ReSoMe Blog


Retweet to Win? Setting the Rules for a Better Contest

Are you skeptical about running a contest on social media? If you use social media, you may already be aware that not every contest suits the sponsor’s goals. When you see a post that looks like, “Have you entered our ULTIMATE #GIVEAWAY yet? Follow us & RETWEET our pinned tweet to win!” it might feel easy to unfollow all your friends, pour bleach on the keyboard, and write off the practice as a whole. Fortunately, there is a more relevant way to run sweepstakes.

To be fair to other marketers, there are benefits to the simple Retweet Contests.

  1. Ease of use. For both the contest manager and the participants. To enter just rebroadcast a message. Afterwards the contest manager can generate a list of everyone who shared or retweeted their post.
  2. Potential to ‘go viral’. If everyone who participates in the contest rebroadcasts the original post, including rules for entry. The result is fans who enter the contest show their network how to enter as well.
  3. Cheap advertising. Since all rebroadcasts are the same, it’s easy to include an advertising message for everyone who sees the contest, even if they may not take the time to enter. Everyone who sees the rebroadcast sees an ad for your brand.


There are drawbacks as well.

  1. Unclear benefit. Participation in these retweet sweepstakes has a tendency to promote the contests themselves over the sponsoring service, especially if the post only instructs participants to retweet to win a prize.
  2. Annoy potential customers. These auto-generated tweets can be a social media eyesore. Do you want your brand associated with this practice?
  3. Nominal participation. Social media users are not going to confuse someone else’s pre-planned posts for genuine endorsements. A retweet only says, “I pressed a button to win something!” It does not explain why they entered your contest.


ReSoMe Case Study: Brew Donkey

When we celebrated @BrewDonkeyOtt’s 1000th follower on Twitter, we went a different route.

“Tell us who you would take with you on the tour and why! Tweet your entry to @BrewDonkeyOtt with the hashtag #U2Brew.”

We wanted to avoid the pitfalls of only promoting the contest (and not the great business it is supposed to promote) with only our words. In the #U2Brew contest we asked participants who they would take with them on a craft brewery tour, and why. The responses read like genuine testimonies for the brewery tour. Not only did participants at-mention their friends who they were interested in sharing a tour with, they explained why they wanted to go.

Each entry explains the perceived benefits of the tour in the participant’s words: a chance to bond with friends and family, enjoy local craft beer, learn about the brewing process, and take a break from stress. Whether or not they won the contest, they were pitching our client’s service to potential customers.

Another bonus: These entries genuinely make for an interesting to read.

Do you have another example of a social media contest done well? Feel free to share your experience in the comments section below.

About the Author
Shawna Tregunna
Usually found with a cup of coffee in my hand, laptop on my lap, dog at my feet & jazz in the background. I have been lucky enough to discover that my passions for learning, technology and meeting amazing people can all be experienced and made better with social media. Discovering this means I will never work another day in my life, this is all fun now! Tweeting professionally as part of @ReSoMe (^ST) and socially as @ShawnaActually
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    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

    • Mike

      That would be the service run by WordPress, there is not much we can do on our end. You should be able to unsubscribe from their emails by clicking on the Subscription Options link in the notifications.

      Here is WordPress’ support page with more information.

      Hope that helps!



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