Tweets for Tickets – Orbitz Twitter Giveaway Easily Builds Brand Followers

10 happy tweeters are making travel plans this morning thanks to a popular (and simple) giveaway from Orbitz.

Yesterday the travel company announced the winners of its recurring Tweets for Tickets giveaway, which awarded one free round-trip coach-class airfare voucher to 10 people following Orbitz on Twitter.

The rules of the giveaway are simple and serve as a great example for companies looking to build brand awareness via Twitter.

First: Follow Orbitz on Twitter.

Second: Retweet the contest message posted by Orbitz on Twitter.

That’s it. Simple, right?

I know, visuals are helpful, so here’s a rundown of the tweets from Orbitz:

Tweet 1 – Announce the giveaway and how to participate, and include a link to more information.

Tweet 2 – Provide deadline for entry, tell when winners will be announced, and link to more info again.

Tweet 3 – Build a bit of suspense.

Tweet 4 – Announce winners!

In no more than 4 tweets, Orbitz started and ended the Tweets for Tickets giveaway. Of course, the Orbitz tweeters are pros at giveaways, so a couple follow-up tweets were helpful:

I like this last tweet – it provides what-to-do-next info for the winners, and even though I didn’t win (dagnabbit!) there’s still a chance that one of the winners has fallen in a crevasse and can’t claim their ticket, and Orbitz will undoubtedly pull my name from the lucky hat (or sombrero)! So of course I need to monitor new tweets from Orbitz, just in case.

So what’s the benefit to Orbitz?

According to Tweetmeme, which keeps track of the total number of retweets for popular tweets, the Orbitz giveaway tweet has received more than 14,600 retweets. That’s nearly 15,000 people on Twitter blasting the Orbitz brand to their followers. Let’s say those 15,000 people have an average of 100 followers. That’s 1,500,000 Twitter accounts that received the Orbitz giveaway tweet, not to mention the number of new Twitter followers that Orbitz added during the contest.

Keep in mind that the giveaway only lasted for 18 hours.

Hopefully, Orbitz will continue its Tweets for Tickets giveaways. As the contests build greater awareness, the greater the benefits will be for the Orbitz brand name. And of course I’ll be keeping an eye out for my free airline ticket. Squaw Valley here I come!