If you are considering running a contest on Twitter, or any other social network for that matter, take time to think it all through before you launch. If you don’t it could end up simply annoying people and causing you to lose followers or worse, as depicted in Rob Cottingham’s Noise to Signal cartoon.
Look at McDonald’s failed Twitter campaign earlier this year. Someone at McDonalds had the bright idea that they would use Twitter and the hashtag #McDStories to encourage people to share their warm and fuzzy experiences of McDonalds. The company didn’t take time to consider whether Twitter was the best forum for this (they should have, given that there are many activisits and anti McD people on there). As a result, the campaign was hijacked by people sharing their negative experiences of McDonald’s and when I say negative, I mean really bad. Had McDonalds taken the time to consider which social media tool was the right one to use they might have had a more desired outcome.