The Pinterest Chapter: A Sidebar on Pin It To Win It

by Susan Getgood on June 6, 2013 · 2 comments

in Blogging,Marketing,Pinterest,Viral Marketing,Web Marketing

Disclosure: I am Vice President, Influencer Marketing at BlogHer. Advertising and social media marketing programs are a significant source of revenue for my company and for the bloggers in our advertising network.

Reviewing the content for the second part of my “book chapter” on using Pinterest to promote your blog, I realized there was a great deal of content about sweepstakes and contests on Pinterest as a marketing tactic that really merited its own post. So herewith the Pin It To Win It sidebar.

Straight up, I do not recommend Pin It To Win It as an engagement tactic. There are better, more authentic and far less complicated ways for brands to engage with influencers on Pinterest, which I will outline in my next post, the “official” Part Two of my Pinterest “chapter.”

With the current functionality of the Pinterest platform, Pin It To Win It sweepstakes are complicated and ugly. Entering is usually a multi-step process. Six or more seems to be the norm: follow the brand on Pinterest, register on a website or entry form that you are participating, then create the pins (however many are required) and then go back and register the pins.

They are also a big ole tease. Pinterest is not simply broadcasting, it is long term curation. As a result, users find pins sometimes weeks and months later. Pins promoting long-over sweepstakes? Yucky.

Pinterest sweeps and contests also don’t necessarily give the brand the reach it expects. If the prize is terrific, some Pinterest powerhouses will enter but for most sweeps, entrants will be folks with more modest followings. Creating my personal pet peeve: Pinterest sweeps have spawned hundreds and hundreds of abandoned pinboards created for no other reason than to enter the sweepstakes. Pin Junkyards, if you will.

If/when the Pinterest platform can support sweepstakes and contests within the ecosystem, they could be a lot of fun. Right now though, I do not recommend them as a marketing strategy. You want to take the time to enter them? Go for it. But at the current state of play, Pinterest sweeps don’t contribute to brand building the way everyone hopes.

That said, marketers: if you absolutely must do a sweeps on Pinterest, please familiarize yourself with Pinterest’s brand guidelines for the service’s excellent recommendations.

For ease of reference, the Do’s and Don’ts for sweep and contests below are reproduced in full from Pinterest’s Brand Guidelines (


  • Remember that Pinterest is all about people discovering things that inspire them. Reward quality pinning over quantity.
  • Make it easy to get involved with clear and simple instructions.
  • Read our anti-spam measures to keep your contest fun and useful.
  • Check out our branding guidelines if you’re going to reference Pinterest in any way.


  • Suggest that Pinterest sponsors or endorses you or the contest.
  • Require people to pin from a selection—let them pin their own stuff.
  • Make people pin or repin your contest rules. This is a biggie.
  • Run a sweepstakes where each pin, repin, board, like or follow represents an entry.
  • Encourage spammy behavior, such as asking participants to comment.
  • Ask pinners to vote with pins, repins, boards, or likes.
  • Overdo it: contests can get old fast.
  • Require a minimum number of pins. One is plenty.

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{ 2 trackbacks }

The Pinterest chapter, Part Two:Engaging with Brands on Pinterest and Sponsored Pins
June 16, 2013 at 8:31 pm
Update: Pinterest’s Acceptable Use Policy and Brand Pins/Pinboards
February 23, 2014 at 6:11 pm

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