Although Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are the current social media darlings, they are not the only game in town.Combine your internet sweepstakes with attractive prizes, using these social networking darlings through tell a friend systems, and you are building an explosive viral phenomena.The word Viral in techno speak is real, with technology wiring our planet to create a global village, a virtual world where everyone is talking to everyone through the internet, exploding friendships at lightning speeds.Global Friendship is now widespread through smart phones, ipods, ipads,xbox and laptops, using social media writing on walls, tweets, retweets and linking the world over and over. A world where a billion friends is the goal, and millions of followers and friends is believable.This contagion is a worldwide pandemic of unlimited proportions, and word of mouth is an uncontrollable virus that touches off an invisible yet explosive flurry of movement that changes into enormous buying power.An excellent technique of using social media in advertising your contests and sweepstakes is a powerful marketing method, and needs to be in each and every promotion campaign. Interactive Sweepstakes that calls for participation from players create a remarkablesocial powerhouse.Research has shownthat 50% of all internet users participate in a contest at a minimum of once a month, while 80% of users participate at least once a year in a contest.Contests and sweepstakes are quite similar. The only difference is contests are interactive and sweepstakes are passive, and winners picked randomly.Your goal is to use social media marketing to promote your online contest or internet sweepstakes and build publicity through each contestant refer a friend. Your secondary goals must include assembling contacts, and following your site visits by educating each participant the features of your product and service.Online contest entry formsmust be kept simple, therefore asking for an email address keeps it extremely simple for every participant. One of the simplest formscan be seen here at .It is proper to only require additional contact information from winners, so you can deliver their winnings to them.The purpose of your contest must be planned for players to come back often to your web page, and therefore increase advertising for your product and service.Keep in mind that pushing your visitors to purchase something so they can participate is not allowed. Also you are not allowed to incentivize the contest in any way.You want as many contestants in your online contest, so it is advisable to have in placeextra marketing and promotion so you bring the maximum number of players into your contestto win prizes.Use social medialike Twitter or LinkedIn to have your contestants spread the word, and use viral e-mail marketing through opt-inlists to invite a friend. In addition use ads on related web sites to attract more contest sign-ups.Use a Facebook page to let their friends know about your contest as well. Put a few of lines to inspire people into promoting it for you by inviting their friends.It is best to avoid cash sweepstakes, online sweepstakes, sweepstakes and giveaways and carry out some interactivity in your online contest where participants are active.Provide your contestants a reason to come back to your websites over and over again, where they compete for prizes and participate to win. This contest at itellafriend is a good example of combining an interactive contest with social media.An internet sweepstake to win prizes is too inactive and does not challenge your players to compete with each other. But an online contest to tell a friend and compete with that friend to win prizes is suitable in your choice to implement sweepstakes and contests on your website.After the internet sweepstakes, after the winner is picked out, a fantasticaction for you is to invite everyone who participated in it to opt-in for future sweepstakes. That way you can use your contest list over and over again.The entire purpose behind this is to get more customers. Generally thank them, be polite, win them over as pals.