Using Facebook and Twitter as platforms for prize promotions is now so popular that it is almost the default. But now Twitter has followed Facebook’s example and published Guidelines promoters must follow if they don’t want to be barred from the site. Adam Solomon of The Lustigman Firm, New York tweets.
Topic: Social media
What: Guidelines for Contests on Twitter
Where: Anyone that uses Twitter
Law stated as at: 1 December 2010
Twitter can be used to instantly get the word out about a company’s products, services, or ideas. Many companies incorporate Twitter and other forms of social media in their promotions. Contests on Twitter may offer prizes for tweeting a particular update, for following a particular user, or for posting updates with a specific hashtag.
Twitter has created some guidelines for companies looking to host a contest using their Twitter profile. These guidelines include:
- Discourage the creation of multiple accounts: If users make lots of accounts in order to enter a contest more than once, they’re liable to get all of their accounts suspended. Ensure the contest rules clearly state that anyone found to use multiple accounts to enter will be ineligible and all entries will be disqualified.
- Discourage posting the same tweet repeatedly: Posting duplicate, or near duplicate, updates or links is a violation of the Twitter Rules and jeopardizes search quality. The contest rules should not encourage lots of duplicate updates (like saying, “whoever retweets this the most wins”). If this is not met, Twitter’s Search Best Practices could be violated. Additionally the contest rules may indicate that multiple entries in a single day will not be accepted.
- Ask users to include @reply to you in their update so you can see the entries: When it comes to picking a winner, you’ll want to see all the contestants. If the updates include @username mention to you, you’ll be able to see all the updates in your Mentions timeline. Just doing a public search may not show every single update, and some contestants may be filtered from search for quality.
- Encourage the use of topics relevant to the contest: A company might decide to have users include relevant hashtag topics along with the updates (like #contest or #yourcompanyname). Keep in mind that hashtag topics need to be relevant to the update; encouraging users to add your hashtag to totally unrelated updates might cause them to violate the Twitter Rules.
Why this matters:
Before starting any contest, it is important to review the promotion’s structure and official rules. These guidelines should help keep your company and contest entries in good standing with the Twitter’s Rules and Search Best Practices. Beyond these guidelines a company that is doing any contest needs to ensure all local laws and regulations are met wherever the contest is offered.
The Lustigman Firm, New York