Newest guidelines for "pin to win" promotions for brands and bloggers on Pinterest

I love me some Pinterest (feel free to follow Robyn on Pinterest) and I have promoted and participated in various “pin to win” giveaways since I started using Pinterest. One thing that has happened though is that some of them have gotten a bit spammy in nature – even the ones I promoted. In response to users, Pinterest has updated their guidelines for brands (and that includes bloggers using Pinterest as a business tool) in regards to contests. For this week’s Work Wednesday I decided to highlight some of the major issues for everyone.

  • Do not require pin of the contest/rules
    Many of the “pin to win” contests I have seen require entrants to REPIN THE MAIN PIN/RULES to start with. Pinterest says this is a big no-no now. What that means is that you need to promote your giveaway on other channels more.
  • Do not require pins from your selections
    Another common practice has been for the brand to create a board and require the entrant to repin a certain number of the items for their entry (like repin 3 of your favorite from this selection). Pinterest wants users to pin their own content they find, not be forced to use yours.
  • Do not  use pins, follows, likes, comments for entries on your blog/elsewhere
    This is another I am guilty of. You may not ask Pinterest users to pin/repin something from your blog, to like your pins, leave comments on your pins, or to follow you/your boards on Pinterest as an entry into your giveaway on your blog or elsewhere.
  • Do not require a minimum number of pins
    Pinterest says one pin is plenty for them to enter your giveaway.
  • Do not suggest that Pinterest is a sponsor or endorser of your contest
    Make sure when you do run a Pinterest giveaway it is clear that Pinterest is only the vehicle, not the driver of the promotion.

I really have no problem with the guidelines Pinterest has set up for contests. There really are some brands that overdo it with the contests and you get sick of seeing the same contest related pin over and over again. Most of us were drawn to Pinterest to start with because of the great ideas and products we could find there – it was like browsing a wonderfully never-ending catalog of recipes, clothes, ideas, and shoes. We need to try and keep that same feeling on Pinterest as we find ways to utilize it within our branding as well.

Pinterest is not saying that you cannot run any type of giveaway. They are simply trying to keep it all fun and non-spammy.

  • Do reward quality pins over quantity
    If you are doing a giveaway that requires a pin, think about the quality of the pin that the entrant has given. We want to continue to see fabulous content on Pinterest always.
  • Do keep it easy and fun
    Making entrants jump through 10,000 hoops to enter is just no fun for them. Keep it very simple and keep it fun!
  • Do show restraint
    There is no need to start a new giveaway every other day. Occasional giveaways are great, but don’t overwhelm your followers.
  • Do check out branding guidelines
    Pinterest has specific rules for using their logo, make sure you follow them.

Are you just an entrant? That’s great too! Pinterest is not out to get anyone for playing along with giveaways so do not worry about that. If you have a favorite brand/blog that you follow on Twitter that you see running giveaways that are not in line with the new guidelines just point that brand in the right direction to see the guidelines. Changes happen fast in social media and sometimes it is just hard to keep up. Give your favorite brands the benefit of the doubt and a chance to catch up.