Retweeting, contests and social media etiquette

Since February of 2009, I have been running a number of contests on my blog, particularly to promote local events, such as dance exhibitions, theatre shows, movies, etc.

While my traffic has gone up, I have also noticed at the same time, a decline in hyperlinking to other blogs and a decline in comments overall in the blogosphere (I’m really lucky in that my readers still comment quite a lot, though, so I ain’t one to complain).

Credit: Rob Cottingham (Noise 2 Signal)

Credit: Rob Cottingham (Noise 2 Signal)

For a while, as my online network grew, I have had my followers gain additional entries to my contests by just retweeting the post. The reason why I did that was because I thought that made it easier for them to enter the contest.

But I can see the point that my good friend Rob Cottingham makes in his cartoon and blog entry on Read Write Web, which probably should be titled “How to Retweet to Win in a Contest And Lose Followers“. It is true, we seem to have lost the ability to engage in online conversation and build community.

I loved the post, and as usually, Rob made me think about what I can do to make my contest posts more conversational and less about the retweet. Good food for thought. Now, if you were in my place, and you ran contests online, how would YOU make them more conversational? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

And no, please don’t retweet this post to win anything. If you think it’s worth sharing with your networks, please do so, but by no means feel obligated to retweet.

Related posts:

  1. Does retweeting build community online? Twitter as a real social media platform?
  2. Is measuring real influence in social media possible?
  3. On the etiquette of re-tweets – a response
  4. On being jaded with social media for social change
  5. Social media faux pas? The evolution of etiquette, rules and norms in a Web 2.0 world

Comments (3)

harrietglynnMay 3rd, 2010 at 6:20 pm

I must admit, I tend to bleep over the RT requests unless it’s totally up my alley.

Rob CottinghamMay 4th, 2010 at 7:55 am

A thoughtful post even by your usual high standards, Raul!

One irony of that cartoon: the title it had on ReadWriteWeb was “Retweet this cartoon! Win cool prizes!” and the first line of the post was “…Like the scorn of your friends.” It ended up being retweeted more than 250 times, which is great… but I have to wonder: how many people read only the headline on Twitter and retweeted, thinking it was a real contest? :-)

[...] why he’s known as Hummingbird 604, quickly moving from one task to the next. Raul discusses retweeting contests and how the ease of entry seems to be hurting active engagement with the audience. How do you feel [...]

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