Pinterest Contest Ideas: Going Beyond ‘Pin It To Win it’



For everything related to Pinterest contests and their different structures to help build your social media campaign, read on for the top 5 examples to inspire your next Pinterest contest!


*Disclaimer: While these contests do not follow the general guidelines of what Pinterest advocates, we found these to be excellent examples for inspiration of effective ways to do so. They were all run in 2012 before the Pinterest guidelines were established so they get a “get out of jail card for free”!


Here you’ll find tidbits on 5 examples of structures that what we thought was the ‘crème de la crème’ of the most engaging Pinterest contests. We have included brands like Country Living, General Electric, HP, ModCloth, and the American Heart Association.


1. Country Living: “Dream Bedroom Pinterest Contest”

Country Living’s “Dream Bedroom Pinterest Contest” though meticulously thorough and with detailed instructions, it is by far one of the most efficiently run ad-campaigns through this social media platform. With a chance to win $500 in Brand New Bedding courtesy of Garnett Hill, users began by following the Country Living Pinterest Page. Then, launching a new board with title specifications of “My Country Living Dream Bedroom”, they were required to pin a minimum of 10 items, with at least 5 from Country Living’s Page Board itself. Rules also required that all pins must be tagged as #CountryLiving and #DreamBedroom and to submit entries, users must comment on the Contest Pin with a link to their board included. Entries judged by a panel of editors were based on Originality, Creativity, Adherence to Rules, and “A general sense of Country Living Aesthetic”.

 Why It Worked:

This Pinterest Contest worked for various reasons. First, it really did not ask more of participants, simply for the fact that if they were fans in the first place, they would have already pinned their images beforehand, and at least 5, fitting their requirement of a minimum of 5. With no limit over 10 pins, it allowed pinners to express their creativity and their own hints of inspiration to their “Dream Bedroom”. And while the winner was not randomized, but in fact judged on a list of criteria, it did not violate any of the legalities set by Pinterest themselves. All in all, round of applause for Country Living!


2. GE: “The Next Instagrapher/#GEInspiredMe” Pinterest Contest

To win a free trip to the United Kingdom valued at $11,000 as well as taking home the title of Next GE Instagrapher, GE strategically integrated three of their social media channels for this contest. Although not originally started on Pinterest, it does do a great job of getting users engaged and involved for a chance to win. All they had to do was take photos inspired or reflective of one of GE’s 4 areas of innovation – Moving, Building, Curing, or Powering, share them on Instagram and tag the photo as #GEInspiredMe. That simple. Then, photos were featured in a gallery on the GE Facebook Page where users could vote for their favorites via likes and finalists were evaluated by a panel of judges where the winner was finally determined. So, how was Pinterest involved? GE featured their top photos in a dedicated Pinterest account titled – you guessed it, #GEInspiredMe!


Why It Worked:

So even though the contest was not originally run on Pinterest, GE really integrated between their platforms and methodically leveraged the networks between each other. Using Instagram as an entry point, they continued the competition on Facebook as an evaluation mechanism while finally hitting home with Pinterest as a way to gain extra visibility to users. GE really created a well-thought out plan of incorporating Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest as well as finding inspiration for the research and technology they do best.


3. HP: “HP SpectreXT Laptop” Themed Pinterest Contest

The HP SpectreXT Laptop contest promoted its campaign through continuous weekly themes to win the laptop itself or $500 Amazon Gift Cards. HP strategically posted a theme on its dedicated webpage where entrants were tasked with creating boards representing the theme, as well as a one pin of the HP SpectreXT Laptop. To submit the URL to the board through the webpage, users were required to create a log-in where public votes were used to determine each week’s winner. 

Why It Worked:

The theme for one week was “The Anywhere Office”, where you would pin the HP SpectreXT, while also including things you would want in your office if you could have it anywhere. Because this promotion was ongoing the constant changes allowed the themes to change weekly as well as being unobtrusive. Developing a lot of little mentions with the product over Pinterest was effective as well. The strategic incorporation of a landing page to drive traffic to their website where the contest rules and submission were explained, helped to expand their marketing database. The website required a username and login where HP gathered contact information thus building their marketing strategy.


4. ModCloth: “Something Borrowed, Something You” Pinterest Contest

Winning a $100 ModCloth Gift Certificate as a well as the title of Inspiration for the 2012 Spring Wedding Campaign is a title I’m sure most women would want! ModCloth created an ad-campaign where a Pinboard titled “Spring ModCloth Wedding” with one image satisfying each of the 20 criteria required from the contest pin, and tagged #ModCloth #Wedding, was a quick and easy way of running a Pinterest Contest. Judging based on Uniqueness, Creativity, ModCloth Spirit as well as adherence to contest guidelines made for an equal but fun and fair competition. As well as including 4 of ModCloth merchandise onto the Pinterest Board, the link for submission must also be linked and commented under the contest pin, titled, “To Have & To Hold”.

Why It Worked:

As most women have dreamed of their wedding and planning it, creating the PinBoard for most was already done. It helped build brand image while targeting wedding planners because the #Wedding allowed anyone who searches Wedding to come up the results that also include ModCloth merchandise. As well as being a fun and unique contest, it exposed and marketed ModCloth products to any and all women who were thinking of their wedding.


5. American Heart Association: “Walk It. Pin It. Win It.” Pinterest Contest

The American Heart Association had by far the easiest and simplest ease of entry for a chance to win an iPod Shuffle and a $25 iTunes Gift Card. With requirements of only asking pinners to capture a photo of their favorite walking path and tag it with #WalkIt, how could you not enter? Judging based on aesthetics and creativity give everyone a fair chance at winning.

Why It Worked:

With no need to start a new full-fledged board, it’s so simple and easy to photograph a walking path that you like, caption it, and pin it to an already existing board. It is a simple and easy process, with the purpose of supporting the AHA and stressing cardiac care. If you can walk it, you can pin it, and there’s a chance you might even win it!


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