Scavenger hunts on Twitter

Scavenger or treasure hunts can easily be organised using social media. There may be many different reasons to organise a scavenger hunt, e.g.

– to build interest in a product or book  or event

– for educational purposes, e.g. to build information literacy or as a problem-solving activity in any class/subject

– for corporate team building, see Teach Corporate Teamwork with Scavenger Hunts and Other Team Building Activities

There are a number of different types of scavenger hunt, e.g.

  1. Simple treasure hunt gives people one clue to where they can find some merchandise or reward
  2. Traditional scavenger hunt is where you have to find a list of specified items.
  3. Sequential scavenger hunt is where you have find the answer to an initial first question, which
    gives you the next question and so
  4. Ongoing scavenger hunt is where you have to find the answer to a weekly or daily question
    over a period of time

The most appropriate type of scavenger hunt will depend on the purpose of the hunt. Below you can find some examples of treasure hunts supported by using social media, which can easily be emulated.  Make sure you make the rules and instructions clear to all participants.

Here are some examples of treasure hunts on Twitter

1 – Simple treasure hunt

Whoever finds me at graceland, gets four tickets

2 – Traditional scavenger hunt

See the list in this Lamar Odom’s Twitter scavenger hunt is really, really difficult, The Arena, 12 April 2009

3 – Sequential scavenger hunt

Buy.Com gives away products in its Tweet n Seek promotion in combination with Facebook

  • Each question will lead participants to a different web page on the internet.
  • Once on the correct web page you will see the contest bird and be given the next question when you click on the bird.
  • Once you have completed all of the questions you must post all of your answers together on’s Facebook Wall

4 – Ongoing scavenger hunt

Student marketing officers at a university set up an iHunt to promote the university

  • We chose one account that we wanted to build through this event and made that account the central account.
  • Pre-event advertising was done using the typical channels.  To sign up, students had tweet a full name to the designated account and sign up to follow (in order to get clues).
  • Once the hunt started. we tweeted clues and the participants had to tweet back for certain numbers of points.  We did questions based on campus history, departmental programs, events going on that week, and wierd trivia about our staff members. Remember, the goal is to gain followers for our office’s Twitter so it was shameless promotion on purpose.
  • Our two student marketing coordinators kept running scores and did a mid-week update on who was winning.  I also did some incentive points by posting things like “extra five points for getting five new fans of our Facebook fan page to post that you referred them.”
  • Questions ranged in point values and we made sure that people who had signed up after things got rolling had a chance to catch up through extra effort. 

Reading List

Twitter Scavenger Hunt Helps Students Learn More About Campus,19 August 2009

Threadbanger’s Twitter-based scavenger hunt at Maker Faire May 2009

Tony Hawk’s Twitter Scavenger Hunt, BFD, 31 March 2009