How To - Twitter Competitions

Submitted by tpf_kirsty on Mon, 2015-03-09 07:26

Hello everyone!  How was your weekend, any nice wins to report?  Three little wins for me so far this March - A colouring book from Child’s Farm, for sharing a half term tip on their Facebook comp, a Babygro from a Facebook comp with Vertbaudet and one prize I was really hoping to win of £20 to spend with Pickle Kids and my choice of vintage 1960s Enid Blyton books!  I had my heart set on the Pickle Kids comp, and made every effort I could to enter via all the different social media means possible.  My efforts paid off as they diligently announced me as the winner across all their social media platforms and via email!  That’s a good example of a promoter really doing their job when it comes to announcing a winner, and making sure everyone knows one has been chose fairly.

With my work for The Prizefinder I often get sent questions by members asking the best ways to go about comping and seeking tips and hints etc.  One of the most common questions I am asked is about getting into twitter competitions, so I thought it was about time we did a How To guide on the subject:

Twitter Comping Basics:

  • Mentions:  To tweet a company or person publically you need to use their mention name – e.g. @ThePrizeFinder.  Anything you say in this tweet will be public for the world to see.  Anything more private should go in a direct message
  • Direct Message:  To send a message to a person or company directly, privately and without anyone else seeing, you need to click the envelope symbol at the top left of your Twitter homepage, and type their Twitter name in the recipient box.  You will only be able to direct message a company or person if they follow you on Twitter.  If you need to message a company and they don’t follow you then try publically tweeting them, or contacting them via Facebook or other means.
  • Hashtags:  Hashtags don’t belong to any one company or person, and can be used by anyone.  Sometimes you will be watching a live TV programme and people will be tweeting regarding that programme with the related hashtag – for example #SaturdayNightTakeaway. Hashtags allow you to follow a subject or trend, without having to dip in and out of a particular company or person’s twitter feed all the time, and you can also see tweets about the subject from people you don’t follow too.

Types of Twitter Competitions:

Follow & Retweet 

  • These are the quickest and simplest way to enter competitions with Twitter, and are similar to Like & Share comps on Facebook.  A company will simply ask you to follow them by clicking the “follow” button next to their name, and then press the Retweet button under the competition post to share it with your followers.  You will only be able to share each post once, and the symbol will change to green once you have pressed it.
  • Beware though, if you just spend your day retweeting competitions Twitter will think you are spamming and will sometimes remove your tweets from searches, meaning promoters won’t see them when they are picking a winner.
  • A better way to go about these competitions is to add a little original content too.  Press the favourite button as well as retweeting, as it increases your interaction with the promoters and increases the number of times they see your name.  Also try and reply to the tweet with a nice comment or to use any hashtag in the comp post, so the promoter knows you are engaged.
  • For a quick and easy list of current follow and retweet comps you can use The PrizeFinder Quick Entry Twitter comps page.  On this page all you need to do is follow and retweet via the buttons provided, and then if you wish you can click through to the comp post via twitter and add some extra interactions and replies if you want to increase your chances.

Photo comps 

  • There are lots of great photo comp opportunities when it comes to Twitter, and these are often short lived and lower entry.  I recently won a competition with Kiss FM which was launched on air for around 3 hours, where you had to submit a photo of yourself pretending to accept a BRIT award and tweet them with an appropriate hashtag.  There weren’t very many entries, as it was during the day and not open for very long, so was a great comp to win.
  • During holidays and celebrations such as Pancake Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas there are always loads of great photo competitions being run on Twitter, so it is a good idea to have a stockpile of photos to use.  You can search for relevant hashtags in the Twitter search options for example #PancakeDay and this will help you track down current competitions around a theme.

Hashtags and Twitter Parties:

  • Sometimes a promoter wants you to do a bit more than just follow and retweet a competition post.  They may also want you to reply to the post with a specific hashtag and maybe the answer to a question or a tie breaker.  You need to make sure you use the hashtag correctly, or it won’t be seen by the promoter when they pick a winner. 
  • Another great use of hashtags for competitions are Twitter parties.  These are online parties that happen across various twitter accounts usually over the course of one or two hours, where each account and each party member uses the same hashtag. 
  • Lots of the blogging websites hold regular twitter parties in association with big companies such as Disney, giving away prizes to party members just for interacting with the party and answering questions usually around a theme and using the relevant hashtag in each post.  The same hashtag will be used across all the bloggers and hosts involved, meaning you don’t have to follow them all to join in, just follow one to read the questions and make sure you reply to each tweet with the correct party hashtag.  You can then search for the hashtag in the search function to keep track of what everyone else is saying, and to check when winners are announced.

Twitter Tips:

  • You can only follow 2,000 Twitter accounts at any one time, unless you are being followed by a significantly large number of people.  To manage who you follow you can just go through your list on Twitter, but this can be time consuming and you run the risk of unfollowing someone who you recently followed for a competitions.  I recommend using ManageFlitter to manage your following list, as you can filter who you follow by the last time they tweeted, where they are based in the world and when you started following them.  This gives you greater control over who you unfollow, making it less likely you will unfollow someone you need to follow for a competition.
  • Always retweet the original promoter’s post, and not that of another comper.  Your retweet of a retweet will not be seen by the promoter and won’t count (similar to sharing a shared post on facebook), so it is always best to find the original post in the promoter’s feed and retweet that one.
  • Check your notifications list regularly.  Promoters will favourite and retweet the interactions with a competition post usually, as it makes it easier for them to keep track of entries.  You can see their interactions with your entry through the notification list, and you will also see any new followers etc.  Sometimes when you have won a competition you will see the promoter follow you shortly before you are announced – this is a very exciting thing for Twitter compers!  A promoter following you doesn’t always mean you have won a comp, but it does add to the suspense!
  • Try and enter Twitter competitions as close to the ending time and date as possible.  Administering Twitter competitions is a veritable nightmare, and having run our own competitions at The PrizeFinder we know how hard it can be to fairly choose a winner.  I have found that I have had some good success with Twitter comps if I enter within the last hour or so, if at possible.
  • Look out for #FreebieFriday and #WinItWednesday competitions on their respective days.  There are loads of Twitter competitions on Fridays and Wednesdays, and a lot of them will end the same day, so will be lower entry and a better chance of winning.

Entering Twitter Comps with The PrizeFinder

  • For simple, easy follow and retweet comps all you need to do is head to our Quick Entry Twitter Comps page, where you will find a list of current competitions, sorted by those closing soonest, for you to enter with  few clicks of a mouse or taps of a screen.
  • For any other Twitter competitions that require more interaction in the way of a reply with a hashtag, uploading a photo or even just clicking “favourite” head to the main Twitter competitions section of the site, where you will see all the competitions listed with all their relevant requirements of entry.
  • I hope this has given you a good basis to start comping with Twitter.  I love Twitter as a comper and have had some lovely wins from it.  Do feel free to follow me (@KirstyGreer) and make sure you follow @ThePrizeFinder too to be kept up to date with all the comping news!

Happy Twitter comping everyone, and lots of Lucky dust to you all!

Kirsty x


Submitted by carolinecordery on Thu, 2015-03-12 09:42


I don't actually use Twitter as A Thing, having just opened an account to do competitions, so I don't understand what I'm looking at at all when I go to the website (and I am not computer illiterate in any sense), so this guide is helpful , esp when you say not to retweet a retweet, and to add some personal content as well. I am still not sure where to put a photo or a reply, when they ask for these things and usually just end up copying someone else's post and hoping it makes sense to the promoter.

Hi congrats on starting with Twitter comps, and I glad the guide was useful. To reply to a competition tweet you press the arrow pointing left underneath the post and type in the box there. To add a photo you need to click into the reply box as I mentioned and there is a camera icon where you can add a photo by browsing from your computer. Hope that helps and good luck! x