If you’ve recovered from the holidays, let’s sneak a peak at your social media marketing calendar for 2013. Got some blank spots to fill? What about filling them with fun – as in contest fun. Lucky you, your line of work is perfect for photo-based contests, and your fans will love to show off what they love and reveal who they are in a contest. It’s a great way to bump up engagement via authentic interest and connection.

Let’s start with ideas for a Pinterest contest that you can put together quickly. The key here is to think about the lifestyle or life events associated with your brand, because that makes for effective marketing and because Pinterest eschews blatant product or self-promotional focus.

Think oblique – center your contest on events, experiences, and memories of your customers where what you do or sell comes into play.

What type of contest?

Pin It To Win It: This is popular. People pin images related to your services or products to create a compelling pinboard. For example, if you want to promote your oversized poster printing, you might run a contest on “Things that deserve to be bigger.” Oops, now that’s asking for trouble! But you get the idea.

Photo Contest: Invite folks to create a pinboard around a theme, one that dovetails into your products, services, or local happenings, maybe with a partner business, maybe seasonal and event-oriented. For example, now’s a great time to promote a Valentine’s Day contest. Ask participants to pin a theme like “Everything’s Coming up Roses” or “Red is for Romance.” You can restrict submissions to original content or invite pinning from anywhere in the webiverse.

Captioning or Naming Contest: Ask participants to caption images on a pinboard you’ve put together, again related to a theme, product, or lifestyle element that resonates. How about crowdsourcing and asking them to name a new product, service, or promotion for you?

Some examples and inspiration

Look for businesses and objectives like yours, and take away some inspiration.

pinterest contests      pinterest giveaways

Rules

Check the Pinterest contest rules, because they may be changing. For example, Pinterest no longer wants actions on their boards, such as “likes” or repins, to decide contests.

Promote your contest

Use your other social media channels to tell the world about your contest and direct them there. Make sure you have a…

  • Catchy contest title and image
  • Encouragement and incentives to share the contest
  • Clear instructions and full details on how to win
  • Prizes and notification details

Prizes

Consider offering your products, services, upgraded photo package deals, a free photography class – your pick. Relate the prize to the theme and consider joint contests with a business partner to increase prize attraction and extend reach through their social media channels.

I hope you have time to put together a Pinterest contest this month. Please post links to what you come up with and your results. I’d love to feature yours here.

All the best,

Georgia McCabe

Guest post by Georgia McCabe – As an author, speaker, trainer and social media and photography evangelist, her perspectives on social media appear in print in her newest book entitled “SocialMorphosis – Transforming Your Business through Social Media”. Georgia is also a co-author of the book “The Relationship Age”, with social media guru Mari Smith. Georgia is a frequent guest blogger for our professional photography lab.


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