April 6, 2016

25 Words Or Less Competition Tips

Why are Words Or Less (WOL) competitions such as 25 Words Or Less so popular on social media?

Firstly making them 25 words makes them quick and easy to judge

Secondly making it a competition that can be judged classifies the competition of a Game Of Skill instead of a Game of Chance.

A game of skill in some cases removes the need to obtain a permit to run your competition so it takes the hassle out of the paperwork.

I often hear phrases like “I am so bad at writing those creative response competitions” or “I can’t think of anything funny/creative to write

This is a very different mindset to how the winners approach these competitions as you can see from the examples of Winning 25 Words Or Less Responses

There Are [#] Key Tips to a Words Or Less competition.

  • Creativity
  • Straight To The Point
  • Strategy (Rhyme, Creative Story – Not necessarily true, Funny, Honest, Sob Story)
  • Understanding The Promoters (Researching past winners, Facebook Graph search)
  • Comparing Your Answer To Other Peoples On Facebook Posts
  • Stick To The Word Limit
  • Answer The Question


Boring answers won’t get you anywhere you need to add some creative flare to your answers or they won’t stand out from the competition. Look at previous winners and learn from their creative flare and add your own spin to it. The more you read and research the more likely creating winning responses will become second nature.

Straight To The Point

You have 25 words in many cases to put forward a great response. The moment you talk about something off-topic you are going to run out of words to convey your message. Your message has to be crisp from the outset


There are many ways you can approach a WOL promotion

  • Rhyme
  • Creative Story
  • Humour
  • Blatant Honesty
  • Sob Story

Out of all these strategies I tend to use the Humour for the 25 words or less the most. If it is 50 words I usually add a combination of Humour and Rhyme.

The point is there is no correct way to enter. Every promoter will be looking for something different.

Experiment with all the above strategies and choose the response that best resinates with you.

Your response doesn’t have to be the truth if you are creative enough you can think of the perfect answer that doesn't relate to you at all.

Sob story entries I avoid but I see many using this method, discussing hard luck stories and other saddening events. Most promoters will go for the feel good uplifting answers and from the 25 words or less competitions that I have judged a Sob Story never even gets considered.

If you are going to use a sob story is needs to be surround by an overwhelming feeling of hope which is very, very hard to convey in 25 words or less.​

Understanding The Promoters

This is huge on Facebook, if you know the promoter has run a 25 Word Or Less promotion or any WOL before then use this method to do your search

Facebook Search > [Promoters Page] Words Or Less > Scroll The Results

This is a huge advantage that not many people take advantage of. If you are able to see examples of the previous winners answers for other competitions you can very quickly get an understanding of what the particular promoter is looking for.

When I did this on ING Direct’s page they were running a WOL promotion weekly. I simply had to scroll through the previous winners answers to realise that the majority of the winners had a very funny answer which directly answered the question that was asked.

Implement your strategy based on what has already worked.

Compare Your Answers

If you have the opportunity to check other peoples answers then use that knowledge!

This can be done on Facebook but simply scrolling through the answers if the method of entry is directly commenting on the post itself.

This can also be done on Twitter by searching the relevant hashtag that is associated with the promotion.

When you scroll through a list of entries, even if there are hundreds you can usually pick out the top 10 answers. Your answer needs to be part of this top 10 bracket to drastically increase your chances of winning.

Stick To The Word Limit

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen some great answers that are 26-30 words in length.

Most promoters will completely rule out your answer even if it is one word over the 25 words that was entered into their conditions of entry


Because if the entry that wins is over the 25 words it can destroy a brands credibility in a matter of moments, there is a huge backlash from the other contestants and it also shows they are willing to bend the rules at any time.

Here is a prime example of competition backlash for choosing a competition entrant who was over the 25 word limit.


Answer The Question

It is a simple theory but one a lot of people forget. If you are being asked to answer a question in 25 words or less your response needs to answer that question directly.

As good as pure praise for the promoter may be if you can’t answer the question directly you will severely limit your chance of winning.


Jimmy Dalgleish

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