12 Most Pinning Ways to Rock Contests on Pinterest

12 Most Pinning Ways to Rock Contests on Pinterest

Contests on Pinterest can be incredibly fun and creative. You can increase awareness, they can be a great source of user content and, when done right, Pinners are willing to exchange their contact info for a chance to win.

Learn some of these best practices for Pinning contests on Pinterest…

1. Read Pinterest’s new terms of service for businesses

Pinterest has recently added terms of service for businesses. They have included a section in about contests — some tips include: encourage authenticity, promote on other sites, and do not overdo it. Be sure to read to read these helpful guidelines as you create your contest.

2. Contest rules

Clearly state and share the complete contest rules or terms and conditions. Include any restrictions. Also include how the contest will be judged — if the winner is picked at random, mention what means you are using to select the winner. Rules for contests can vary by state, so consult a lawyer or legal expert to be sure that you are in compliance.

3. Define goals for the contest 

Identify objectives: is this to increase followers, increase engagement, or create awareness about a new product?

4. Is it a contest or a sweepstakes?

Contests are judged and in sweepstakes the winner is picked at random.

5. What kind of contest is it? 

You can have incredibly creative contests on Pinterest. Following are some of the types of contests you can have on Pinterest:

1. Board Creation — Pinner creates a board around a particular theme

2. Re-Pin to Win — Items have been pinned by a brand; Pinners need to re-pin to win

3. Pin It to Win It from your Website — A board must be created and a certain amount of items must be pinned from your website

4. Pick and Pin — Select your favorite item and pin to any board for a chance to win

5. Community Pins the Winner — Pinner uploads image and winner is chosen by image with the most likes or re-pins

6. Prize vs. effort 

Make the prize worthy of the effort it takes to enter, especially when pinners are creating themed boards. They love you enough to dedicate a whole board to you — make it worth their while.

7. Clear instructions and simple user experience

Be sure to make the entry as easy as possible. Have clear instructions with custom images that communicate the contest and prize in a way that is easy to understand.

8. Secret boards

With Secret Boards you can create, upload, and optimize contest pins before they go live. Work out any kinks, but also remember that once you make the board public you still need to promote it. Those pins have not been pushed to the gallery — have some content that you can share after the board has launched to promote your contest on Pinterest.

9. Cross-promote

Utilize other social channels, your website, blog and email to promote your Pinterest contest. You can create a custom contest landing tab for Facebook and you can also use Facebook ads to create awareness for your Pinterest contest.

10. Engage 

Be prepared to answer questions about how to enter, when the winner will be selected, and even follow up if you have seen someone has started but not finished the next steps in the contest. Also like and thank those that have entered.

11. Co-sponsored contests

Consider a contest that is co-sponsored allowing you to reach a bigger audience. Connect with a publisher, product, or service that compliments yours. You can also seek out an influencer that already pins your brand and connect to their audience to promote your contest.

12. Tools for creating, managing, and measuring contests

You can track contests with hashtags on Pinterest or by having people comment and leaving their board URL, but you may miss some entries. Curalate and Pinfluencer are tools that make it easy for you to create Pinterest contests, including landing tabs for Facebook, track entries, and access engagement (opt-ins, change in number of followers, pins per day, etc.).

How will you make your Pinterest contest fun, easy to enter, and easy to manage?

Featured image courtesy of Luz Adriana Villa A. licensed via Creative Commons.

Kelly Lieberman


Kelly considers herself a social media sponge. She loves using this medium to connect people & ideas. Coffee addict, rainbow chaser, giving my girls roots & wings. Kelly believes the glass is always half full. And she always plays nice. Kelly is a social media manager and consultant. She works with businesses and organizations to help them grow comfortably social on the inside so that they can better utilize social media platforms. Kelly is also the host of a weekly Pinterest chat, #Pinchat Wednesday on Twitter at 9 PM EST which was featured on Mashable.

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