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Published: 23-Apr-14
Engaging Your Audience, Growing Your Boards By Running Contests
Today we are going to jump right in and talk about engaging your audience, growing your boards by running contests.

As we well know the purpose of Pinterest is to allow people to "pin" photos they find on the internet or upload from their computers to their virtual pinboard's. This powerful social network makes it easy for anyone to organize collections, share ideas and even product pictures, so that consumers can find and share them with others.

To ensure that you are engaging your audience and growing your boards you can do several things, including launching a Pinterest contest. Running a pinning contest can be a great way to promote your pins, boards and especially your business.

There are many types of contests you can run on Pinterest including "pin it to win it,? ?best photo contest? or ?re-pin/like contest.? The first thing to consider is what type of contest you're going to run?

- Will it be a good fit for your business? - Will it help raise brand awareness and engage consumers? - What type of prizes will you give away? - How long is it going to last?

It's important to have a good idea of what results you would like to achieve by running the contest. This will help you prepare properly and achieve your goals effectively.

Now let's go over a few different types of contests you can run:

- Pin To Win Contest

Is this where you have your contestants create a board specifically dedicated to your contest. On this board you will instruct them to pin specific images. They can be photos of your products or images related to a certain theme topic. The most creative board wins.

Kraft Food's recently did this in their "Pin It To Win It" recipe contest.

This is a very good example of how to run a popular contest on Pinterest.

You can find the entries by doing a search on Pinterest with the term #kraftrecipes (notice how they used the hashtag) or by going to: The contest is over now, but you can still use it as an example.

- Photo Contest

This is where your contestants pin images of themselves actually using your products in a creative way. Then you have your site visitors and other pinner's vote on the most creative images. The contestant with the most votes wins.

- Repining Contest

This is where contestants are asked to repin specific images and write descriptions using specific hashtags. This type of contest can help jumpstart the viral nature of your pins by utilizing Pinterest's ?repin? feature as a means to enter. It can also be the most effective in building brand awareness, because the winner will be the follower who repins the most.

- Comment Contest

This is one of the simplest types of contests to run. This is where contestants are asked to leave comment on a specific pin. You can have them include the hashtag or answer a question and the most informative comment will win. This type of contest is quick, easy and allows anyone to enter. Not to mention, generates a lot of interest.

Here are a few quick tips that will help ensure your contest will be a big success:

- When getting ready for your contest be sure to post clear, easy to follow rules for your contestants.

- Include a start and end date for your contest.

- Monitor every phase of your contest carefully. Keep track of entries to ensure everyone is entering correctly and not breaking the rules.

- Give a prize that your contestants will really want to work for to win. To

- Consider giving first, second and consolation prizes to your finalists.

- Make it's easy to enter. A social media contest should be simple and not require lengthy forms or mail-ins to enter. This will only deter people from participating.

As of now, Pinterest doesn't have any formal rules pertaining to running contests or sweepstakes, but before you begin your contest you want to make sure that you are complying with your state?s rules and regulations regarding sweepstakes.

If you decide that running a contest on Pinterest will be a good fit for your business, but you're not quite sure where to start you can always visit the site and look at ongoing contests from other Pinterest users.

This way you can watch what works and what doesn't so that you can plan your own contest more effectively.

TIP: Use the search term "#contest"

Truly, there's no doubt that you can use Pinterest to help promote brand awareness, create buzz and attract more customers, so why not make it fun by hosting your own Pinterest contest.

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Republished with author's permission.