Life’s a Game, Be prepared with Gamification

Great post on gamification!

Socially Green: Online

It’s pronounced—gay-muh-fi-kay-tion. It’s gaming simply put, you know like; Farmville, Candy Crush, Temple Run or even the pizza making mobile app. Now companies wouldn’t particularly use Candy Crush to engage customers, but yet their own form of gaming. As new, upcoming PR professionals, I believe it’s important to be educated on this emerging technique.

Now, what is gamification? It is a social media technique that “involves applying game design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging,” as stated by Gamification Wiki. By applying this technique, the company or industry can convert users into consumers.

This ultimately makes the process of appealing to customers, retaining them and engaging them a much more fun and exciting time than the usual, hum-drum boring customer appeals.

Personally for me, I wanted to look for some kind of gamification method a company was using that encouraged sustainable living…

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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!

B2B and B2C: Don’t look like a dummy on Pinterest!

Pinterest is the most sales active site on social media platforms, so if you are a B2B or B2C, WHY ARE YOU NOT ON IT? Listen to my podcast on why every business should be on Pinterest and how not to look like a dummy doing it.

via MIT Technology…at-you-want/

and Synecore…s-INFOGRAPHIC

For more information, reach me on twitter at @ashleysprain and lets chat!

The Generation of Pinterest Shopping


Brands are recognizing the significance Pinterest is holding over the social media generation and why products need to be seen on Pinterest NOW. Out of all social media platforms, Pinterest has the highest cross over to users actually buying the product advertised. Last Christmas, watches were the biggest trend within females and was even seen trending on social media. Michael Kors’ Pinterest page has almost 200,000 followers and his watches are often the most recurring pin circulating on Pinterest.


A study shows that only 33 percent of Facebook users buy a product advertised, usually just clicking through but not purchasing while 59 percent of Pinterest users actually click-through and buy the product.Why does Pinterest have the ability to persuade buying? Like Facebook, Pinterest images are sharable but influences better because it is a image based sharing site. People log onto Pinterest to view images, not to socialize like they do on Facebook. Pinterest’s main audience is females and women make most buying decision in most house holds. Brands base their images on Pinterest with product placement, highlighting products and their best features rather than the traditional advertising sales pitch. These images reach thousand of users for free, traditional advertising would cost thousands dollars to reach that many people.

Pinterest caught on to how powerful they are within brand placement and now allow brands to become an business account and set up actual shops. A business doesn’t have to be strictly e-commerce to have a business account on the site, many nonprofit companies join just to interact with their audience and build traffic to the companies personal website.

Pinning your favorite images is addicting and isn’t going away. Pinterest marketing is being integrated into most digital strategy plans of business becoming the future of advertising and product placement. For a business not on Pinterest, learn the audience already on Pinterest and target yours from there. This infographic statistically shows who is pinning; for example, 23.8% of people pinning drive Dodge automobiles.

Brands everywhere are quickly joining Pinterest to keep their advertising and product placement ahead of the fast pace social media generation.

Is Pinterest the New Vogue?

I call it a fashion high—and today, it is easier to find the sneakily addictive source. Social media platforms are crawling with leathered pumps, cable knitted sweaters and gemmed jewelry making me anxious every time I check my Pinterest. “Does anyone see this beautifully crafted outfit—from the scarf to the watch to the models perfectly crafted messy bun?” After spending an hour procrastinating on Pinterest, I’m finding myself thinking this above thought often and then finding myself in the mall buying all the pieces to rock the outfit that next day.

My first love is fashion and it will always be, as most any girl will say who has memories of dancing around in their mother’s high heels and stalking every Teen Vogue issue growing up. Now, I’m grown up and have experience in the digital industry realizing that magazines (fashion or not) are almost irrelevant to the new, younger generation because social media has taken over. Mia Freedman, who has worked for Cosmo, explains how Vogue only sales 51K paper copies per month compared to its 1.1M online UBs use per month. Digital is the future and everyone is looking for their fashion needs online.

It’s not new news; we all saw this coming with the Internet push. Fashion has taken a turn into a completely new world now that social media dominates it digitally. Is it for the better? There are multiple reasons why I enjoy the fashion scene better on social media rather than magazines and excited to start discussing these throughout my blog.

Till then—make yourself a Pinterest account, join Tumblr or follow fashion models on Instagram where you can get a fashion high every minute. Vogue will always be the leading name in the fashion industry, but I predict they will start using new techniques to target the digital world. Fashion to me is not just sporting a great look but now posting it on social media and sharing it to all the “fashionistas” in the world. People want to see it!