“Pinspiring” Ideas For Pinterest Contests

April 2012     By

Everybody is talking about Pinterest, an image-based, virtual pinboard where you can save, organize, and share your favorite, most inspirational visuals in one place. It has grown into one of the most popular social networks in the United States.

If your brand is currently using Pinterest, take advantage of the platform’s enormous popularity by incorporating a Pinterest contest into your social media strategy. A Pinterest contest is an easy and effective way to engage your target audience, increase referral traffic, foster trust and loyalty, and generate buzz about your products, services, and company values.

Types of Pinterest Contests

Pin It To Win It

A “pin it to win it” sweepstakes encourages your audience to “pin” your products to their boards.  These could be products that inspire them or products related to a specified theme.  Ask them to follow your brand (if they aren’t already doing so), and create a pinboard with a name related to your company or contest.  Award a prize to the most creative or attractive pinboard.


Ask your followers to pin a designated number of products to a pinboard and have them email the link to you.  Each link acts as a sweepstakes entry and the winner is selected at random from the pool of entries received.


This type of contest requires entrants to create a pinboard using specific images. The winner is the person who receives the most likes or repins.  Make sure that the images can be repinned easily and that they include a hashtag in the description. The hashtag will help for searching on Twitter and Facebook accounts that are linked to Pinterest.

Comment Contest

Pin an image to your board and ask your followers to comment on it, write a caption or tagline, etc. Randomly choose a winner or have users vote on the best comment.

Photo Contest

This type of contest asks followers to utilize one or more of your products in a creative way.  Followers can post a picture of the showcased product(s) on your Facebook page (through a contest application) and you can post the finalists on Pinterest.  People can vote on their favorites to determine a winner.


Remember Best Practices

While a Pinterest contest engages your audience and is beneficial to your brand, it is important to make sure that you follow the same best practices you would with any online contest:

  • Visible rules –  Make sure the contest or sweepstakes rules are clearly listed on your website, preferably on a specially designed landing page and that all rules comply with Pinterest’s terms of service and your state’s regulations.
  • Simplicity is key – The more complex the contest, the less likely people are going to want to participate.
  • Have an End Date – Contests or sweepstakes that run for a limited time drive urgency and encourage a quick response.
  • Spread the word – Use Twitter, Facebook, emails, website copy, and blog postings to inform people about the contest and promote participation. Ask your customers to become members of Pinterest if they are not already, and ask them to follow your brand.
  • Track – Use a reliable system for tracking entries and reaching the winners.

Create a Pinterest contest that showcases your company’s personality and you will do more than just attract new customers; you will connect with your audience and develop long-term relationships.  If you have a presence on Pinterest and are looking for a simple, cost-effective way to generate more brand buzz, a contest or sweepstakes is a fresh and fun initiative you may want to consider.