Twitter contests: How big can they get?

Twitter is proving a viral breeding ground for marketing tactics, but the microblogging site is not a limitless, or even a very predictable, space for generating brand buzz.

The distinction between a failed and successful Twitter campaign can be as simple as a prize technicality, and Twitter users’ tolerance for brand spam is as yet unclear. But most worrying is the fact that right now Twitter is proving to be a fickle friend to marketers.

Moonfruit: Paying for social media prowess

Companies may be looking to social media as a cheap alternative to traditional advertising, but it certainly isn’t free. It takes time, effort, and often — money. Witness today’s trending topics on Twitter.

Michael Jackson’s stronghold on the most popular topic all week has finally been loosened by a much more frivolous word: Moonfruit.

Entirely unrelated to the Moon Walk, Moonfruit is a DIY website builder that is giving away 10 free laptops to celebrate its 10th anniversary. All people have to do to qualify is advertise the company on Twitter with the hashtag #moonfruit. The campaign is certainly working. But is it worth $12,000 to be the most popular Twitter topic?