Pinterest Contests That Change Your Business Forever (Part One)

contest screenshotPinterest Contests are getting exciting. And at Liberty Jane Clothing we are gearing up to conduct our first contest in Pinterest. It will be crazy. How do we know?

Let’s review.

The Date: It’s summer 2008, Miles home, we are sitting around the pool trying to figure out how to market our new little EBay business with NO Money. Our goal is to make $1,000 a month, and we’re doing it, but we need more marketing fast. The question:

Could A Social Media Contest Make A Difference?”

Back then we didn’t know the answer. Now we do. We are a thriving small business with sales in the six figures and growing at an annualized growth rate of 300% per year, (which we’ve achieved for the last several years in a row).

There is NO DOUBT Social Contests are an easy way to grow your online influence – if you do them right. How do we know? That year, 2008, we launched our first Youtube Design Contest. [You can see a collection of all our contest videos here.] Our latest contest in Youtube had 52,000 views, and over 2,400 video entries, (that number is now down to 1,400 as people tend to take their entries down after a contest in Youtube). You can see it here.

Fast forward 3 1/2 years later. We have a social media presence that is WAY bigger than most businesses our size, in fact, our social media influence is bigger than a lot of big businesses – even Fortune 500 businesses. Our numbers?

Our Facebook Fanpage: 13,752 Fans.

Our Youtube Channel: 7,500 Subscribers. Over 1.1 Million Video Views.

Our Pinterest Profile: 1,174 Followers

And these numbers mean, at a practical level with prospects, that they think we are bigger than we are – and treat us like a real business – which is awesome.Enough said about our credibility.

So what are our keys to general social media contest success?

Here’s our list of tips. And, I’ll apply these to Pinterest in a moment…

  1. Obsess over the prize. Find a prize that your customers CANNOT BUY or secure on their own. A Prize that uniquely demonstrates your unique talents. If you give away a $100 gift card – your contest sucks. Your prize is the magnet. Make it insanely good.
  2. Make it simple. Do not complexificationize a simple thing. It makes you look dumb. Make entering easy.
  3. Make winning the prize a reward for incredibly hard work. You want the entering easy, and winning the reward a result of very hard work. How do you do that? A Skills Based Contest is By-Far the best way to challenge people to win your crazy cool prize. And if the prize is right, the workers will show up – and work hard to win. A Skills Based Contest is where you make them create something.
  4. Make them create something that promotes, and advertises YOUR Brand! The problem with some contests is that they simply reward easy activities – and hope that a lot of people will do the easy activity and be mildly exposed to your brand. That’s not smart. Instead – make them work really hard crafting something that expresses their love for your brand. They will bond with you intensely.
  5. Engineer their social sharing as part of the contest entry. If entering is NOT social, then why do a contest on a social media platform? Have them enter by sharing their creation with their social network.
  6. Rinse & Repeat. Annualize your contest and it will grow over time. Make sure to reward everyone that participated as much as you can. In social media – people want attention – and recognition – and you can provide that as you announce the winner. Have a “Top 10 Entries” or a “Top 50”. There is no cost to doing that and it gives lots of people a warm fuzzy feeling.

Okay, so you’re asking, how are we going to apply this to Pinterest?

It’s a good question. And unfortunately it’s 6:21 am and I have to run off to work. Sorry to leave you hanging if you’re reading this today, April 18th, but I’ll have to make this blog post 2 entries and finish the rest tomorrow. I realize it’s mean, please don’t hate me. I’m just trying to blog as I can…

Hey, don’t forget to…

Follow Me on Pinterest

About Jason Miles Marketing On Pinterest

Jason Miles is the CEO of Liberty Jane Clothing, a Seattle based ecommerce company, and the author of the Bestselling Pinterest Power book - the definitive book on Pinterest marketing. He regularly partners with leading online groups and sites including, the American Marketing Association, IBM's Connectchat, Social Media Examiner, Profnet, Marketingprofs, and similar groups.

Posted in Contests, Pintrest marketing
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