A few weeks ago we ran a successful Twitter campaign that promised to give away an iPad to one busy person who gets nominated by using the hashtag #iPadFromToggl. Now that the campaign is wrapped up (we got over 400 nominations) and the iPad has found its owner it’s time to share our experience with you. So here’s my 2 cents on how to create a successful social media campaign in Twitter:
Build the campaign around your goals
The first thing you have to do is figure out what you expect to achieve with your campaign. In our case it was to create buzz in social media by engaging our current users and loosely making our product known for non-toggling friends of our users as well. As we learned from the super-popular ice bucket challenge, nominating or mentioning other people as a part of your campaign is a very effective way to gain wider attention and we wanted to add this element to our campaign as well.
Have a real purpose behind the campaign
Your campaign must have a purpose other than gaining clicks, likes, leads etc. Our bigger purpose was to get to know our users a little better and see them in their own environments. That’s why we asked them to post photos and also explain why anyone who got nominated deserved the iPad. We also wanted to see how people explained being busy vs being productive. In that sense the campaign was really successful. We got great insights about the lives of Toggl users and why they are perceived as “busy” by their friends and co-workers.
Use a simple prize to motivate people to tweet
There is no such thing as a free lunch. You need to motivate people to take part in your campaign and offer something valuable in return for the tweets that you expect from your audience. You might think that if you come up with a really special and unique prize then people will be extra motivated to take part…wrong. People like prizes that are familiar and simple to relate to. We offered an iPad, because everybody knows what it is, everybody could use one (even an extra one) and it’s loosely connected to the field of time management and productivity that is very important for us.
Pick a unique hashtag that is memorable
Pick a hashtag for the campaign that hasn’t been used before by somebody else (do some research in Topsy) and make sure it doesn’t have a double meaning that could backfire on your efforts. Depending on the focus of the campaign it might be a good idea to mention your product or company’s name in the hashtag in case it starts to live it’s own life and might lose the connection to your initiative. We chose a hashtag that would capture the main benefit of the campaign, feature our product’s name and be easy to use in a sentence (…I nominate my boss, because he deserves an #iPadFromToggl…). It was a perfect match for us.
Keep the campaign alive by retweeting the best pieces
You have to make sure that your audience knows about the campaign throughout it. We shared the news in our blog, uploaded cover photos with the information to our social media channels, sent some e-mails, promoted it inside Toggl and created a central campaign landing page that showed all the nominations in one place. What really helped to keep the campaign alive until the end was retweeting some of the nominations in our own Twitter channel. This reminded our followers that the campaign wasn’t over yet and it gave extra motivation for people to nominate their friends and possibly give them wider public recognition for being so busy and/or accomplished in their lives.
Every campaign and every company is different but hopefully these lessons will be useful for creating your next Twitter campaign. Share your thoughts in the comments below and follow us on Twitter!