Celebrate with a Pinterest Contest!

There’s nothing I like more than using social media to win a gift card for my favorite clothing brand. Nothing stimulates a person to enter a contest than when that competitive nature starts tingling throughout their body. Pinterest contest are becoming successful because people don’t seem to back down from competition, if they know they have an running chance. Which is why gamification is starting to take over the digital world.

Gamification is defined as the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g., point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service. What makes a game a game? It should be voluntary (with voluntary obstacles), have a goal, rules and regulation, a feedback system and the “Network Effect”. The Network Effect occurs when more users join a brand’s social platform making the brand more powerful.

To have an successful Pinterest contest, a brand should follow important steps:

  • Require a follow. Not only to engage with the user during the contest, but after the contest a brand can look at their audience and learn about who they are most influential of.
  • Have an clear entry process. Pinterest is not the most reliable social media platform when it comes to searching hashtags or key words and you do not want to lose an entry due to unreliable hashtags. Have a stable place that a participant can submit contest entries. Many brands use other social media platforms. Instagram can be used with a picture contest or a participant can post directly on the brand’s blog in the comment area.
  • Find a way to capture the winner’s information. Pinterest doesn’t have an message option like Twitter and Facebook which can cause difficulties when trying to contact an winner. That is another reason why the a Pinterest contest entries should be entered via blog or another social media platform that way information can be gained. Ask for the participants email, not only to notify a winner but a brand can analyze their target audience again and send email alerts to this audience.
  • Have a clear goal. Have a clear business goal of the contest. Is it to promote a fashion brands new seasonal line? Drive website traffic or social media followers? Or simply to get to know ones brand followers?

My favorite Pinterest contest:

Lilly Pulitzer


Photo Credit: Lilly Pulitzer


Photo Credit: Lilly Pulitzer Pinterest

Lilly Pulitzer used Instagram as an entry point where Lilly followers could celebrate her birthday by submitting their brand themed photos that were inspired by quotes posted by Lilly’s Pinterest account. The contest had clear rules and a follow as an requirement where the winner could win a $250 shopping spree. Hello contest motivation!

University of South Florida

Pinterest users were required to create an USF themed Pinterest board and the Marketing and Communications Office at UFC would choose a winner based on their collegiate spirit. The rules were simple- just have 25 photos per board (5 of which had to be repins from UFC’s Pinterest page) and submit by email.

High Point Market


Photo Credit: High Point Market 


Photo Credit: High Point Market Pinterest

This as a contest between High Point Market (the largest furnishing trade show in the world) top recruiters of top home fashion trendsetters. High Point Market exclusively picked their contestants for there own  Pinterest account and let them co-contribute to a board of their favorite home fashions. Event attendees of the trade show would then select a winner based on the number of repines and likes of images on the designers boards.

Pinterest contest are becoming an popular type of gamification and people are excited to win these contest. For a brand, don’t forget to have fun with it and promote your brand positive to Pinterest users!


3 thoughts on “Celebrate with a Pinterest Contest!

  1. This is a really great, well-rounded blog post, and I found it especially interesting because it is something I see, but have never engaged in or read about. Although you are mainly talking about Pinterest, which I believe the fashion and lifestyle brand industry utilizes very well, when you mentioned incorporating Instragram, a different thought immediately came to mind. Lately, I’ve been noticing a trend through mainly social media platforms, but mainly Instagram and Twitter, where people are entering contests, and then it turns out that they are fake. I wonder if there is some way for a company to track whether a scammer is trying to create a fake contest or what a social media manager should do in such a situation.

  2. I LOVE PINTEREST CONTESTS. I can’t say it enough. I actually just competed in an Alex and Ani Pinterest contest. I did one this sumer for Lilly Pulitzer, where you had to create your ‘ideal summer party’. I really enjoyed this one, because I could really express myself, and be extremely creative. I like how you used a Lilly example, because I think they do an incredible job using social media, especially Pinterst. I think that more companies should utilize and have contests; it’s free advertising, and many pins often go viral. Hopefully someone at a company will see your blog post and get the ball rolling at their company!

  3. Hey Ashley!

    I think you bring some great insight here. I particularly enjoyed your presentation on gamification, but hadn’t really thought about using it on Pinterest. But, I have seen the Lilly Pulitzer contest, so I guess I was seeing gamification without even knowing it. I agree that this is a great campaign. People love to see their own Instagrams (or tweets, or any type of social media post) on a big brand’s page. I think the High Point Market contest is also very interesting and very different from the Lilly Pulitzer contest. In this contest, only certain people are in the contest but this certainly adds to the exclusivity of it and the incentive to be someone who participates. I think that certain stores could use this if they only allowed their top-spending customers to be a part of it. Talk about incentive to buy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s