Running a Twitter Competition – Part 2: Deciding Winners

This is the second part of the “Running a Twitter Competion” Mini Series. You can read Part 1 here.

So after promoting the comptition and raising the profile of the competition, we now move onto deciding the winners when the competition is closed. This used a couple of tools, to help make my job a lot easier.

Collating Entrants – Tweets 2 CSV

The first challgenge was to collate tweets. Unfortunately, there was nothing out there that could do this easily, so I made a tool 🙂 – this tool is Tweets 2 CSV. Basically you can take a search string and export the resulting tweets & users as a CSV. This allowed me to easily add numbers to each tweet who entered (by entry, I used “people who used the #authorplus hashtag”), before making the draw.

If you are to enter competitions on twitter, here are two tips:-

  • Make Sure You Follow Instructions! You’d be surprised how many people tweeted something that was different from the competition string. It’s best to follow instructions to the letter! More on this later.
  • Make Sure Your Twitter Feeds Are Public: Most competitions I know collate entrants using search strings. As such, private twitter feeds, despite entering, aren’t actually entered due to private feeds. I recommend if you are to enter comeptitions, leave your twitter feeds public.

Picking Winners – Random.org

After grabbing a feed from Tweets2CSV, I numbered each entry in Microsoft Excel. To draw the numbers, I used the random generator number to generate five numbers. I then matched up the numbers to the numbers on the spreadsheet to check the results.

Why did I use Random.org? It’s largely considered to be the most randomised number generator out there (even “random” numbers aren’t truly random, often “random” numbers are actually just a series of numbers matched to dates). After 5 numbers, I then verified the potential winners.

Verifying Entrants – DoesFollow

To verify the second part of the competition, I needed to make sure that the user was actually following the Blogging Dojo Twitter Account. To do this I used a tool called DoesFollow. This allows you to check if account one is following account two. Easily it was the best tool I tested for this sort of thing, as a lot were either innacurate or required you to sign up to their service. DoesFollow is completely free, and well worth checking out.

Once each winner was verified (one wasn’t, naughty!). I scribbled together a blog post & contacted each winner.

Prize for entrants – Discount Code

This was where amazing value came from. I offered a discount code to all entrants to the competition if they dropped me a message to the contact form. Surprisingly, three people took me up on the offer, two of which lead to sales. So for running the competition, I actually saw a profit.

Conclusion

Overall, I was delighted how the competition ran. I got plenty of traffic and a few sales, which was lovely (and unexpected). However, there were ways I could improve it.

  • One Week – too long? I felt towards the end of the competition that it became hard & harder to promote it beyond the initial buzz. A week was a little long, I thought.
  • Get Partners On Board Before The Competition Began – I was lucky that a couple of my mates retweeted the competition a few times, this lead to a few more entrants without any asking. I’d like to get a few people on board next time early on to promote it the second of the launch.
  • Prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd – With 5 prizes, they were fairly similar. I think next time I’d like to run a staged prize competition, with a nice prize for first, one for second & one for third.

What are your thoughts? What did you make of the competition? Any tips on what I can do better? Leave them in the comments!

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