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Want to engage your consumers? Then Twitter is for you...

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Want to engage your consumers? Then Twitter is for you...

Contests have been used as a mode of consumer engagement by brands for long. While earlier, a consumer became aware of an ongoing contest only at the time of purchase, later on ads in print, TV and radio drew consumer attention.

Today, with digital media getting precedence, marketers are tapping new media to engage consumers. Among the new media platforms, Twitter has been changing the way brands look at contest generation, with contests and campaigns specifically designed for the 140-character platform. According to recent studies, Twitter contests are far more effective in creating brand-engagement than any other paid online media.

exchange4media looks at how brands are leveraging Twitter’s 140 characters in different shades for creating consumer engagement.

Taking the integrated route
Several big brands as well as Bollywood movies in India are using contests in an integrated manner to create more footfalls. These contests integrate the offline and online marketing exercises. Based on the tweets posted, some event unfolds offline and engages the participants beyond the social network.

For instance, for his latest film ‘Chennai Express’, Shah Rukh Khan announced a global integration with Twitter India and ZipDial. The collaboration allows everyone across the country to follow and engage with the actor on Twitter via SMS. With immediate effect anyone with a mobile phone can follow SRK on his Twitter handle - @iamsrk - by dialling or giving a missed call at 09015500555. The experience works for any phone and any operator network and is free of charge, irrespective of whether they have a Twitter account or data-enabled phone.

Taking the #Hashtag route
Brands are also asking tweeps to answer a question in the most interesting way possible by using a designated #hashtag. This kind of schemes not only gets brands a lot of mentions and visibility, but leads the way to interesting conversations as well, thus building association. For the onlookers as well, it is fun to know what quirky ideas people come up with in those 140 characters.

Disney India recently created a trending conversation around #IfIWereAPlane for its latest release ‘Planes’. Similarly, Tata Nano recently promoted the trend #NanoAwesomeness by inviting its fan base to participate in the Twitter contest. The brand has associated with Lakme Fashion Week and is creating multiple conversations over contests through which users get a chance to attend the Lakme Fashion Week.

Taking the Retweet & Follow back route
This is the one of the most simple and popular kind of contest, where participants stand a chance of winning by following and retweeting the brand’s tweets. After the contest is over, the winners are determined randomly or with the aid of a lucky draw. However, one major issue with such contests is that an entrant does not agree by any rules before retweeting or entering the contest and hence, legal implications may follow.

HomeShop18 recently carried out such an activity by asking its tweeps to follow its office page and tweet using #HS18New by answering five questions to win iPad and Sony cameras. Dominos India carries such contests every week. Maybelline India, too, executed a similar campaign through which users could win the products of their choice.

Apart from these, brands are also using Vine and photography as part of their contests. With the increasing clutter in the brand space, it is essential that brands don’t create too much noise on users’ timeline, which might put them off. It will be interesting to see in what different ways brands will use the land of 140 characters to generate contests in the coming days.


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