Tweet to Win: How to Enter and Win Twitter Sweepstakes

Twitter Could Be Your Key to Winning Great Prizes

Tweet to Win: All About Twitter Sweepstakes
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Twitter sweepstakes are a quick and inexpensive way for companies to gain followers on the popular social media platform. And followers who might be interested in buying their products and who might amplify their marketing messages are very important. As a result, Twitter sweepstakes have become very popular.

Many people are seeing fewer prizes offered through online sweepstakes than they did a few years ago. Social media sweepstakes are filling that gap, with many sweepers winning more often with Twitter.

And that's not the only reason why sweepstakes fans should pay attention to Twitter. Many online sweepstakes give you extra entries for posting about them on Twitter or for encouraging your own Twitter followers to enter the sweepstakes.

If you'd like to get started, read this guide to winning Twitter sweepstakes. It covers everything from the basics of starting your free Twitter account to advice that helps you win more often.

What Is Twitter?

Twitter is a micro-blogging platform where people chat about everything from what they ate for breakfast to tips on succeeding in business and breaking news. It's also a way to win with Twitter contests.

The difference between Twitter and other blogging platforms and social media sites like Facebook is that Twitter updates come in bite-sized chunks of 280 characters or less.

How to Sign Up for Twitter

To take advantage of most Twitter contests, you need to have a Twitter account. Luckily, accounts are free and easy to start. Just visit and follow the directions to open your account.

Once your account is set up, you can get started by making your first tweet, or you can click on the "Find People" link to start following people who seem interesting.

If you want to use Twitter to win prizes, you can search for the #sweepstakes hashtag to find other people who like to enter giveaways and companies running sweepstakes you can enter.

Feeling Confused by Twitter Jargon?

If terms like tweeting, retweeting, and tweeple have you confused, don't worry, Twitter users have their own jargon, which you'll often read in sweepstakes rules or posts about entering on Twitter.

It's helpful to know the Top Twitter Terms for Beginners before you start entering sweepstakes to be sure you understand all of the terms you need.

How Twitter Contests Work:

Companies usually use Twitter contests to boost their following, spread the word about a new marketing campaign, and boost buzz about their products. Some of the more common actions you'll need to do to win on Twitter include:

  • Follow the person or company holding the Twitter contest.
  • Retweet a post the person or company has made.
  • Make a Tweet that includes a specific hashtag.
  • Be the first to @reply to the contest sponsor with a trivia answer.
  • Join a Twitter Party and participate in a conversation through Tweets to win prizes.

Read the rules of each Twitter contest carefully to see what you have to do to enter. Some have multiple steps you need to take before your entry is valid. You might need to click on a link in a Tweet to get to the full rules.

How to Find Twitter Contests

Once you've opened your Twitter account, it's time to start looking for contests to enter. Here are a few tips for finding Twitter contests:

  • Follow Sandra Grauschopf's account, @ContestsGuide, on Twitter for updates about online sweepstakes and Twitter contests.
  • Search for keywords like sweepstakes, contests, and giveaways on Twitter Search to find people Tweeting about contests that you can enter
  • Use the TweetDeck Twitter Client to set up permanent searches so that you can find sweepstakes news and information quickly.
  • Search on Google to find Twitter contests and the sites that list them.
  • If you find companies that frequently offer Twitter contests, follow their accounts to find out when a new contest begins.

Safety and Twitter Contests

The disadvantage of Twitter contests is that they have little oversight. Anyone can make a free Twitter account and announce a contest, and unlike online sweepstakes, they don't even need to build a reputable-looking website to do it. While the majority of Twitter contests are on the up-and-up, it's wise to keep an eye out for scams.

Use discretion when entering Twitter contests. Before you enter, check to see if the host looks trustworthy. Here are some ways to investigate the contest:

Check Out the Host of the Twitter Contest

Before entering, look at the Twitter account of the person or company who's holding the contest. Have they made a significant number of posts over a reasonable period of time? Do their tweets seem professionally written? Do they make substantial tweets about topics other than giveaways? Are the posts on-topic for the company behind the sweepstakes?

Do They Have a Reasonable Number of Followers? 

Any major company will have a significant number of followers. Twitter contests from accounts with only a few followers (especially if they are following lots of people themselves) are cause for suspicion.

Is This an Official Twitter Account?

If the sweepstakes is hosted by a big brand, check out their website for their official Twitter address. Does it match the one that is holding the giveaway? Does the account have a blue badge indicating it has been verified by Twitter?

Follow the Guidelines for Identifying Fraudulent Sweepstakes

Just because you're entering a Twitter contest doesn't mean that general sweepstakes safety tips go out the window. Know the warning signs of scams, and use them when you enter Twitter giveaways.

Get to Know the Signs of a Twitter Scam

Fake Twitter accounts and fake tweets are easy to recognize once you learn the warning signs. Don't respond to fake Tweets, and certainly don't click on any links or give any personal information in response to them!

Do a Twitter Search for the Username

Search on Twitter to see if anyone has made complaints against that account from people who entered a fraudulent Twitter contest.

Does the Website Have a Good Privacy Policy?

Most Twitter contests will link back to a website with complete rules and other information. If there is no indication that the giveaway has real rules, be very cautious. While you're reading the rules, also check out the site's privacy policy, to see how any information you share will be used.

Remember That Real Sweepstakes Never Ask for Money

The cardinal rule of sweepstakes is that you don't pay to win, and that holds true for Twitter contests as well. If they ask for money, a bank account number, or a credit card, steer clear.

If you have doubts about whether a Twitter contest is legit, stay away. It's better to miss a chance to win than to be scammed.

Why Do URLs on Twitter Look So Strange?

If you look through Twitter posts, you'll see that a lot of links look something like this: Links that start with or tinyurl have been shortened to save precious space in that 140-character limit that Twitter imposes. It can be difficult to know where a shortened URL is taking you, so make sure you aren't responding to a scam before clicking.