About 10 days ago, I decided to conduct a poll asking how people feel about contests and giveaways on Twitter. I invited people who follow me on Twitter at either @themotherofall or @anndouglas to respond to a survey using Survey Monkey. I didn't participate in the poll myself. The poll was set to allow only one response per IP address.
- 76.5% of the respondents were parents; 23.5% were not.
- 51 people responded to the survey, with 49 answering the question.
Here are the results.
QUESTION. How do you feel about contests and giveaways on Twitter?
I love them. I wish there were more contests and giveaways.
20.4% (10 responses)
I don't mind them. Sometimes I participate in contests and giveaways, if I have the time.
46.9% (23 responses)
I ignore contests and giveaways. I'm simply not interested.
8.2% (4 responses)
I don't like contests and giveaways. They clutter my Twitter stream.
22.4% (11 responses)
I hate contests and giveaways. I do anything I can to avoid them.
2.0% (1 responses)
The 13 comments that people provided offer further insight into how people feel about contests and giveaways:
- I have done one and I wish I hadn't. I feel like most of them are just an invitation for spam. That or they promise more than they will actually deliver.
- I'm of the "I don't mind" group as long as they are not continuous. Twitter Tuesday for a weekly giveaway is too much, but a special contest or a 2-3 times a week reminder of a giveaway/contest are fine if it's a special or unique event and not an ongoing thing. I don't like clutter in my stream so as long as it's not excessive, I'm okay with it.
- I love to check for new ones several times a day.
- I unfollow people who tweet to much about contests and giveaways
- I hate them and they clutter the stream, when everyone I follow then posts about the same contests. Ugh! Maybe if I won I'd change my opinion. :)
- It was fun at first, but now I'm just annoyed and I don't want to help shill bloggers' swag.
- Seems like I always miss the contest. Only see winner announcements so I constantly feel like I've missed out.
- Repeatedly RTd contests and giveaways I consider spammy though. (No more than once / day please!)
- I don't mind contests when the contest creator tweets about it, but it bugs me when they make tweeting about it a mode of entry, so dozens of other people are tweeting. That's sort of annoying and tedious.
- It depends on the contest and I try to keep my participation from annoying others who follow me.
- I don't mind them, but they shouldn't be in your face like the [brand name deleted] contest. I ended up unfollowing people because they would. not. shut. up. about the [brand name deleted].
- Kind of a combination...
Here are some conclusions I have reached, based on the results of the survey. Some of them may be in the ballpark; some of them may be way off base. My survey sample was small, after all. But working with the numbers I have and the comments I received, here goes:
- Just one in five people are contest fans. 20.4 % of people love contests. 55.1% don't really care either way. 24.4% actively dislike them.
- A contest should be something special. If you're having a contest every day, most people will start to think of your contest as spam.
- Play fair. If you decide to run a contest, make sure you're offering something of value and don't use your contest as an excuse to create a mailing list and then start spamming people.
- Win friends, don't alienate people. Consider how often you're promoting the same contest – and how often your followers are also retweeting those same repeated promotional messages. You want your contest to be something positive, not something that annoys and alienates people.
- Don't flog the contest to death. It appears that some people who previously enjoyed contests and giveaways on Twitter are starting to lose patience with them. Perhaps contests and giveaways have been overused on Twitter. Maybe some fresh marketing ideas need to emerge. Perhaps people on Twitter are more interested in sharing ideas than entering contests (unless it's a really unique or exceptional contest).
But enough from me. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.
PS. Most of the time, you'll find me posting at The Mother of All Parenting Blogs at ParentCentral.ca or in my Parenting Blog at Yahoo! Canada Lifestyle.