Social Media Boot Camp- Gamification Edition

I’ve discussed gamification in my last post and wanted to share an presentation that might help an unconfident “gamificationer” understand it better. During my Social Media Campaigns for Public Relations class at Penn State, we held a Social Media Boot Camp and I presented on gamification. Some important points I brought up to help a viewer understand how it works:

Gamification only works if content is compelling enough to engage members repeatedly, consistently and with the right frequency.

How to gamify
  • provide real time rewards
  • encourage participation and competition
  • create leaderboards
  • Increase member motivation
  • Happier when working hard, doing meaningful and rewarding work
  • Quick feedback

To view the whole presentation:

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”; title=”Gamification presenation” target=”_blank”>Gamification presenation</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”; target=”_blank”>Cheyenne Sexton</a></strong> </div>



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!