Adam T. Sutton

Social Marketing: Twitter contest boosts followers 43%

Social media marketing often involves interacting with your audience and giving it what it wants — whether it wants high quality content, customer service or something else. Consistently meeting these goals helps build a following on the networks.

Neil Bhapkar, Online Marketing Manager, Kobo, and his team had followings on Facebook and Twitter, but wanted to boost Twitter followers last August. The marketing team at the global e-book retailer had experimented with a Twitter contest earlier in the year, and wanted to give it another shot with a heavier marketing push.

Kobo had about 4,600 Twitter followers at the time. Although Bhapkar did not consider Twitter to be his team’s most impactful channel, he felt that holding a contest on the network could help boost followers while further engaging Kobo’s online audience.

“I would call it efficient because it’s not overly costly,” Bhapkar says. “It’s a unique way to push the envelope in how we’re engaging with our customers and getting them to spread the word about Kobo.”

Promote contest through multiple channels

The team designed a contest to give away three of Kobo’s eReaders. People who followed Kobo received one entry into the contest. Additional entries could be received by tweeting a book recommendation with the @Kobo tag. For example:

“My favorite books is Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain @Kobo”

The team explained these rules on a contest landing page (pictured here). The page also included:
o Picture of the eReaders
o Countdown clock
o Links to share the landing page via Twitter, Facebook or email
o Official contest rules.

The contest lasted 10 days, during which the team promoted the contest in the following channels:

- Email

Just a few hours after announcing the campaign on Twitter, the team sent an email to its house list describing the rules and linking to the landing page. This was the only email sent to its list for the effort. The team’s parent company, Indigo Books & Music, also added a button in its email newsletter linked to the contest landing page.

- Homepage bannerKobo Homepage Ad

The team posted a large image on its homepage, just below the fold, mentioning the campaign and linking to the landing page.

- Social media

The team launched the contest on Twitter using software from Offerpop, through which they also monitored its progress. The team reminded Twitter followers about the contest about five times over the 10-day span.

“Whenever the launch happens, there’s a first burst of activity and then it flattens,” Bhapkar says. “The best way to reinvigorate it is by tweeting to our follower base to remind them of what is happening.”

The team also mentioned the contests to its Facebook followers.

- Paid search

The team ran paid search advertising in Google for branded keywords such as “kobo ereader” and linked the ads to the contest landing page.

More engagement from relevant offer

After 10 days, the team closed the contest, randomly picked three winners and reached out to them with direct Twitter messages. Results the team saw include:
o 43.5% increase in Twitter followers
o Reached about 500,000 Twitter users with tweets related to the campaign
o More engagement with Kobo’s audience

“It was surprising how engaged some of the most active followers were. Some people didn’t stop at having just one recommendation or two. They actually had double digits; 10, 20. They were really interested in pushing their recommendations…not just in spurts but throughout the duration of the contest,” Bhapkar says.

By crafting an offer sure to interest Kobo’s followers and by encouraging more engagement, the team concentrated more energy into its Twitter campaign and saw an appreciable lift in followers. Due to its low cost, the campaign proved to be an efficient means for increasing Kobo’s following online, Bhapkar says.

Related resources

Social Marketing ROAD Map Handbook

Social Media Marketing Benchmark Report

Social Media Marketing: How enterprise-level social media managers handle negative sentiment

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Consumer Marketing, Marketing, Social Networking Evangelism Community



  1. December 7th, 2010 at 12:06 | #1

    This is very timely for me. I am working with a client to establish a contest on twitter and this has some great ideas. Thanks,
    -Nathan

  2. December 7th, 2010 at 18:00 | #2

    Instilling competition with tweets is an awesome way to expose your product or service and the conversations that follow. Awesome post!

  3. December 8th, 2010 at 14:28 | #3

    Twitter contests are a great idea and a great way to keep your brand in the tweet stream. There is new research out now where Google and Bing admit to giving weight to Twitter mentions of a brand when it comes to serving up organic search results for that brand.

    If any of your readers are interested in knowing exactly HOW to conduct a Twitter contest, I’ve linked to a HOW TO Run a Twitter Contest article from the Sprout Social Insights blog in my profile of this comment.

    Thanks!

  4. December 8th, 2010 at 22:44 | #4

    Hi – it’s Allen from Offerpop. Great write-up Adam! And excellent point Don about value of Twitter mentions. I’ll definitely check out your how-to article, and I wanted to mention I just did a guest post on Social Times on Tips for running Twitter contests that readers might want to check out as well.

  5. September 5th, 2011 at 15:16 | #5

    Nice post. That was one of the better case studies I’ve seen using twitter contests. I liked the integration with facebook.

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