Pinterest is truly a platform that is unlike any other social media site that we have, where the goal is to store content from outside sources instead of just sharing it or creating it. And it only makes sense that Pinterest contests would be unlike any other social media contest examples that we’re familiar with.
Since this platform focuses on content storage, having a successful Pinterest contest can do wonders for your Pinterest marketing.
Pinterest contests can help you boost brand awareness and engagement, while users participating in your contest can help increase the visibility of your brand and expose you to other relevant audience members. And, if you use social media contest software, you can even get actual lead information in the process, too.
In this post, we’re going to go over the four most engaging types of Pinterest contests, along with Pinterest contest rules you need to follow and the Pinterest contest software you need to try.
Pinterest Contests Rules
At least 50% of Pinterest contests that I stumble across on my own time are actively breaking at least one of Pinterest’s contest rules. The most commonly broken rule? The guideline that forbids businesses from asking users to repost a single pin.
Pinterest’s contest rules are pretty different than other social media contest rules, so it’s important to read them closely and understand them.
Here’s Pinterest’s contest rules:
- Don’t ask people to save a specific image. You can, however, ask them to choose from a certain selection of images.
- Don’t suggest that Pinterest sponsors, endorses, or otherwise has anything to do with your contest.
- Don’t allow more than one entry per person
Pinterest’s contest guidelines make sense, just like all other social media contest rules. They want the organic sharing of great content, not for people to be incentivized to constantly share the same pin over and over.
While other businesses seem to run contests regularly that go against Pinterest’s rules, I’d heavily advise against it and instead focus on running great contests that abide by the contest guidelines.
Now let’s take a look at 4 high-engaging contests that get you all of the results without breaking any of the rules.
#1. Pin It To Win It Contests
Pin It to Win It contests are easily the most popular type of Pinterest contest out there. The idea is to provide a certain number of pins (and please, for the love of everything wonderful, not just one) and ask users to repin the one they like best.
In many cases, businesses use contest software to create a landing page that houses these pins and official contest rules and instructions. I highly recommend this (if you’re looking for Pinterest contest software, stay tuned: I discuss it towards the end of this post!).
To get the most out of your contests, provide at least four pins for users to choose from.
Pro Tip: Remember, the more pins you have to choose from, the number of diverse pins about your business that could end up on Pinterest increases, too. This gets more of your content onto the site in more places, which is always a good thing.
I also recommend asking users to customize the captions. If you’re asking them to choose their favorite vacation spot, for example, include it in the contest rules that they need to mention in the pin’s description why they chose it. This will help sell your products and services for you, and helps increase the organic, authentic feel of the content.
#2. “Create a Pinterest Board” Contests
After the Pin It to Win It contests, this is the most popular type of Pinterest contest you see, and it’s a personal favorite.
To participate, brands require users to create a board (often with a particular board name) and to pin to it. Sometimes brands will ask users to pin at least one of their own pins, while others want users to only pin content from the brand and others still don’t care as long as the board name requirement is met.
Great examples of this could be “Create a board of your dream vacation that our travel agency can help you plan,” or “create a board showing different recipes that could incorporate our yogurt.”
Pro Tip: Let users know that you’ll choose a winner based on the quality and creativity of the boards, and not just at random. This will help increase the quality of the entries, which helps promote your business more in the process.
#3. Submit a Pin to a Landing Page
Want to extend the life of your Pinterest contest and really ramp up the engagement? Hosting contests where users have to submit pins or boards, and then vote for the winner is a great way to go.
These contests will be broken down into two sections: the submission time frame, and the voting time frame.
Use contest software to create a landing page where users can submit the URLs for pins or their boards for approval.
This gives you massive engagement and visibility for the length of the contest, and you can require an email address to vote for both.
Pro Tip: You can ask them to create their own pins, so that users can vote on original content. This ups the emotional investment users have in their entry, so when it’s time to vote, they’ll recruit as many people as possible through social media to vote for theirs.
#4. UGC Hashtag Photo Contests
Social media photo contests are popular across all platforms, and Pinterest is no exception. This contest works exactly like on other platforms.
Just ask users to create or repin a certain type of pin, upload it to Pinterest, and attach your branded contest hashtag in the description so that you can find it.
Pro Tip: Coming up with a relevant theme is so important to get engagement that benefits your brand for this one.
Corelle could ask pinners to pin their holiday dinners served on its dinnerware sets, for example, and Nike could ask users to pin content of their shoes in action.
If you don’t want to use contest software, this is a great contest to run, because it’s exceptionally easy to track entries thanks to the searchable hashtags.
What About Pinterest Contest Software?
In most cases, I strongly recommend using contest software anytime you run any type of social media contest.
Pro Tip: Contest software is the only efficient and secure way to gather lead information through the contest, giving you more quantifiable results once it’s over.
Now, there are multiple great tools that offer Pinterest contest formats. This includes Wishpond, Shortstack, Promojam (whose example landing page is pictured above), and Woobox. All of these tools create landing pages that can be used to obtain lead information, provide contest rules and instructions for participation, and even the pins you want users to choose from in a Pin It To Win It contest. Each tool comes in-depth analytics, so you can keep an eye on your contest as it progresses. I comfortably recommend all of these tools, but Wishpond (whose software is pictured in the example below) and Shortstack are my favorites.
All of these tools create landing pages that can be used to obtain lead information, provide contest rules and instructions for participation, and even the pins you want users to choose from in a Pin It To Win It contest. Each tool comes in-depth analytics, so you can keep an eye on your contest as it progresses. I comfortably recommend all of these tools, but Wishpond (whose software is pictured in the example below) and Shortstack are my favorites.
I comfortably recommend all of these tools, but Wishpond (whose software is pictured in the example below) and Shortstack are my favorites.
Just like with other social media contests, there are a number of different Pinterest contest formats you can choose from.
Pin It to Win It contests and contests asking users to create Pinterest boards are the two most effective, but all 4 of the contests we described here can help boost engagement and brand awareness.
If you’re using Pinterest for business, you have to test out at least one of them and let us know how it works for you!
What do you think? Have you run Pinterest contests? Which type of Pinterest contests have you used? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!