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What I Learned From My First Twitter Contest

Posted by in Twitter

Twitter Contest Stats

As most of you know, I ran a 2 day contest on Twitter last week on my birthday, I was feeling great and wanted to share the luv :)

Since the contest is over and all the numbers are in I wanted to share how it went and what I learned.

Overall the contest went much better then I expected and I want to Thank everyone who participated and or shared it. twitter contest1

How I Ran The Twitter Contest

This was a last minute idea that I thought would be a cool way to test how a contest works and to give back.

I decided to run the contest for only 2 days.

I also kept the contest very simple to enter, all I asked was for people to follow me and to tweet a message.

twitter contests

3 reasons for the way I set it up…

Get more followers

Get more readers to my blog post

Let them see what they win right away

I decide to give away my Twitter Dummy Guide and a 30 Min Phone Consult, mainly because it was what I had last minute and was the best way I could help people on Twitter.

Picking the winners was really easy using RowFeeder.com.

contest on twitter


Once the Twitter contest was over all I had to do was download my random 5 winners..


This made picking my 5 winners very easy and honest.


The middle of the last day I decide to test out some PPC Twitter advertising using MyLikes.

These are the 2 messages I used…

Twitter Contest – Simple 2 Steps To Enter and Win A 30 min Phone Consult and More – Learn How To Enter – http://lx.im/1cktm

Twitter Contest – Simple 2 Steps To Enter and Win Prizes – $80 value – Click Here Now – http://lx.im/1cktm

I paid .10 cents per click which is about average on MyLikes.

Not really sure how well it worked, but I did notice more RT’s after each ad tweet was posted.

Was well worth the $6 I spent.

Time For Some Numbers

Ok now for the good stuff :)… Stats!

First let’s look at how many RT’s, FB Shares and Stumbles the post got..

twitter contest tweets

I expected the ReTweets to do well since it was a Twitter contest :). But I was very surprised at how well it did on Facebook and StumbleUpon

For a 2 day twitter contest, things went really well.

Also in that 2 days, I my follower count grew by about 600 followers and about 30 Listed, which is good, but not great.  I will share why below.

In the 2 days a total of 126 people that entered, so again not that bad.


Now for the blog posts traffic numbers, the first day 2021 visits and 1928 on the second day.


Overall I was happy with all the traffic and stats the twitter contest pulled in, considering it was my first one and only 2 days long.


What I Would Do Different

It wasn’t all sugar and spice lol   There are some things I would do different and some things I learned that will make my next contest that much better.

Some things I learned and would change…

Offering the prizes I did gives me a limited amount of reach.

For anyone to care about my book and talking to me for 30 min enough to join and share the contest, they would have to already know me or follow me to see that I could help them.

Knowing that, then getting a big amount of new followers isn’t going to happen.

The Fix

You would have to give away something that is of value to any and all people on Twitter.

Maybe an IPad, now everyone knows and would want a free IPad..Right?  Now this would give you an almost unlimited reach to all of Twitter. This would give you the best chance to pull in thousands of new followers.


Running a 2 day contest is way to short a time period.

The Fix

Run a longer Twitter contest haha   A 7-10 contest would be good.


This was a last minute idea I had, so I went with it. I ran and promoted the contest alone with just my blog post. This again gave me a smaller reach.

Even though I have some great followers and most shared the contest for me, it would of went better if I did a little promo before.

The Fix

First, I would of wrote a pre contest post letting people know it was coming and on what dates. To help build a little buzz and get the word out BEFORE the actual contest post.

Second, I would of reached out to blogger friends to do a post on there blogs or to let me do a GP about the contest.

Or reach out and ask them to tweet my post “something I never do” but in this case I would have.


Using MyLikes was great, but I ran it to late and I only used them and there are other site that do the same that I should of tested.

The Fix

I would of used SponsoredTweets to promote the contest. I think SponsoredTweets has more of a following and their PPC prices are much lower.

I would also have used both from the beginning of the contest.


