Hold the Ultimate Social Media Contest with This Helpful Timeline

by Erica Campbell Byrum as presented at Social Fresh 2014

It’s become very apparent that social media has become an essential component of any company’s marketing efforts. However, with all of the buzz around social media, it’s sometimes tricky to separate the “noise” from establishing and building meaningful relationships with your followers. That’s where social media contests come into play! Contests are a great way to increase excitement and exposure of your company and brand because it allows you to crowdsource loads of content. If you plan on running a social media contest, use this timeline to successfully plan and execute the ultimate contest! Continue reading

RE/MAX Survey and $100 Promotion Official Rules

Official Rules Please read these Official Rules before entering this promotion (the “Promotion”). By participating in the Promotion, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules and represent that you satisfy all of the eligibility requirements below.

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS PROMOTION.

Eligibility: The Promotion is open only to individuals, who are legal residents of the 50 United States or District of Columbia, age 18 or older (or the age of majority in entrant’s state of residence), and are a real estate agent and/or broker duly licensed or similarly legally permitted to represent buyers and/or sellers in residential real estate sales/purchase transactions. If you do not meet any of these requirements, or any other eligibility requirements in these Official Rules, you are not eligible to win a prize, and Homes.com (“Sponsor”) reserves the right not to award prizes to you. Directors, officers, and employees of Sponsor and Sponsor’s advertising and promotion agencies, and their respective immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of each, are not eligible to win. The Promotion is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited.

Promotion Period: The Promotion starts at 9:00 a.m. (all times Eastern Time) on July 16, 2014 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on August 15, 2014 (the “Promotion Period”). Except as otherwise expressly stated below, all entries must be received during the Promotion Period to be eligible to win a prize. How to Enter: In order to enter for a chance to win $100.00 you must first complete the survey provided through the email that was sent to you from productinfo@homes.com. Once you have completed all the questions within the survey, you must submit the survey by 7/16 and you will then be entered into the Promotion one (1) time.

You may submit a maximum of one (1) entry into the Promotion. In the event that you submit more than one (1) entry into the Promotion, all entries into the Promotion may be eliminated and you may be disqualified from winning the prize, in Sponsor’s sole discretion. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to disqualify any entries that are inappropriate for any reason, including without limitation inappropriate language. Use of any automated system to participate is prohibited and will result in disqualification.

Prize: One (1) winner will receive a gift card in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100.00). The approximate retail value (“ARV”) of the prize is one hundred ($100.00). All applicable federal, state, and local taxes on Prizes are the sole responsibility of the Prize Winner; and all Prize Winners will receive a 1099 tax form for the value of their Prize. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value in its sole discretion. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received.

Random Drawing: The winner will be selected in a random drawing from all eligible entries to be held by August 15, 2014. The winner will be notified via the email address provided in the entry form by August 20, 2014. To claim a prize, winner should follow the directions in the winner’s notification. The prize winner may be required to execute an affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release within three (3) business days following the date of attempted notification. Prize will be awarded within two (2) weeks after winner verification. If a prize notification is returned as undeliverable, or an affidavit of eligibility by a potential winner is not returned within three (3) business days, it will result in disqualification, and the prize will be awarded to an alternate winner in a separate random drawing. Prizes are not assignable or transferable, except to a surviving spouse.

The prize is awarded “AS IS” and WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, express or implied (including, without limitation, any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose), except that the prize will be subject to its manufacturer’s standard warranty (if any). No substitutions or exchanges (including for cash) of any prize will be permitted, except that Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. Winner is responsible for all federal, state, local, sales and income taxes associated with receipt and/or use of any prize. Entry and acceptance of any prize constitutes permission to use winner’s name, prize won, office affiliation, hometown and likeness for online posting and promotional purposes without further compensation, except where prohibited by law. Unless prohibited by law, winner will be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility, liability release, publicity release, tax forms, and other reasonable documentation provided by Sponsor before being awarded a prize. If winner does not execute such documentation upon request, their prize will be forfeited and the prize will be awarded to an alternate winner. The prize is guaranteed to be awarded.

General: Sponsor will not be responsible for late, lost, illegible, incomplete, damaged or misdirected entries and accepts no responsibility for any injury, loss or damage of any kind resulting from an entrant’s participation in the Promotion. By entering the Promotion, each entrant agrees to these Official Rules and waives, and releases the Sponsor and each of the Sponsor’s parents, subsidiaries, and affiliated companies, and all other businesses involved in this Promotion, as well as the employees, officers, directors and agents of each, from, all claims, costs, injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the Promotion or delivery, misdelivery, acceptance, possession, use of or inability to use the prize (including, without limitation, claims, costs, injuries, losses and damages related to personal injuries, death, damage to or destruction of property, whether intentional or unintentional), whether under a theory of contract, tort (including negligence), warranty or other theory. Sponsor reserves the right to amend these Official Rules or to terminate this Promotion. Any provision of these Official Rules deemed unenforceable will be enforced to the extent permissible, and the remainder of these Official Rules will remain in effect. Sponsor is not responsible for any typographical or other error in the printing of any Promotion materials, administration of the Promotion or in the announcement of any prize. The Promotion and these Official Rules will be governed, construed and interpreted under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and by the decisions of Sponsor, which are final and binding in all respects.

