Pay-Per-Click Content Network Chitika is going die-hard on a social campaign to improve their market reach, but will it work, and if so, will it last?

Below is an excerpt from the email we just received:

We are holding a Twitter contest to try and spread the word about our upcoming SearchAppalooza competition. The winner will of this contest will receive a brand new Amazon Kindle 2!

How Do I Enter?

To enter to win the Amazon Kindle 2, all you need to do is post the following tweet about Searchapalooza:

Post to Twitter: Chitika contest: Best Search App of 09. 5 Winners present to MS/Yahoo execs and @jenstar! #searchAppalooza http://snurl.com/d6l3h

We will give you a contest entry for each day that you tweet this – so tweet once-a-day for the maximum chance to win!

What Is SearchAppalooza?

SearchAppalooza is a 1-hour face-off, or heated conversation among the biggest names–market-defining developers and decision makers–in search innovation today, held this year @ SES NYC on Tuesday, March 24th and featuring the “Kick-Ass Apps Contest”.

We are looking to find the developer who has coolest new search application, and 5 winners will get a chance to present their apps to Microsoft & Yahoo execs, JenSense, and other internet gurus. Think of it this way – American Idol for developers, with Yahoo and Microsoft as the judges. You can read more about it and/or apply here.

Best Regards,
The Chitika Team
Chitika Inc. 300 Nickerson Road. Marlborough MA, 01752

You hear a lot great advice in the social arena that today leverages the social network Twitter to drive visibility, increase awareness and stimulate conversions. We have yet to see a sustainable campaign from this channel, but who knows, maybe the Chitika social networking campaign will be the catalyst for building a successful social campaign. Or maybe it will be a lot of money spent to spike traffic that will eventually fizzle away (as we’ve seen time and time again).

What’s Chitika’s Strategy?

Chitika is trying to leverage social media by holding a contest that gets web developers and advertisers involved in a contest. There are two attractive prizes, an Amazon Kindle 2 and an HP Notebook 1000.

To win an Amazon Kindle, you have to blurt out a shameless Twitter “tweet” to your followers. You get one entry for each “tweet” and you can qualify once per day (I’m glad to not be the number cruncher in this contest). You may also enter to win by developing a search application, such as WebsiteGrader.com, SEMCheck.com, or DeepTrawl.com.

To win an HP Notebook 1000, you need only show up to Search Engine Strategies New York 2009 and participate in their cookie-eating contest, which is a nice little “come to our booth” ploy.

What Medium is Chitika Using?

Thus far, it appears they are leveraging Twitter.com and email as the two vehicles to get the contest (Campaign) launched. After SES NYC, we’ll measure the number of new followers they have on Twitter (currently 367) to see if it made an impact to their social campaign. We’ll also dive into Compete.com or Hitwise.com (or both) to see the traffic impact.

Our advice to other content networks and pay-per-click engines: you’ve just been handed a huge Chitika’s client base, use your best judgment before soliciting:

http://twitter.com/search?q=chitika&source=navbar

Stay tuned for a followup!