Saturday, September 20, 2014

From playing contests to hosting 'em!

I have always loved entering contests and competitions, right from childhood that too. I remember those Cartoon Network & Nickelodeon contests where you needed to answer questions or send in drawings via post and later emails to win goodies like stationery, books and the sort. That used to drive me crazy with the adrenaline rush! Had also won big (well then big) things like a crate of soft drinks, a trip to Vaishnodevi and the sort.

I have been a twitter user since 2010, but I did not discover the mysterious world of contests till April 2013 (Which is also when I changed my twitter setting protect my tweets to open, like seriously, if you want to protect your tweets why tweet in the first place?). I remember I had a 100 odd followers back then (Which I was rather proud of too!) I started following people who entered contests & giveaways, and started entering 'em myself! Soon I was winning all sorts of prizes ranging from cosmetics to shopping & meal vouchers and soon enough even cellphones, tablets and the sort! Over time I started considering myself a pro, people started considering me as one too (Guessing by the spikes in number of followers.)

Then there was the despair of losing contests to competitors, staying up all night sending in entries (so that they wouldn't be copied by others who would be asleep then), arguing and bitching when someone I thought didn't deserve to win won, accusing brands of being partial (Didn't quite know about the whole contacts, influencers and stuff then, did I!), constant follow-up on status of prizes, etc. Made a few friends on the way (and enemies too) but was overall quite happy and thrilled with my achievements (A marwaari loves free ka maal)! So were my folks, whom I would gift things I won (well most of it.)

I soon crossed the slabs of 1k and soon 2k followers. Which is when I was introduced to this elite group of 'The Influencers'. People who got paid to tweet! That was like a WOAH moment for me! And soon I was piling up on FK Vouchers (P.S. Flipkart), feeling like achieving a totally new height! But being a influencer also meant winning fewer contests, they were not gonna make you win when you are a insider! (Though I still wonder why?)

And soon, around February 2014, by the time I thought I knew social media fairly well enough. I wondered, why not make it my profession! EUREKA! At that time I was assisting my dad with our family business (which also explains how I got to tweet all day) so was pretty open to a new vocation. Applied at a couple of agencies, saw a few online tutorials on Facebook scheduling, advertising and the other basics and carried my confident self ahead! Soon, I was working at Colorcraft Studio, as a social media manager.

Followers on twitter reached 3K now, but with the 4 hour a day travel and 10 to 6 job, I had absolutely no time to relax, forget entering any more contests. But I thought I'd won my fair share of prizes, let others also get a chance. Plus, I now got to work on strategies and host contests for clients!

And there I was, on the other side of the mirror. Watching people enter contests, spam, flatter etc for our clients. People accusing me (Read: Client handle) of being unfair, winners constantly asking on status of gratification and the sort. And I would be like, take it easy guys, like we brands don't have any other work to do. *Big Pause* Now did I understand how much of planning, communication and effort is put into every campaign. How difficult it is to constantly come up with new ideas, keep user engagement rising always.

If asked, what is more exciting and enjoyable - playing contests or hosting one? Well of-course the thrill in being announced as a winner cannot be competed with. But having a steady job (with a steady salary and incentives), learning something new every day, meeting new clients (and going for recces) has its own perks! If asked, what is more difficult - winning a contest or announcing a winner, well they're both really difficult! Specially with the huge no. of twitter uses as of today, it just keeps getting difficult day by day!


  1. You have a fantastic journey of taking participation in contest to conducting them all by yourself. I want to know how did you manage all? Like having followers etc is indeed such a great responsibility.

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