At the end of the day I was very happy with the Twitter contest results and what I have learned that will make my next contest even better.

Hope this helps you with getting a contest up and running.. it was a lot of fun :)

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  • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny Hsu

    Hey John. Learned a lot from this post. If you gave away an iPad, sure you’d get more RT’s and new followers but they won’t be as target because the prize is more general. Right? Now if you gave away passes to Blogworld, then it’s more your niche. Or are you going for numbers?

    How does sponsored tweets work exactly?

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Benny.. yes if I gave away a IPad the followers wouldn’t be as targeted, but they would be somewhat. Also some of those would unfollow after the contest.

    I agree giving away tickets to Blogworld or something that is of value to a “blogger” would work pretty well. Again it would have to be something not from you, would have to be something that when they hear it they know the value of it.

    ST is where you can share ad tweets and make money per click. For that I would use MyLikes, the payout are much better.

    But to use as an advertiser like I share in the post, then Sponsored Tweets is better..

  • http://twitter.com/BabyBoyKharim Kharim Tomlinson

    This is great John and congrats to your contest and making it successful. I guess you can now make it a regular so that you can gain more traffic, followers, readers, subscribers, etc.

    I think I might try out your technique. Thanks for the tips :)

  • http://www.rowenabolo.com Rowena Bolo

    John Paul, thanks for sharing this strategy with us. The results you got were impressive! Well, as you said considering it was a last-minute idea, you did really well! What a nice way to give back on your birthday. I agree with Benny that an iPad as give-away wouldn’t be so targeted. I think your Twitter Dummy Guide is just as attractive as tickets to BlogWorld 😉

    I am just sad I missed it :-( But since you intend to do a pre contest post next time, I’ll be keenly waiting 😉

    – Rowena

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Thanks Kharim

    I wouldn’t do a Twitter contest to often maybe every 6 months, that way it doesn’t get old.

    It’s a cool tool to use when you need to.. like for an upcoming product launch :)

    Let me know how you do with your contest.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Thanks Rowena.. I appreciate the support.

    Yea for a last min idea it did pretty well.. but again that because I have some great followers.. Like you :)

    Next time it will be bigger and better and planned out from beginning to end.. and you will def see it next go round :)

  • http://evelynparham.com/ Evelyn

    Hi John,

    Good nuggets in this post.

    The contest went over well, especially being that it was something you decided to do on a fly. When you have more contests, they will go over even better. Your numbers are good too.

    I don’t know about making the contest longer. 3-5 days seems like a target to shoot for. I find that when a contest is longer, people lose interest. I like shorter contests, because it let’s you know within a few days, the ones who are truly interested in winning and promoting your contest.

    Take care,


  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Evelyn.. TY for the comment.

    I’m happy with the results in last min 2 days contest. Next one will kill it haha

    I think 3-5 is good to.. but if you are giving away something big. then 7 to even 10 is best. and that depends on what your goal is.

    If you want to get followers, then 7-10 is best.

    May have to test the contest length one day and see which works best :)

  • http://www.lsgeekster.blogspot.com Kira Permunian

    Hi John, you did another great job! Thanks for hosting the contest. I am pleased to say that I was part of it. Your learnings just came to me like my learnings too. I learned a lot really.
    You rock Man!

  • http://www.extremejohn.com/ Extreme John

    Nice stuff John. By the looks of it I would say you had excellent contest results, with so many contests, etc. going on and the fact that it was last minute it could have generated 1% of what it did.

  • http://twitter.com/martinsaysjump Martin

    Hey John,

    First time around! The post was pretty informative. What I liked most is theres a lot to learn from here. And the way you detail what you did and what you learned out of it followed by an improvement in your next contest provides a lot of information.

    Martinsays: Thanks

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Th for participating Kira.. hope the post helped you plan a contest of your own :)

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    John.. yea I am happy with the results since it was last min and only 2 days.

    But thinks I learned should help boost the results next time.