Winner List; Rules Request: For a winner list, send a self-addressed, stamped, business-size envelope after August 30, 2014 and before August 30, 2015 to Sponsor at the address listed below, Attn: “Share Your Thoughts For Your Chance to Win $100” Survey Winner List (Monica Torresi). To obtain a copy of these Official Rules, send a stamped, self-addressed, business-size envelope to Sponsor at the address listed below, Attn: “Share Your Thoughts For Your Chance to Win $100” Survey Rules Request (Monica Torresi). Residents of WA and VT may omit return postage.

Sponsor: Homes Media Solutions, LLC, 160 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510.Confidentiality: Information provided by you to participate in this Promotion is subject to Sponsor’s privacy policy at http://www.dominionenterprises.com/main/do/Privacy_Policy.

Homes.com Local Real Estate Expert Sweepstakes Official Rules

Homes.com Local Real Estate Expert Sweepstakes

Official Rules

Please read these Official Rules before entering this promotion (the “Promotion”).   By participating in the Promotion, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules and represent that you satisfy all of the eligibility requirements below.

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS PROMOTION.

Eligibility:  The Promotion is open only to individuals, who are legal residents of the 50 United States or District of Columbia, age 18 or older (or the age of majority in entrant’s state of residence), and are a real estate agent and/or broker duly licensed or similarly legally permitted to represent buyers and/or sellers in residential real estate sales/purchase transactions.  If you do not meet any of these requirements, or any other eligibility requirements in these Official Rules, you are not eligible to win a prize, and Homes.com (“Sponsor”) reserves the right not to award prizes to you.  Directors, officers, and employees of Sponsor and Sponsor’s advertising and promotion agencies, and their respective immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of each, are not eligible to win.  The Promotion is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited.

Promotion Period:  The Promotion starts at 9:00 a.m. (all times Eastern Time) on July 16, 2014 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on August 8, 2014 (the “Promotion Period”).  Except as otherwise expressly stated below, all entries must be received during the Promotion Period to be eligible to win a prize.

How to Enter:  In order to access the Promotion entry form you must first navigate to the sweepstakes landing page located at http://connect.homes.com/local-expert-sweeps/. Once you have done this, you will need to complete all of the information on the registration form for official entry into the Promotion. You will be entered into the Promotion one (1) time upon clicking to submit the entry form.

You may submit a maximum of one (1) entry into the Promotion.  In the event that you submit more than one (1) entry into the Promotion, all entries into the Promotion may be eliminated and you may be disqualified from winning the prize, in Sponsor’s sole discretion.

Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to disqualify any entries that are inappropriate for any reason, including without limitation inappropriate language. Use of any automated system to participate is prohibited and will result in disqualification.

Prize:  One (1) winner will receive a gift card in the amount of five hundred dollars ($500.00).  The approximate retail value (“ARV”) of the prize is five hundred ($500.00).  All applicable federal, state, and local taxes on Prizes are the sole responsibility of the Prize Winner; and all Prize Winners will receive a 1099 tax form for the value of their Prize. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value in its sole discretion. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received.

Random Drawing: The winner will be selected in a random drawing from all eligible entries to be held by August 15, 2014.  The winner will be notified via the email address provided in the entry form by August 29, 2014. To claim a prize, winner should follow the directions in the winner’s notification.  The prize winner may be required to execute an affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release within three (3) business days following the date of attempted notification. Prize will be awarded within two (2) weeks after winner verification. If a prize notification is returned as undeliverable, or an affidavit of eligibility by a potential winner is not returned within three (3) business days, it will result in disqualification, and the prize will be awarded to an alternate winner in a separate random drawing. Prizes are not assignable or transferable, except to a surviving spouse.

The prize is awarded “AS IS” and WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, express or implied (including, without limitation, any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose), except that the prize will be subject to its manufacturer’s standard warranty (if any). No substitutions or exchanges (including for cash) of any prize will be permitted, except that Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. Winner is responsible for all federal, state, local, sales and income taxes associated with receipt and/or use of any prize. Entry and acceptance of any prize constitutes permission to use winner’s name, prize won, office affiliation, hometown and likeness for online posting and promotional purposes without further compensation, except where prohibited by law. Unless prohibited by law, winner will be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility, liability release, publicity release, tax forms, and other reasonable documentation provided by Sponsor before being awarded a prize.  If winner does not execute such documentation upon request, their prize will be forfeited and the prize will be awarded to an alternate winner.  The prize is guaranteed to be awarded.

