Social Media Tips: twitter competitions

One Friday back in 2012 I spotted the beginning of a great example of how to use Twitter if you are a small business… and over the weekend I watched as it grew and engaged people’s imagination and captured attention.

Sarah, from Brays Cottage, is a good person to follow if you want to learn how to get twitter right. In 2011 she was selected as one of the Top 100 Social Brands and she’s often cited as a good example of twitter use. She tweets a good blend of interesting stuff about life as a small business, what Brays Cottage is up to and general chat as well as engaging with other users. She’s one of the accounts I recommend people look at for ‘how to do it well’… (it does help that she sells wonderful pork pies, a great product does make for slightly easier tweeting).

So back to that brilliant example….

The #pieku as it became known

It started as a question from Sarah about pies in nursery rhymes and quickly morphed into the idea of writing haiku about pies – hence #pieku. You can see a bit about how that happened in this post from Vivia who was instrumental in getting the idea off its feet.

Never one to miss a great opportunity Sarah then turned it into a competition with a prize of a personalised large pie for the best #pieku and with that her twitter chums were off coming up with mini poems a plenty.

By 6.45 pm Saturday there were 100 #pieku and plenty more comments and retweets helping to keep the momentum going. By Sunday (and the close of the competition) this had more than tripled.

Of the total number of tweets with the hashtag about 1/5 of them were original poems for the competition the rest comments and retweets spreading the word.

The winning entry was selected by Sarah and her team:

A flinty sea falls.
Scents of lemon and chilli
Rise from Brays Cottage.

by @yyadiloh

So what was so great and why did it take off?

  • Simplicity
  • Easy to fit in the 140 character limit
  • a distinctive hashtag created early on
  • lots of fun
  • a good prize
  • timing – a relatively short time frame to enter and as it was the weekend people prepared to have fun and play

Sarah said:

“Pieku has been my idea of what Twitter is for – lots of people enjoyed it and I enjoyed it. It was interactive, creative, inclusive and the result of friendship and team work. Pieku landed from nowhere in our lap and took on a vivid and unstoppable life force! It was more of a community art project than anything – but it’s exactly the sort of thing we love and, if Bray’s Cottage as a brand has a personality, association in people’s minds with mad, funny, foodie and heartfelt poems is just what we’d like that personality to be.”

I couldn’t agree more. A fantastic use of twitter.

Disclosure: Brays’ Cottage is a client of Bright Blue Skies Ltd, but its very definitely Sarah, the business owner, who does all the tweeting. The original version of this blog was posted on 7 Feb 2012.

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