    We will see what happens.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Hey Martin..TY for the comment. Glad you liked the info and walk thru. Hope it helps :)

  • http://authopublisher.com Ivin

    Thanks. Very nice of answering my question in a blog post. Very valuable. You are good! :)

  • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

    Great work with this, John. I bet it was a bear to pull off, but you did it. Congrats.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    lol not sure what question… but Im glad you like the post and your question was answered :)

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Hey Dino.. TY for your first comment man :)

    The contest wasn’t to bad.. Having it last min and only 2 days long and using RowFeeder def made things go smoothly :)

    Now the next one will be a lil different haha

  • Anonymous

    Great insights. Thank you, JP.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Type your reply…Hope it helped Adam :)

  • http://twitter.com/LeoWid Leo Widrich

    Wow, great job John. This is well dissected post and will be a powerful resource for me in the future. I plan on running a few competitions and your lessons learnt are very helpful.

    I like how you suggest solutions for each of the challenges you faced, makes it a lot easier to understand the main points.

  • http://www.wonderoftech.com/feed/ Carolyn Nicander Mohr

    Hi John, Sorry I missed your contest. I’m glad you’re going to promo it beforehand next time. I agree with @Benny, your prize should be targeted to your desired audience so you will get a bigger audience. I would be interested in knowing the long term effect of your contest. Did you get more readers to your blog who stick around and come back for more John Paul goodness? That would be the ideal outcome for the contest in my mind. Congratulations on the contest and belated happy birthday!

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Hey Leo

    Glad you like the post, hope it helps with your contest :)

    Overall the contest was fun and a great outcome so Im happy.. but I will be happier when I make the changes and run another :)

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Carolyn, hopefully next time you will be able to participate :)

    Yea you want to target, but it depends on what your goal is. If it’s to get more followers then targeting isnt that important.. since at some point even non targeted people will see and like and maybe buy something you share on Twitter.

    No real idea if the contest brought me in new readers for John Paul goodness haha

    But I added about 600 new followers that I know of, and Im sure I added a few more after I stopped tracking.

    So say out of the 600 100 decide to unfollow me, now I have 500 new followers. Out of those 500 Im sure at some point they will RT and visit my blog and become readers.

    So its safe to say in time the contest will have brought me a nice amount of new reg readers to the blog… so worth the effort.

    Again this contest was a small test. but the test went great. On a full out contest we can maybe double or even triple all the stats.

    So Twitter contest are worth the time on many levels :)

  • http://twitter.com/FollowEve Eve

    Lots of great info here, John! Thanks for sharing. I always wonder how peole do these things and now I know!

  • http://keepupwiththeweb.com Sherryl Perry

    Thanks for sharing John Paul. Considering this effort was a bit spontaneous on your part, I’m impressed that you achieved the numbers that you did. As you say, your prize wouldn’t appeal to the masses but this seemed to be more of a “let’s try this” effort than a lengthy well planned out and strategized effort. I commend you for that! Sometimes, I take way too long thinking and planning. I admire your “Just Do It” attitude. (While I get to sit back, read the results and learn!)

  • http://kikolani.com/ Kristi Hines

    The only thing I’d disagree about is giving away an item that anyone would be interested in. Right now, I have a contest going for a new desktop, which is something anyone would love. This means I’m getting a lot of subscribers, followers, etc. that may just be coming in for the contest and have no real interest in what I will share in the future. I’d bet that by offering your own product, while you may not get a lot of volume, you probably got a lot of targeted followers who will be interested in you in the future. :)

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Hey Kristi.. I agree. But for people that ONLY want more followers, then giving away something like your desktop or IPad or whatever gadget would work. Some of those followers will go after but some will stay and some will possibly share your stuff or be a new reader on your blog, so there is still some value there.

    For me I rather give away my time or products… since the followers I do get will stick. This also works to get the word out for that product your giving away.. free marketing lol

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Thanks Eve.. hope the post will get you to run your own contest :)

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    haha sit back and learn any time Sherryl :)

    Yea this was an idea I had the day before.. so I went with it.. and it really was more of a test. It went really well.. considering, and like I mentioned in the post.. Im just as happy with what I leaned that will make mmy next contest that much bigger and better.

