Businesses, organizations, and even some creative individuals have hosted contests and sweepstakes through their Twitter profile. Contests and sweepstakes on Twitter may offer prizes for tweeting a particular update, for following a particular user, or for posting updates with a specific hashtag. If you’ve been thinking about hosting a contest using your Twitter profile, here are some simple guidelines to follow to ensure your contest doesn't ask anyone to violate any of Twitter's rules or guidelines:
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. Please be sure to include a rule stating that anyone found to use multiple accounts to enter will be ineligible.
Posting duplicate, or near duplicate, updates or links is a violation of the Twitter Rules and jeopardizes search quality. Please don’t set rules to encourage lots of duplicate updates (like saying, “whoever retweets this the most wins”). Your contest or sweepstakes could cause users to be automatically filtered out of Twitter search. Plus, instead of their followers seeing your cool contest or sweepstakes, their followers might start getting annoyed by your contest. You might want to set a clear contest rule stating that multiple entries in a single day will not be accepted.
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 (see here for more information on replies and mentions). Just doing a public search may not show every single update, and some contestants may be filtered from search for quality.
You 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.
While these guidelines should help keep your contest entrants in good standing, please make sure you also review both the Twitter Rules and our search best practices before starting your contest. If you’re a business on Twitter, you might also want to check out the Twitter 101 for Business guide for more information and tips.
In addition, before starting any contests or sweepstakes please ensure that they comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Compliance with such laws and regulations is your responsibility; please consult with an attorney if you have questions about legal compliance.
Check out the How to Report a Violation page for more information on policy issues and violations.