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How to Promote Your Pinterest Contest in 140 Characters

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Have you put together a Pinterest contest but are stuck on how to spread the word? Try Twitter.

On the surface, the text-heavy and fleeting nature of Twitter may seem like the antithesis of Pinterest. But as a marketer, you cannot overlook the critical mass and search functionality of Twitter. Use these tips to get tweeps chirping about your Pinterest contest.

Adding a photo to your contest tweet will make it stand out in the Twitter news feed.

Use a photo. You’ve most likely created a pin and other visual announcements for your Pinterest contest. Why not post one of those images to Twitter? Photos that are uploaded directly to Twitter look amazing in the tweet stream. Look at this contest tweet from The Vitamin Shoppe (on your right). It really stands out from a typical text-based tweet.

Be smart with your hashtags. Hashtags are a great way to be discovered on Twitter. However, if you use a hashtag such as #sweeps or #sweepstakes, you’ll get tons of traffic — but only from people who follow tweets that talk about sweepstakes.

Be seen in the streams of your target audience by using keywords relevant to your business. If you’re a vegan bakery that’s giving away a dozen donuts delivered for a year, consider such hashtags as #vegan, #dairyfree, or #donuts. People following streams on these hashtags will be tons more interested (and loyal) to your brand than sweepstakes searchers.

Join relevant conversations. Search for Twitter conversations on topics relevant to your company and prize. If you’re a cosmetics company, search for mentions of your brand, your competitors, and keywords such as “need new eyeliner.”


If you’re a cosmetics brand, these people might want to enter your Pinterest contest.

Following these conversations should be an important part of your overall Twitter strategy, regardless of whether or not you’re promoting a contest.

Consider promoted tweets. Twitter has rapidly expanded its advertising possibilities for businesses of all sizes. For a rather small investment in promoted tweets, your contest tweet will appear whenever a particular keyword (such as “vegan donuts” in the earlier example) is searched for on Twitter. What’s neat about using promoted tweets is that they’ll appear throughout the day (based on when people search for your targeted keywords), but they won’t bombard your current followers.

Bring the user to the contest. In your calls to action on Twitter, bring the user directly to your contest, whether it be hosted on a Pinterest pin, a Facebook tab, or your Website. This might seem obvious, but I can’t tell you how many companies include only a link to their general Pinterest page. A potential entrant doesn’t want to look at your pretty boards — they want to enter the contest you just tweeted about. So make it easy for your potential entrants.

In your call to action URL, be sure to use a trackable link shortener like bit.ly so that you can determine how many clicks you received through Twitter.

You can also use that trackable URL in all the other online and offline channels you’ll be using to promote your Pinterest contest — because you plan to use all possible avenues in making your Pinterest contest a success, right? (I take it you’re nodding right now.)


12/1/13 Update: Pinterest has placed restrictions on what can and cannot be carried out on Pinterest contests. Go to http://business.pinterest.com/brand-guidelines/ to learn more on how to run a Pinterest-compliant promotion.

Headline Photo Credit: Flickr CC/Beau Giles

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  1. 3 Steps to Run Successful Pinterest Contests | Social Media Marketing - [...] than the usual promotions on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, you may also consider using free tools like Viral Content …

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