In my last post, I mentioned I’ve grown an obsession with trying to win stuff via giveaways posted via Twitter.  Just in case anyone is interested, I thought I’d share what I do.  Who knows if it’s right, and if you have a different way of rolling, leave a comment.

Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 4.19.54 PMFirst, I setup a second Twitter account just for contests.  You often have to Tweet and follow people to enter. If I did that with my normal account, I’d seriously screw up my stream and alienate all my followers.

Then I used a secondary e-mail account.  This way if I get signed up to too many mailing lists I can just ditch the account and start over.  You do have to monitor the account, because if you win, you have to respond within 48 hours many times.  I just forward the second account to my main one.

I don’t worry too much about a bunk Facebook account, because I just use it to login to the contest services like Rafflecopter and I don’t like or comment on anyone’s page (it’s against the rules for people to require this anyway.)

Normally, I use Chrome for all my browsing and then Safari for the contest stuff.  This keeps me from accidentally entering using the wrong Twitter account.  You can do whatever works for you.

To actually find the contests, I use a Twitter client called HootSuite.  HootSuite lets you build a Twitter stream based on a search.  So I built a stream based on the search “Contest OR Giveaway.”

I get a stream of tweets with either of those words in it.  The down side is there’s a ton of bogus tweets in the stream, and bogus contests.  I avoid the Twitter only contests from unknown people.

Instead, I look for messages with links to blog posts with the contests.  This is where the entries are usually.  Then, I just jump through the various hoops in the contest entry form.

I generally stick to simple stuff like Tweeting and visiting a Facebook page.  Some contests go way over the top with dozens of entry options.  Usually I’ll just do a few and then get bored.

It’s fairly straight-forward, but, I urge you to use caution.  The world is a scary place, and I’m sure there’s nefarious types using giveaways to phish personal information out of you, or worse.  Be super careful with your personal information. And if something seems too good to be true, it very well might be.

Be safe out there, and good luck!

Do you have any success stories entering contests?  Let me know in the comments.