HelloSociety Blog

Influencer-Powered Social Media Marketing

Zoe Waldron

August 21, 2013


There is no black and white formula for Pinterest contests and sweepstakes but there are steps you can take while planning a Pinterest contest to make sure it’s timely, planned, promoted, executed, and followed-up with correctly.

1) Determine Your Main Goal

Do you want to increase Pinterest followers, sales, exposure of a new product, or collaborate with a specific brand, pinner, or blogger? Surely it’s a combination of the above, but determine what the main goal is for this upcoming Pinterest contest campaign.

2) Choose: Contest or Sweepstakes?

First and foremost, what is the difference between a contest and a sweepstakes? A contest is a competition where the winner is based off of talent, aka being the best voted entry to win. In a sweepstakes, the winner is based off of a random drawing, so long as their entry follows the rules you’ve set.

Pinterest is a good medium to run contests because creative, brand-loyal people enjoy making Pinterest boards specialized to your brand and are very likely to connect with your products on a deeper level during the process. Having many board entries that connect well with the brand also shows that consumers know your products well, relate with them personally, and have shared their brand interest with their Pinterest followers. This promotes the likelihood of them becoming brand advocates. Contests are a good selection if your main goal is to increase exposure of a new product or connect with your followers on a deeper level to increase brand loyalty.

Pinterest is a good medium to run sweepstakes because there are an estimated 70 million+ people on Pinterest so if your promotions are done well, you have the potential to reach a very large audience. Sweepstakes are a good selection if your main goal is to get more Pinterest followers and spread brand awareness.

Both contests and sweepstakes are a good choice for increasing sales and collaborating with established Pinterest brands, pinners, and bloggers. If you’re interested in collaborating with well-established pinners check out our amazing network of influencers!

3) Make It Unique & Give Them An Example Board

Choose a clever title and appropriate theme for your Pinterest contest or sweepstakes. If your company is releasing a new line of product, a seasonal change is coming (ie: Back To School, fall, Thanksgiving), or you want to collaborate with a specific food blogger or Pinterest influencer, you should work with those names to create a unique and memorable contest name that isn’t too long (4-7 words is ideal.) Asking pinners to use hashtags is also a great way to get your products exposure.

Make an example contest board on the company’s Pinterest account to give your followers an example of what you’re looking for! Make sure to use good descriptions and contest hashtags on every pin.

4) Stick To Your Dates and Rules

Share when you will choose and announce winners and stick to those dates. If your brand doesn’t want other brands’ products, alcohol, people’s faces, etc… pinned on entering boards you need to clearly state that. It’s usually assumed that people can pin whatever they want so unusual rules like this need to be clear and noted.

When picking winners, you need to check to see if they follow all of your rules before confirming them as a winner. Require them to fill out all legal paperwork and give them a return-by required date. Make sure your contest complies with all legal requirements and Pinterest’s Brand Guidelines and Terms of Service.

Pinterest Contest Example

An office company carefully plans a Pinterest contest campaign called ‘Back-To-School with {enter name here}.’ They require a 1) Pinterest username, 2) email address, and 3) entering pinboard URL for entry.

To enter, pinners need to:

1) Read the rules and make sure they’re eligible.

2) Follow the company’s Pinterest boards.

3) Make a board called ‘Back-To-School with {enter name here}.’

4) Pin whatever their heart desires (that follows the rules.)

5) Enter their Pinterest username, pinboard URL, and email address to the contest entry form.

Why a Pinterest Contest?

Pinterest contests and sweepstakes are a great way to get your products shared throughout Pinterest in an organic way. Pinterest is one of the top platforms to encourage online purchases. The more exposure your products get on Pinterest, the more likely your products will sell. Pinterest contest prizes can be as small as a gift card to as large as a world trip — the possibilities are endless! By following these guidelines and Pinterest’s guidelines the contest process should be straightforward and you will be more likely to get the results you’re hoping for.

Are you interested in learning more about running a Pinterest contest for your business? Check out our HelloBuzz Pinterest contest platform feature! Email us at info@hellosociety.com to learn more.


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  1. […] learning more about running a Pinterest contest for your business? See our blog post last week “Pinterest Contests 101: For Brands.” Also, check out our HelloBuzz Pinterest contest platform feature and email us at […]

  2. […] 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 […]