 101

October 1, 2012
You can set up your won #contest and #promo on Twitter, but before you do, know that there are certain guidelines you must follow. Twitter has been used for a variety of purposes, particularly for advertising and marketing. Considering that the website serves millions of online users, many groups have found it very worthwhile to invest in the social media site to gain new followers and help spread their reputation. There are different activities and methods used to promote business. Twitter can also be used to host contests and other games that will help improve awareness and let others know about an array of new products, offerings and services in a more fun and engaging manner -- and in the world of micro-blogging, user engagement is key.

Running Contests

Companies, businesses, groups and other online entrepreneurs start contests and sweepstakes using their own Twitter accounts. Here's the activity on the hashtag #contest recently. Notice the many spikes on the graph -- these indicate the popularity of contests across different industries. In fact, type in #contest on the search box of your Twitter homepage and you'll get a plethora of these promos across countries in one thread. Contests hosted on Twitter will feature a variety of prizes for posting certain updates or tweeting and incorporating a certain hashtag. Some people also get to win competitions on the social media site by following specific users. Online advertisers can adopt the same strategy and find out how it can help boost business and reputation. Read the rules and regulations on Twitter first before you begin.

Being Aware of the Rules

Online users, no matter how long they?ve been using Twitter, should take time to review and reread the rules on Twitter. Knowing all the relevant rules and guidelines will ensure that the contest will be properly managed and those who join will truly appreciate the mechanics. Before initiating any form of contest or raffle, compliance with all the related rules and laws is required. These rules should be followed carefully by Twitter users and they are expected to know all the details from beginning to end. It?s best to discuss other matters and possible consequences with a lawyer. Legal compliance should be thoroughly discussed with a lawyer to ensure that the game does not violate any law in any way. Individuals who might experience some difficulty and other problems such as violations of the rules, can go to the page on How to Report a Violation.

Things To NOT Do

Some users might think of making several accounts to increase their chances of winning in contests. However, Twitter will be monitoring the activities and highly discourage uses from making multiple accounts. Those who proceed risk having all their existing accounts suspended. If you?re hosting the contest, include in the general guidelines that any person who makes more than one account will be ineligible or be subject to disciplinary action by Twitter. Another common violation of the rules involve using duplicate or almost duplicate updates or links. Avoid publishing rules that will result in a duplication of updates. Doing this might lead to users being automatically filtered out of the search option on Twitter. Many potential contestants and followers might actually find the duplicates intrusive and think that the company hosting is not legitimate at all. Avoid compromising the quality of the business or online contest by placing the rules clearly from the very start. Some hosts indicate that several entries placed in one day will no longer be eligible.

Staying Relevant

Encourage users instead to place relevant and associated hashtag topics together with their posts and updates. Posting unrelated material might be a violation of the guidelines on the website. Tell the contestants to include a @username so you can continuously monitor the updates in the Mentions timeline. The contestants will also be easier to locate when found relevant to the topic. Contests and promos are a great way to get your followers engaged and participating actively with your strategies. But don't forget to stay within the rules and preserve Twitter Etiquette to stay on.

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