So, what did you do on Valentine’s Day? I decided to play along during a Twitter Chat/Contest being hosted by Sandals Resorts. I had a little free time in my day (a rarity lately) and since I am constantly testing and learning, I was curious on how this brand would conduct and respond during one.
Well, a couple of things happened. First off – I was impressed with the way the chat was handled. I really wish I could have seen behind the scenes at how they covered various accounts (they had a few branded accounts participating) I digress – they were good at keeping the conversation flowing, NOT just tweeting out questions. Accounts would retweet participants, offer their own answers, and respond to some tweets. I was impressed, since I have participated in some BAD ones before…. Yes, I came away from the chat impressed!
Secondly, I ended up winning a 6 day/5 night vacation to the Sandals Resort of my choice. Yea, that really happened. And I was in shock (still am to be perfectly honest) Again, the Social Media Manager in me wants a deeper glimpse into the Behind the Scenes of being able to offer such a large prize, the winner selection process, and redemption process. I guess in the next few weeks I will get a one sided view of the process. And yes, I am very excited – and yes, you will be able to follow along a lot of my vacation on any (and most likely ALL) of my social media accounts.
So, what did I take away from the whole process (besides the actual vacation I won?) Twitter Chats/Contests can work, but you need to put some real thought behind it. Create a short and easy to remember hashtag to help you track who is involved; Sandals used #SandalsVDay. Be sure to spread the word about it on your other social media accounts, I actually stumbled across the details on Sandals Facebook page! Put a lot of thought into your questions you are asking your fans as well. Sandals did a lot of great questions around romance and vacations (basically two of the main things that they offer!) but in a way that participants did not have to have stayed at a Sandals resort to answer. Probably the biggest one – don’t just sit back and wait until it is time to ask the next question. Engage with the people that have come to play! Retweet your favorite answers, reply to people that have offered up a funny or particular touching answer to your questions.
One thing to note; your first twitter chat probably won’t be HUGE, unless you are working with a large brand and tie a big prize to it (much like a 6 day/5 night stay at a luxury resort) But don’t let that discourage you. Think through your strategy and be sure that you are offering a conversation that will be of value to your followers, and the larger community that you are a part of!