If you’ve been on Twitter for a while, there’s a good chance you’ve come across a tweet that asked you to retweet something (usually a link to a spammy-looking site) for the chance to enter a contest. Of course, these are typically bogus, leading many people to simply ignore them. And that poses a problem to the companies who really are trying to run sweepstakes on Twitter, who can have a hard time proving their legitimacy. Wildfire, a platform for building viral marketing campaigns, is looking to help: the company has just launched support for sweepstakes on Twitter, allowing brands to now manage campaigns across their websites, Facebook, and Twitter simultaneously.
Wildfire hasn’t been around very long, but it’s already accomplished quite a bit: it won last year’s fbFund, and has built up a very impressive roster of clients, including Pepsi, Sony, CNN, Universal, AT&T, VIctoria’s Secret and even Facebook itself, which has used the service for multiple campaigns. But until now, it hasn’t been available for Twitter.
From the user perspective, a Wildfire sweepstakes that’s being run on Twitter is very straightforward: clicking a contest link will take you to a basic sweepstakes form, which includes a pre-populated Tweet that will alert your followers that you’ve just signed up for the contest. Tweet that out, and you’re presented with another quick form where you fill out your name and contact information, so you can be reached if you win. The contest format is built to encourage virality — for every one of your followers that signs up for the sweepstakes via the link you tweeted out, you’re given an extra entry in the contest. This gives users with a lot of followers a big incentive to tweet these contests, as they’ll have a good chance to boost their odds of winning. If you’d like to try out the experience for yourself, check out this sample contest.
Wildfire also tries to streamline the process for the company running the campaign. The platform uses a wizard to set up the sweepstakes microsite, which companies can then customize with their rules, opt-in newsletters, and the appearance. Companies can also prompt entrants to their sweepstakes to start following their official Twitter accounts, which makes it easy for them to build up a larger audience. On the backend, Wildfire allows clients to control their campaigns across all supported platforms (Facebook, the web, and Twitter), and also offers detailed analytics for each.
All in all this is a solid addition to Wildfire’s lineup — don’t be surprised if you start seeing major brands running campaigns on Twitter using the platform in the near future. And there will likely be plenty of smaller customers too, as Wildfire has been used by thousands of small businesses to run over 10,000 total campaigns.