How to create an effective Twitter contest – quick case study

Image of twitter contest promotionWe’ve seen a lot of twitter contests as of late and stumbled across this one that gets our ‘two thumbs up’. Scotiabank has teamed up with Amex to create a social media campaign called
The Tweet Escape. Intriguing, right?

They are asking their followers to tweet this messages (with their own preferences in the parenthesis) between October 15th and October 26th.

“With $10K, I’d go to [destination] with @[Twitter friend]. #ScotiaAmex @scotiabank”

Why We Like This One
First of all – they’re giving away money, who doesn’t want some of that? Not everyone has $10,000 to throw into the pot for a promotion, but you don’t need to in order to run an effective twitter campaign. Here’s what makes this one great.

It’s Simple
People have short attention spans and even less time. You have only seconds to get your message across – especially on social media.

Twitter contests that need more than a few short lines to explain how to enter can seem convoluted to most and won’t grab the attention deserved. This messaging is succinct and effective with tweetable content (less than 140 characters) to promote it.  In 44 characters, they managed to explain the what and how with…  “Tweet your way to a trip for two worth $10,000”.

It has a Short Window
The contest time period is less than two weeks, an appropriate time to run a campaign like this. Anything longer would lose its appeal and momentum.

They Made it Fun
Who doesn’t dream of packing a suitcase and just taking off. It’s fun to dream of faraway destinations and what you would do with found money.

It’s Well Thought Out.
Scotiabank has integrated this contest ‘front and centre’ on all their online properties including their website and Facebook.

They used their own twitter handle AND a hashtag in the re-tweetable message. Smart. Not only a great way to track campaign success, but their own twitter account is re-tweeted every time – greater brand awareness. We’ve seen too many contests on twitter where the host forgets to add their own twitter handle in the message – a missed opportunity.

The intended message to tweet is under 50 characters, leaving more than enough room for followers to enter their content and still have plenty of room for even more.

It has Instant Viral Potential
Here’s the best part. One of the variables they are asking their followers to do is to complete the message with the handle of the twitter friend they would most likely take with them. Instant viral potential. This message will spread twice as fast.

According to the contest rules, you have to be following to win plus agree to video and other multi-media promotion as the winner-another smart move. Sounds like the PR mileage they will get from the follow-up will be well executed too.

The only thing that we can think of that could make this campaign better, is if they ran it in the February – March time frame, when everyone has the ‘winter blahs’ and is really thinking about getting away from it all.  Perhaps the viral potential would be increased just that little bit more.  (But that didn’t stop us from entering :))

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