Using Pinterest for Business: How to Run Promotions and Sweepstakes

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A promotion can be a great way to build up a fanbase on a new network such as Pinterest. And brands using Pinterest for business will find that, if done properly, a promotion can go a long way to create an engaging fanbase.

So Why Run a Promotion on Pinterest?

Pinterest is a rapidly growing social network. In case you need a little recap on Pinterest’s rapid growth, here is an overview of the social network’s rapid rise in popularity:

In case you’re not sure where to begin, below are five types of popular Pinterest contests that brands are using.


Running a sweepstakes promotion is a simple and efficient way to dip your toes into Pinterest promotions. Because of how it’s set up, a sweepstakes can be a turnkey operation and can be added to an existing digital promotion.

How It Works:

  • Brand creates a custom landing page or microsite for a sweepstakes.
  • Brand posts a Pin to Pinterest pointing to the site.
  • Fans repin, driving traffic back to the initial page/microsite.
  • Fans fill in entry form on the page/microsite.

For inspiration, see AMC’s giveaway pinboard.


A lottery-style promotion can create a lot of brand activity in a short amount of time on Pinterest.

How It Works:

  • Brand creates an initial promotion pinboard that includes a link to promotion rules and numbered pins.
  • Fans repin images from the brand’s promotion pinboard.
  • Each week, the brand picks a number at random. Everyone who has repinned the image that corresponds to that number is in the drawing.
  • At the end of the promotion, a winner is chosen at random.

For inspiration, see BMI’s Tumblr post about their Beirut Pinterest promotion.

Pin it to Win It

Many brands running on Pinterest are opting for a Pin It to Win It style promotion. This style of promotion is particularly successful because it generates a lot of different content from a single brand on Pinterest without it looking overly promotional or spammy.

How It Works:

  • Brand announces promotion—either on other social channels directing to Pinterest or as a pin on Pinterest.
  • Participants are encouraged to pin a photo related to the promotion theme or brand.
  • Other requirements, such as using specific content in the description, like brand names, phrases or hashtags, or must be a follower of the brand may be established.
  • Winner is picked—either randomly or by the brand, as outlined in the rules.

For inspiration, see HuHot’s Grill Meat Contest Pinboard.

Best Pinboard Contest

Similar to Pin It to Win It promotions, the best pinboard promotions encourage a lot of brand content sharing in a short amount of time.

How It Works:

  • Brand announces promotion—either on other social channels directing to Pinterest or as a pin on Pinterest.
  • Participants create pinboards of content.
  • Other requirements, such as adding a brand to the entry board as a contributor, emailing a link to a specific email address, or using a specific hashtag, phrase or brand name in the board description, can be required.
  • Winner is picked, generally by the brand as outlined in the promotion rules.

For inspiration, see Peugeot’s Puzzle Pinboard Contest and Threadless’ Valentine’s Day Promotion.

Most Votes/Repins

In a most votes/repins promotion, a large amount of branded material may not be shared across Pinterest, but the content that is used encourages high engagement.

How It Works:

  • Brand creates a Pinterest board and sets it so any follower can pin to the board.
  • Participants then post images to the board, generally of branded products.
  • Winner is picked, either by most comments, likes or repins, or by a the brand.

For inspiration, see Victoria Secret’s “My Victoria’s Secret Summer” Promotion.

Pinerest Promotion Best Practices

As with any promotion, having a clear set of rules and processes is a necessary component. Here are five easy tips to make sure your promotion goes off without a hitch.

  1. Create Legitimate Content. This means having a professional-looking landing page, microsite, rules page, imagery and message across all channels of your promotion.
  2. Create Content Worthy of Sharing. A promotion on Pinterest is worthless if it doesn’t result in sharing. So if you have to spend a little more time sourcing images or developing new webpage content, it’ll be worth at the end of the promotion.
  3. Post Clear Rules — and List Them on Your Website. You shouldn’t run a promotion without rules, so make sure they’re easily accessible on your brand’s website.
  4. Provide Support. Use your other social and digital channels to promote your contest.
  5. Learn from Other Brands. Many brands are creating promotions on Pinterest — both complex and simple, so keep up on the latest social media trends. This handy pinboard on Pinterest Promotions is updated frequently and will help keep you up to date on the network’s latest promotions.

Are you ready to launch your first Pinterest promotion? Let us know the details in the comments!

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