One very effective way to gain more Pinterest (and other social media) followers and to increase website or blog traffic is to run Pinterest contests. We've seen some great success with contests for our clients.
Here is our "Do's and Don'ts Guide for Launching a Pinterest Contest." Before starting a contest, research the Pinterest rules, as well as your state’s sweepstakes rules. You might also want to take a peek at what the FTC says about online contests. The tips below should help you get started.
Pinterest Contest Don’ts:
Pinterest has specific rules on what businesses can and can’t do with contests on the site.
Pinterest will not allow contests that:
- Suggest that Pinterest sponsors or endorses them or the promotion
- Require people to pin from a selection (like a website or list of pins)
- Make people pin the contest rules
- Run a sweepstakes where each pin, board, “like” or follow represents an entry
- Encourage spammy behavior, such as asking participants to comment
- Ask to vote with pins, boards or likes
- Require a minimum number of pins
Pinterest Contest Do's:
- Read the rules. Before running a contest on any social network, the first thing you need to do is read their terms of service/rules on contests. Hard work could go to waste if your account gets suspended due to accidentally (or not) following the rules. Pinterest’s rules are relatively lenient; look them up under the 'Logos and Brand Guidelines' section of the terms of service for business accounts.
- Set a realistic goal. In planning a Pinterest contest, decide your goal and create a contest that will actually reach that goal, whether it’s to generate leads and increase engagement, followers or traffic to your website.
- Make the contest visually appealing and inspirational. Remember that Pinterest is all about inspiration and that pinners are very visual people. Get inspiration and ideas for your contest by checking out the contest pins and boards of other brands/businesses.
- Have a landing page. A landing page is a very important part of a Pinterest contest; it’s the direct place for people to go to learn more about your contest. Your landing page should have an easily pinnable image (one that uses the Pin It! Button or similar widget), contest instructions, what can be won and a form to register.
- Keep it simple and fun. The number of steps it takes to complete your contest is important; be sure that contestants can try to win within a few pins and repins. The easier your contest, the more people will enter. Remember to also provide very clear instructions. The contest also must be fun. Pinners need to get excited about the contest, not view it as work. Keep quality pinning and inspiration at the forefront of your contest.
- Ask for contestants to create boards. If the contest prize is appealing (see more about this below) and you can invoke motivation in your contestants, ask followers to create their own Pinterest boards to enter.
- Promote, promote, promote. While people love Pinterest contests, they aren’t going to rush to participate just because. They may stop scrolling for a few seconds to read about the contest, but you have to provide the information and motivation for them to actually complete an entry. Promote the contest with blog posts, press releases and eblasts. Build a pin board just for the contest, use hashtags to make it easy to find and share your contest across social networks (cross-promote the contest through Facebook, Twitter, your website and blog, etc.).
- Make the Pinterest contest mobile friendly. Mobile is quickly becoming the most common method to access social media. Make sure your Pinterest contests are optimized for mobile devices like phones and tablets.
- Choose the right prize. Prizes are a very important key to success for contests. Choose a prize that is relevant to your brand and something that will be useful and appealing to your target audience. Keep your target market in mind when you are developing the prize for your contest. The more appealing it is to your customer, the more entrants you will get. Additionally, prizes that are relevant to your business will help attract participants who are more likely to promote your brand or buy your products down the road.
- Show off your winners. At the conclusion of your contest, don’t forget to let the world know about your winners. Pin a photo of your winner with their prize, write a blog post announcing the winner and promote your winner on your social media sites. Doing so will let followers know that your contest was real, with a real winner who won a great prize. Plus, this will encourage followers to participate in future contests.
If your business is interested in hosting a Pinterest contest, contact mRELEVANCE today to find out how we can help!