  • http://www.healthylifestylesblog.co.uk Larry

    Awesome post. Brilliant idea. This is why i love your blog, your ideas are novel and you share everything about it. As a learning all the time blogger, you sure save me alot of time, so thank you so much.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Thanks Larry.. I Appreciate that. I am happy to share.

  • http://www.unleashingthetiger.com Dean Carlton

    Hi again JP.

    Very interesting experiment you did here – and interesting results.

    You have inspired me to want to run a competition myself! I will use your approach / suggested improvements (no point in re-inventing the wheel!)

    The difficult part will be deciding on the prize – to attract the right audience. Perhaps Amazon gift vouchers is the way to go?

    Thanks for sharing this very interesting update.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Dean.. glad the post motivated you to run a contest.

    What to give is hard.. you need to decide what your goal is.. more followers? traffic to your blog? promo a product of yours?

    Giving your time or own product is great since you will be getting huge markeitng for your new product.. and you will attract targeted followers.

    But you will get less followers that way..

    So really depends on what your goal is.. once you know that.. then you can decide what the prize will be.

  • http://www.unleashingthetiger.com Dean Carlton

    Good point! Hmmmm……

    Well, I am not planning on monetising my blog right now/soon (though no doubt, that will come eventually), key thing for me is attracting people who will remain interested and will continue to engage after the competition finishes.  Taking the Amazon example (which was only an example), limiting the prize to say, books within a particluar niche might narrow it down.

    Thanks for the additional thoughts there. Any other ideas from you readers here?

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Focusing on money is something you shouldn’t do for AT LEAST the first 6 months of you blog. Build the readership first.. then chase the money.

    Yea a book in your niche would work well too.

    Read thru the comments.. readers shared some good points in there :)

  • http://www.unleashingthetiger.com Dean Carlton

    LOL – of course I did that! That was a badly phrased question aimed at encouraging further comments! :)

    Back into lurk mode…. 

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    haha comment anytime man.. keeps me on my toes :)

  • http://www.TrafficGenerationCafe.com/ Traffic Generation Cafe

     This is the best post I’ve seen on Twitter contests, well done John Paul!

  • http://www.extremejohn.com Extreme John

     Thanks for sharing this. One of the best ways to learn is to learn from others’ experiences and you did a good job in helping out with this kind of stuff. Anyway, the traffic you got from your contest is absolutely great for just a 2-day contest. That’s already a great accomplishment. Kudos to you John! Cheers! :) 

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Thanks Ana.. glad you like the post.

    Can you please ONLY use you name in the name field.. Thanks.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Thanks John.

    I was happy with the results and with the tweaks I shared, the results would be that much better for anyone that runs a contest.

    Comes down to what your end goal is with the contest, once you know that, you will know what to do.

    Glad the walk thru helped.

  • http://chrislucas.com.au chrislucas

    Thank you for sharing John, I’m sure this will help so many others who are thinking of doing an online contest as well.  I’ll be sure to share this with my followers with a RT and will also be listing it as one of my favorites. 

    Well done and good for you for pulling it altogether in such a short time frame and getting the results you did.  I’m proud to say I was one of those who entered but unfortunately can’t say I was a winner LOL.  You never know I might be luckier when you run your next one.  Also would be happy to share that one with my friends and followers on both my Twitter accounts and would so love to have you do a guest post as well. 

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Thanks for entering the contest.. and your right.. next time might be your time to win :)

    I was happy with the results since it was a last min idea and only 2 days long. But I’m even happier with what I learned to.. that will make the next one that much bigger and better.

  • http://chrislucas.com.au chrislucas

     You’re welcome John and you just never know I could be the next lucky winner of one of your contests.  Definitely looking forward to the next one! 

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    I’ll make to let you know early.

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