How to Run a Pinterest Contest in 2014

March 7, 2014 Off By Koehler Home Decor

How-to-run-a-pinterest-contestFor many businesses, especially retail concerns, Pinterest is becoming increasingly important as a referral and traffic source as well as a way to interact with their target audience in general. One way to maximize the platform’s usefulness is to run a contest but many people are still a little confused about just how to do that successfully, especially since the rules associated with running a contest on the platform changed significantly at the end of 2013. Here then are some of the basics you need to know to take full advantage of what can be a great promotional opportunity.

Any Promotion has to Comply with the Legal Stuff

According to Pinterest any contest or promotion run on their platform must meet the appropriate legal guidelines. Will you get ‘caught’ if you do not? Possibly not. However, if you do, you can expect that your promotion – and maybe even your account – will be taken down so it is really not worth the risk.

Follow the Pinterest Don’ts

When implementing their contest guideline change Pinterest was fairly specific about what you should not do when running a contest. Some of the practices that used to be acceptable, such as a ‘Pin to Win’ promotion have now been outlawed.

Here are the don’ts, as laid down in the company’s guidelines:

Suggest that Pinterest sponsors or endorses you or the contest.
Require people to add Pins from a selection—let them add what they like.
Make people Pin your contest rules. This is a biggie.
Run a sweepstakes where each Pin, board, like or follow represents an entry.
Encourage spammy behavior, such as asking participants to comment.
Ask people to vote with Pins, boards, or likes.
Overdo it: contests can get old fast.
Require a minimum number of Pins. One is plenty.
Call your contest a “Pin it to win it” contest.”

So What are the Do’s?

Having seen the new guidelines for what is not acceptable running a contest on Pinterest you may be wondering what is as it is a rather comprehensive list.

If the goal of your contest is to increase awareness of, your company’s presence on Pinterest then creating a contest that allows them to pin ANY image from your website can be an excellent idea. You will need to have a Pin It plug in place in order for it to be easy to enter and you will also need to decide upon a way to identify users who repin so running the contest via a third party app may be the best idea as such things can be hard to track. Some of the best of these include Wishpond, Promojam and Shortstack.

A simple enter an email to win is another option that can attract voluntary repins from users if the contest is included via very eye catching images. Check out the examples below for a little inspiration.







Don’t Forget to Cross Promote

Most businesses use more than one social network so make sure that you cross promote your contest on these other platforms.

Koehler Home Decor is a wholesaler of home decor accessories and unique gifts. Source quality wholesale merchandise at and find tips for promoting your business on our blog.
Please follow and like us: