Twitter is a fantastic tool for finding people who are interested in your content and services, which from an ethical SEO perspective is very important. By running competitions on Twitter, you can build your followers quickly, easily and at minimal cost.

Twitter competition guidelines are quite simple; discourage users from creating multiple accounts as a tool for entering the competition more than once, and ensure that the entry to the competition does not involve entrants tweeting the same message over and over again. Easy.

The ultimate goal is to increase your followers, which in turn can increase traffic to your site. If the competition is run correctly; the people who enter the contest will be interested in your services. These people will be more likely to stay following you after the competition has finished, and are more likely to visit your website. This may mean that you have fewer people enter your contest, but wouldn’t you rather have a smaller number of followers who are interested in your niche than thousands of followers who will “unfollow” as soon as the competition is over?

In order to attract your target audience, the prize you offer needs to be specific. Offering a £100 prize could attract anyone that wants an extra £100 in their back pocket. If you run a cake decorating supply shop, for example, and are looking to build a following of cake makers, who are likely to buy products from you in the future, then your prize needs to appeal to that audience. The prize doesn’t need to be extravagant; just something that entrants would like and may not already have themselves.

Another good idea is to ask other suppliers for prizes. Take the cake shop instance; asking a supplier who makes high quality mixers, for example, to donate a prize can help to attract followers that you may not have had access to previously. If the supplier of that mixer Tweets or posts on their site that their product is in the prize draw then all of their followers will know about your competition. Those followers, in theory, should also be your target audience; handy eh?

In order to encourage people to enter the competition, they need incentive, and this doesn’t always come in the form of a prize. Again, taking the cake shop example; ask entrants to tweet a picture of one of their cakes as part of their entrance into the competition (something like this works particularly well for Christmas competitions as you can provide a theme). This will give them the chance to showcase their skills and gain new followers of their own; the majority of people entering your competition will be business owners and will be looking for opportunities to develop their own business too.

Once the competition is set up and running, you need to have a suitable tracking system in place. Asking entrants to use a specific hash tag can help to monitor who has entered the competition. By making it one of the conditions of entry, you shouldn’t miss out anybody that has entered once you start to collate the data.

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