With the growth of 2012’s breakthrough social network comes an exciting opportunity for marketers to use Pinterest as a platform for visually engaging promotions with low barriers to entry.
As Brandmovers works to develop some of the world’s first Pinterest contests and sweepstakes, here are some of the best practices we’ve come across.
Pinterest contests are a great way to get users to post content that links back to your brand, while engaging them to create the best pinboard or get the most repins and likes.
This type of contest asks people to create a pinboard named after the brand or the promotion. To build their boards, entrants are asked to pin or repin items from the company or promotion sponsor’s website or pinboards. Some brands take a less product-driven approach with inspiration board type contests. This type of promotion doesn’t require users to pin company content; rather, images that speak to a lifestyle element of their brand.
Participants enter into the contest by submitting a link to their pinboard via email to a specified address or via comment on a specified company pin.
Judging is usually determined internally, since Pinterest users can’t “like” entire pinboards. Winners are notified via Pinterest comment or email. Brands can highlight the contest winner(s) on all their social networks for added buzz.
These types of contests ask people to pin (or repin) images from company or promotion sponsor’s websites (or pinboards). A popular approach is to ask users to pin images of the products they would most like to win. Pinners who get the most repins or likes win their chosen item!
An effective entry method is to ask users to call out the name of the promotion or brand in the form of a hashtag or @-mention linking back to the company Pinterest page. This allows marketers to run a search on Pinterest to find all eligible entries, and provides a very simple way for contestants to participate.
Pinterest’s recently-released API presents a streamlined way to tabulate metrics such as user submissions, repins, and likes. This is a great solution for larger contests, where counting likes and repins manually wouldn’t be an option. The winning pins could be repinned by the brand and shared across their other social properties.
While contests encourage users to win by creating the best pinboards or pinning the most likeworthy images, sweepstakes count user actions as modes of entry:
Win by Pinning Website Content
This kind of sweepstakes encourages users to pin content from company and/or promotion sponsor websites. Entrants could be asked to create an online wish list by making a pinboard populated with product images, or go on a virtual treasure hunt by searching for a new item added to the website each day.
This is a great approach for companies looking to drive traffic to their website, as it encourages visits from participants and populates Pinterest with a variety of pins that link back to your product pages.
Win by Repinning Brand Pins
This sweepstakes format asks users to repin images from a designated company pinboard. One approach is to create a Pinterest “lottery” where users selects an image from the pinboard and each day the company announces a winning image. All the participants who repinned the winning image will be entered to win a prize. Another, more straightforward, approach is to ask users to repin an image containing information, dates and rules about the sweepstakes.
Asking users to pin images from a specified pinboard gives a company more control over what brand content users will be pinning to enter the contest. For example, a company looking to promote a certain subbrand or product line would want to limit user-generated pins to images relevant to the promotion. This approach to a sweepstakes is also advisable for companies that don’t have easy-to-navigate product pages or lack visual (pinnable) content on their websites.
Building Buzz and Driving Entries
Of course, none of these contests or sweepstakes should live in a vacuum. Any promotion a company develops on Pinterest should be cross-promoted on all online properties and link to a promotion site that details rules for participation. A simpler alternative is to create an image containing the promotion info and post it on Pinterest and other social networks. A Facebook tab can be created that features website content or pulls in your company pinboard, to enhance likelihood of fan crossover.
Beyond spreading the word to company followers, brands can expand the reach of their initiative by encouraging users to share to increase their chances of winning. For example, bonus sweepstakes entries can be awarded to people who post their pins to Facebook or Twitter. Pinterest automatically prompts users to share or tweet their image after pinning, making it another effortless but impactful mode of entry.
Still have questions about running a promotion on Pinterest? Let us know, and we could answer your question on our blog!