5 Pinterest Contests Examined

by Nicole D'Alonzo on Mar 07, 2012

There are several brands on Pinterest leading the way on experimenting with contests.

And more appear to be launching contests everyday. We’ve noticed a variety of contest types ranging from highly detailed pinboard entries to more subjective contests.

It is also important for any brand considering a Pinterest contest to review Pinterest’s Terms of Use before launching.

Types of Contests on Pinterest

Best Pinboard
Users create a pin board under the contest guidelines and brands select the best one.

Most likes/repins
Contest entrants create pinboards and specific images for users to like and/or repin and entrants win based on the amount of likes/repins they receive.

Sweepstakes Entries
Random winners drawn from a pool on entries. People can enter the sweepstakes by repining an image and/or following a brand on Pinterest.

Establishing Best Practices

It is still early days for marketing on Pinterest, but many brands are looking to invest in the platform and some obvious best practices are beginning to emerge for contests.

  1. Create a legitimate looking contest. Make sure your contest has a homepage with specific rules that lives on your official website. Pinterest is already seeing scam contests so to ensure Pinterest users get involved, they have to trust your campaign.
  2. Create a repinnable image (yes repinnable is a word). One of the first steps for promoting a Pinterest contest is to have an image that your followers can repin for you easily. It should list the contest name, display the brand, mention a prize and reference the rules.
  3. Have clear rules listed. These most likely should live on your official website or blog, but can also be reference on Pinterest.com.
  4. Support the contest with existing resources. Help get the word out through email lists, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and any other audiences your business has access to.

5 Contests Examples for Review

  1. High Point Market: A company that organizes trade shows for the furniture industry
  2. ModCloth: An online boutique featuring indie and retro-style women’s clothing
  3. Homes.com: A website for searching homes for sale or rent
  4. Mark Eric Photography: Wedding photographer in Louisiana
  5. TeachHub.com: Teacher resource website

1. High Point Market: Style Spotters

Type: Repins


  • Entrants, named “style spotters” (selected by High Point Market), pinned their favorite images from High Point Market
  • Style spotters solicited votes through repins and likes
  • The pinboard with the most likes/repins as voted by fans wins

Prize: A free trip to the April High Point Market 

Complexity: A less complex contest with the focus on gaining repins and likes

2. ModCloth: Something ModCloth, Something You

Type: Best Pinboard


  • Must follow @ModCloth
  • Pins required to include hashtags (#modcloth and #wedding)
  • Pinboards must include a pin from 20 categories as outlined in the announcement
  • Pins must have a caption listing the number and name the pin corresponds to
  • Entrants share their boards by posting a comment (with a link back to their board) on the ModCloth contest announcement pin

Prize: $100 gift certificate and “inspire” the ModCloth 2012 Spring Wedding Campaign

Complexity: Many rules and content requirements make this a more complex contest

3. Homes.com: Pin It If You Love It

Type: Best Pinboard


  • Create a “Pin It if You Love It” pinboard
  • Pin 10-20 of your favorite homes from Homes.com
  • Pins must include a link to the listing on Homes.com within the description
  • Users enter by adding the link to their pinboard to the Homes.com Pinterest contest blog post
  • If users have trouble adding their link, they have the option to email contest@homes.com to enter

Prize: Contestants can win one of five $250 home improvement gift cards

Complexity: A medium level of content requirements and complexity with an option to email entries

4. Mark Eric: Pin m.e. to Win m.e.

Type: Best Pinboard


  • Create a pinboard and “be creative” with the title
  • Pin images from MarkEric.com with the hashtag #MarkEric
  • Also pin other images that inspire your idea of a portrait session (anything except images from another portrait or wedding photographer)
  • Posting the link to your pinboard on their Facebook wall is suggested, but not required

Prize: A portrait session with Mark Eric

Complexity: This contest is mildly complex with a few requirements, but lacks clear details around other requirements such as the number of photos, and “creative” title

 5. TeachHub.com: Teacher Giveaway

Type: Sweepstakes


  • Repin the “Pin It To Win It” Pin to a personal Pinboard named TeachHUB
  • Follow TeachHUB on Pinterest
  • Complete an entry form for collecting contact info
  • TeachHub also encouraged entrants to suggest teaching ideas, lesson suggestions and be creative when repining and creating their Pinboards
  • Entrants were recognized on a home Pinboard by Teachhub

Prize: 10 iTunes giftcards for $15.00

Complexity: Simple, yet allows entrants to include additional content

Some Additional Pinterest Contest Examples





Post Author

Nicole is an entrepreneur and founder of 19 Minute Yoga, the audio-first yoga app for iOS. On her wellness and productivity site,Victory Rituals, Nicole shares her favorite resources, along with the real life health and performance...

  • Amandah

    I just had a conversation with someone about Pinterest. Is it true that they’ll hold users responsible should the company face a legal situation based on what a person/business has put on Pinterest? Has anyone heard anything about this?

  • Anonymous

    are these app/contest suitable with Pinterest plocicies? Are they scraping contents?

  • Dan Loney

    What were the results of these Pinterest contests? In terms of # of entrants, growth in followers, rise in traffic to site/sales, etc.?

  • “To protect itself from copyright lawsuits, and appease disgruntled photographers and publishers, the young social media company introduced a snippet of code Monday that website owners can now add to their sites to prevent unwanted pinning. If a person on Pinterest attempts to share something from a site with that code in place, she will see a message that reads: “This site doesn’t allow pinning to Pinterest. Please contact the owner with any questions. Thanks for visiting!”

  • Very nice article! I’ve been wanting to see how this would work. I love Pinterest, but I hope it stays as lovely as it is now, and not too spammy with people entering contests. I guess it depends on what they are re-pinning. 

  • Johanna Roach

    I agrees with Phyllis Khare, this is a great blog post on ho to engage followers to brands using Pinterest.  

  • Angelastiglets

    When doing a contest, how can you see each person who has repinned your pin? The activity only shows a few, and my email notifications say, “Jane Doe and 61 others…..”, but doesn’t give the list. Secondly, is there a way to see who is following each individual board? I can see who is following all of my boards, but when I go to an individual board, it just gives a number.
    Thanks for any help you can give!!!

  • Vicki

    Can you collect email addresses on Pinterest?  And, how do you notify winners of your contest?

  • I have the same questions as Vicki and Angela – how do you contact the winners? And how do you see who has repinned your pin? This article is interesting but we need more specifics. Thanks!

  • Anne

    Catalogs.com is running its first Pinterest contest, working within the simple framework of Pinterest. It will be interesting to see the response and what we learn. Our contest is at http://pinterest.com/catalogs/summer-catalogs-contest-win-250/

  •  We just launched a Pinterest contest to build a fall wedding Pinterest board, here’s the details: http://www.weddingfavorsunlimited.com/bridal_blog/2012/07/09/fall-in-love-pinterest-contest-by-wedding-favors-unlimited/

  • I heard about a really cool pinterest contest that Capitol Lighting is doing….https://www.facebook.com/CapitolLighting1800Lighting/app_326957207366280