7 Steps To Create Effective Pin It To Win It Contests

Every company is looking for the next creative way to take advantage of Pinterest. Some have already mastered the social network by taking broad topics and breaking them down into smaller pieces.  For example someone who is a wedding planner could have boards associated with all things wedding even if they don’t offer all of those services. Chronicle Books of San Francisco sells books, but instead of creating boards to sell books they created boards around themes of books that they sell such as DIY, typography, fun with kids, etc.

And everyone knows that building a community on any social network including Pinterest is key to having your contest be successful. Some companies, like Haas Avocados with their Avocado Lovers board, have already learned that by allowing their followers to contribute and discuss their favorite items has generated mass engagement.

But some businesses are struggling with making their Pin It 2 Win It contests successful.

Here are 7 steps you need to do to create an effective and successful Pin It To Win It contest:

  1. Ask them to follow your brand on Pinterest @yourcompany
  2. Make sure you give them an email of someone they can contact for an Invite in case they don’t have a Pinterest account.
  3. Ask them to create a board around a particular theme related to your brand.  For example, Petite Lemon asked readers of their blog to enter their Pin It To Win It contest by creating a relevant board that was directly related to their new t-shirt line.
  4. Request that pinners add in a RELEVANT #hashtag along with your Pinterest handle @yourcompany so that every contest entry is branded and allows you to count their entries easily. Plus you can repin it to your brand’s contest board. See the Celtics contest below because they chose their name as the hashtag they had to come up with a super complicated entry way for pinners. And what do we know about when you make it complicated for people on social sites? They lose interest and in the case of contests, they fizzle.
  5. Be sure to tell them when the contest dates are, what the prize is, and when and where the winner(s) will be announced and MOST IMPORTANT: how they gain an entry into your contest. Is it based on # of repins and likes their pin gets? Is it a random drawing based on all eligible entries? This Sephora contest was not so clear and see what happened? Disgruntled fans became vocal.
  6. Make sure the prize is relevant to your brand. Don’t give away an iPad just because they are a hot ticket item if you you sell automotive parts. See Creative Labels of Vermont’s Pin It To Win It contest below here they are a digital printing company and they are giving away a $100 gas card. It’s not relevant to their brand. A better prize would have been $100 in free printing or 500 free business cards.
  7. Give bonus entries by asking pinners to follow you on Twitter and to tweet you the URL to their pin.

Also, don’t forget to increase the virality of your contest by having a  button and other social sharing buttons on your website or blog.

Connect with Tracy on Google + | Twitter | Facebook to get other tips and tricks.

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.


  1. […] your product pinned onto the site can bring exposure for your product and traffic to your site. Set up a Pinterest contests, during which you ask customers and fans to pin your product to their boards as a contest entry. […]