General: Sponsor will not be responsible for late, lost, illegible, incomplete, damaged or misdirected entries and accepts no responsibility for any injury, loss or damage of any kind resulting from an entrant’s participation in the Promotion.  By entering the Promotion, each entrant agrees to these Official Rules and waives, and releases the Sponsor and each of the Sponsor’s parents, subsidiaries, and affiliated companies, and all other businesses involved in this Promotion, as well as the employees, officers, directors and agents of each, from, all claims, costs, injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the Promotion or delivery, misdelivery, acceptance, possession, use of or inability to use the prize (including, without limitation, claims, costs, injuries, losses and damages related to personal injuries, death, damage to or destruction of property, whether intentional or unintentional), whether under a theory of contract, tort (including negligence), warranty or other theory.  Sponsor reserves the right to amend these Official Rules or to terminate this Promotion.  Any provision of these Official Rules deemed unenforceable will be enforced to the extent permissible, and the remainder of these Official Rules will remain in effect.  Sponsor is not responsible for any typographical or other error in the printing of any Promotion materials, administration of the Promotion or in the announcement of any prize.  The Promotion and these Official Rules will be governed, construed and interpreted under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and by the decisions of Sponsor, which are final and binding in all respects.

Winner List; Rules Request:  For a winner list, send a self-addressed, stamped, business-size envelope after August 30, 2014 and before August 30, 2015 to Sponsor at the address listed below, Attn: “Homes.com Local Expert” Sweepstakes Winner List (Jared Daniel).  To obtain a copy of these Official Rules, send a stamped, self-addressed, business-size envelope to Sponsor at the address listed below, Attn: “Homes.com Local Expert” Sweepstakes Rules Request (Jared Daniel).  Residents of WA and VT may omit return postage.

Sponsor:   Homes Media Solutions, LLC, 150 Granby St., 16th Floor, Norfolk, VA  23510

Confidentiality:  Information provided by you to participate in this Promotion is subject to Sponsor’s privacy policy at http://www.dominionenterprises.com/main/do/Privacy_Policy.

 

The Write Stuff: Twitter Best Practices for Journalists

Social media experts predict Twitter users will grow to over 227 million by the end of 2014 and forecast double-digit growth to continue through 2018 when the number of users will be nearly 400 million.

With numbers like that, it’s vital that all journalists or anyone involved in the news media industry get connected and take advantage of all the site has to offer.

For those just tiptoeing into Twitter, understand it’s not Facebook. It’s in real time, it’s public and it’s fast. When you go on Twitter, you look to see what’s happened in the last 10 minutes, unlike Facebook where you look at more what’s happened in the last day or two.

At one time, Twitter was just a place to offer a quick update about one’s life or make a quick joke or funny observation, but these days Twitter is used to alert people about everything from weather, events to notable deaths to the latest laws discussed in Washington. Think about it, when news happens today, where are you finding out about it? Many times, even before the news outlets have it, someone is tweeting about it on Twitter.

All journalists should take a Twitter name that’s as close to their real name as possible. Still, there’s more to Twitter than just having a handle and tweeting. Anyone involved in the news media should look professional by adding a strong photo, filling out the bio to include your journalism skills and branding it with a personal background of something like an old typewriter or news reel. You should also add all your contacts from your address book.

One of the best ways a journalist can use Twitter is to find sources they are working on. You can follow a hashtag about a particular subject or search for people talking about a specific topic. Even if you know who you want to interview, sometimes trying to contact a potential source is difficult, especially if you need a quote or information fast, as phone messages and emails aren’t always heard or seen right away. Many people are just minutes away from their Twitter feed and if you send them a quick tweet that you are looking to talk with them, you may get an answer in lighting quick time.

Using the search feature on the site can be one of the most invaluable uses of Twitter to a journalist. By using Twitter’s advanced search option, one can search by questions, positive or negative tweets, location, hashtag, and more, and pull up the latest information about a variety of subjects.

If you write about one particular subject or beat, you can increase Twitter engagement with regular tweets about the subject. Live-tweeting or posting updates about a news event related to your beat is also a great way to grow followers and increase interaction. All journalists should use hashtags to organize conversations, gather feedback, and to identify and engage with Twitter users discussing a particular topic.

Utilizing Twitter is also a great way for a journalist to pick up a larger following and drive more traffic to the articles you are writing for papers, magazines and websites. By tweeting links to your stories, you will expand the traffic going to these sites and show your editors that your content is being read.

A feature that not enough journalists take advantage of is Twitter’s News List, which lets you create a personal list of all the tweets from a list you create and organize it into one easy-to-read list that can be scanned daily. You can use this to follow noteworthy people in the news or catch the headlines from a list of papers or other journalists whose opinions you value.

A journalist can also learn which of his or her tweets is resonating with followers by using a program like Hootsuite, which helps engage users and measure results. It can be used to track hashtags, analyze social media traffic and will monitor all mentions, direct messages, sent tweets, favorited tweets, and more in dedicated streams. This can help a writer determine what subjects people most want to read about.

Just remember, Twitter is a two-way street. If someone asks you a question, don’t ignore them. It’s important to be respectful and responsive and you should answer any questions from followers in a timely and courteous way.

By using Twitter and interacting with its millions of users, a journalist will increase their source list, get new story ideas and most importantly, find new people interested in reading what they have to say.

For more social tips, follow NAREE panelist, Erica Campbell Byrum, Director of Social Media for Homes.com and ForRent.com on Twitter at @ericacampbell.