Twitter is one of our favourite social media tools and this past week we’ve had a chance to test some of its best uses – hashtag trends and competitions. We had a collection of good staff photos here at Hughes PR, so we decided to use them to run a week-long caption competition on Twitter.
Hashtags are words or themes preceded by a # sign, so that they’re easily “catalogued” and searchable on Twitter and people can follow that theme and contribute. For example, this week you could have searched the #ashes hashtag on Twitter to keep up with people’s commentary on the cricket.
We knew it would help boost the caption competition’s visibility if there was a hashtag, so we registered #captioncomp on What The Hashtag. (You don’t have to register hashtags, but it can be prudent if you’re interested in that phrase and you want to provide your followers with a reference point. It doesn’t stop tweeters from using it as they like).
Terms and conditions
Competitions are relatively easy to run on Twitter. They don’t have onerous terms and conditions (like Facebook for example). People enter quickly on a whim, to have some fun. Competitions don’t cost much to run either – but they do take staff time and a prize. (You don’t necessarily need to have a prize – a lot of Twitter users like to participate just to show their skills and enjoy the platform).
At the time, Hughes PR had also reached 1000 Twitter followers, which helped to spread the word about the competition.
We monitored the competition hashtag’s performance on Trendsmap and Twirus. These provide a good overview of the popularity of a topic. The results were good – particularly on day one and the #CaptionComp “trended” in South Australia almost every day. Sites like What The Hashtag and Tweetreach also contributed to our picture of the competition’s progress.
Choosing a winner
Our ‘judging panel’ was made up of all Hughes PR staff, who could vote for the daily winner. To do this we created a poll and asked staff to vote for their favourites.
At the end of the competition week, we compiled one final poll for staff to vote on.
The caption competition provided us with many opportunities including:
- Connecting with followers in a fun way
- Helping our followers put some ‘faces’ to Hughes PR staff names
- Demonstrating our own adoption of social media
- Testing how a Twitter competition can evolve
- Providing ideas we may present to clients in the future
- Directing some traffic to our official website
- And of course, further promoting Hughes PR online. ‘Hughes PR’ itself became a trending Twitter term.
We received a lot of funny caption competition entries. The finalists are on our website and it’s well worth taking a look!
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