HelloSociety Blog

Influencer-Powered Social Media Marketing

Zoe Waldron

February 12, 2014


Pinterest announced their updated contest guidelines last October, yet a lot of brands, big and small, are still breaking multiple rules when running Pinterest contests. By following Pinterest’s contest rules, your brand is helping everyone on Pinterest have a positive experience by giving entrants the freedom to pin the stuff they genuinely like, which means that you’re providing the most authentic experience to your fans (and their followers) as possible. Also, without too many restrictions and rules, more people are likely to enter, so your Pinterest account will gain more followers and exposure. Everyone wins!

Below, we’ve listed the top five rules that are most important — and most often broken! — and explain how to go about making sure your brand’s next Pinterest contest follows Pinterest’s updated guidelines.

5 major Pinterest contest regulations:

     #1 – Don’t call your contest “Pin To Win.”

          – Also, each pin, repin, and like cannot count as an entry or vote.

          – Instead: Call it “{insert brand name here} Pinterest Contest.”

     #2 – Don’t require more than 1 pin minimum (you can suggest more).

          – Instead: Say “Pin at least one pin that represents {insert campaign theme here}.”

          ie: Create a board that represents your dream spring vacation (with one pin minimum).

          – You can ask people entering to follow the brand on Pinterest and to hashtag all of their pins

             with one slogan, brand, and/or campaign name.

     #3 – Don’t require that people pin your contest rules or pin from a certain selection.

          – Instead: Let them pin what they like but you can offer them a selection.

          ie: Pin anything that represents your dream spring vacation. Check out our ‘Spring Vacay’ board for inspiration!

     #4 – Don’t make people submit their boards via Pinterest comments.

          – Pinners will get an email with each new comment, which can get annoying.

          – Instead: Provide a microsite or Facebook page where they can enter their name, email, board URL, etc…

          (Bonus: you can acquire email addresses and/or Likes!)

     #5 – Don’t suggest that Pinterest sponsors or endorses your contest.

Note: These aren’t all of the rules! Review them all on Pinterest’s Brand Guidelines page under ‘Promotions and Marketing’ and review their newly updated Acceptable Use Policy here.

Need ideas for a Pinterest contest that follows the rules?

Forever 21’s recent ‘#F21Crush Pinterest Contest’ for Valentine’s Day appears to follow all of Pinterest’s rules and regulations. It’s called a ‘Pinterest contest’ and not ‘Pin to win,’ it allows entrants to have the freedom to be creative, there is an example board pinners can see for inspiration, F21 doesn’t require entrants pin a contest pin, they don’t ask for a minimum number of pins, they don’t require that pins be from Forever 21 (via their official rules), and entering the contest is fairly easy and straightforward.

See contest microsite entry page here & Forever 21’s example Pinterest board here.

Want to read more about Pinterest contests for brands? Check out, Pinterest Contests 101: For Brands. Interested in learning how to win Pinterest contests? Check out our other post, Pinterest Contests 101: For Pinners.

Interested in what HelloSociety can do for you? Check out our website or contact us at info@hellosociety.com to learn more.


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This is absolutely a life saver. Now I'm confident on what contest I'm gonna having on Pinterest ;)


Where does it say in the T&Cs that you can say "Pin to Win" or " Pin it to Win it"