Pinterest Contest Guidelines Are Changing: Make Sure Your Contests Comply

If you have followed us on social media, in our coaching groups or through our newsletters, you know that we love a good Pin-It-To-Win-It contest on Pinterest! Hosting this type of contest has been a great way to gain followers and exposure on the fast growing social media platform. If you have hosted one yourself, you know just how powerful they can be!

Unfortunately, it appears the Pin-It-To-Win-It contest has run its course. Pinterest recently updated their guidelines for contests and they make it very clear that they will no longer allow these contests to continue.

The New Don'ts Of Pinterest Contests

When we did Pin-It-To-Win-It contests in the past, we would pin an image and encourage others to ‘repin' it as a means to enter our contest. The winner would be chosen randomly from all of those who repinned the contest.

  • When you look at the things that are no longer allowed, you see exactly why this type of contest needs to stop! You can no longer:
  • Require that contestants pin a particular pin
  • Require that contestants pin your contest or contest rules
  • Run a contest where each like, follow, pin or repin is considered an entry
  • Encourage people to comment
  • Ask people to vote using pins, repins or boards.

What Does A New Contest On Pinterest Look Like?

These new guidelines make one thing clear: it is time to re-tool how you structure contests on Pinterest and how “winners” are chosen. I don't think there is going to be a clear picture of what a Pinterest contest looks like anymore. And I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing! On some days, my Pinterest feed was overrun with pinning contests!

The new rules seem to be aimed at making contests more meaningful for the participants and more in line with the original purpose of Pinterest – which was to engage people's creativity. These rules force brands to be creative in their contest designs and users to be creative in their participation.

Some ideas include:

  • Ask people to pin before/after pictures using a hashtag. (Great for weight loss products or design projects.) You or your chosen panel will choose the best entry.
  • Have people create a board around a certain topic and tag pins with a particular hashtag. The Baltimore Sun recently unveiled a Pinterest Preakness fashion contest using this technique.

Suddenly, Pinterest has made a change that once again makes it stand out as being different from other social platforms while at the same time reinforces its original purpose: bringing out the creativity in all of us.

What do you think? Are the new changes good or bad for Pinterest contests? Will they affect the way you run contests? Tell us in the comments!

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Lianne-carla Savage (
Lianne-carla Savage (
9 years ago

Thank you for sharing this. So important to keep on top of the rules.

@PamelaMKramer - A Renaissance Woman
@PamelaMKramer - A Renaissance Woman
9 years ago

Thanks for the news, Kim. I just saw your post in a Facebook group. The word is getting around which is a good thing for those that want to stay in compliance with the rules. I don’t host these but I’m sure those that do will have to get creative as you suggested.

Cora Dugan
Cora Dugan
9 years ago

Hi Kim! Thanks for this article: however, I thought Pinterest doesn’t let us use hashtags.

Kim
Kim
Reply to  Cora Dugan
9 years ago

Yes, they reinstated them 🙂

Linda Kinsman
Linda Kinsman
9 years ago

Thanks for helping us understand the new TOS. I’m perfectly okay with these changes!

Kim Garst
Kim Garst
9 years ago

You are welcome! Things are always changing on social media 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

Kim
Kim
9 years ago

Yes, they do still work, Tonia…Pinterest changed their minds 🙂

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