Monthly Archives: February 2013

11 Things You Need to Know About Running a Contest or Sweepstakes on Facebook

A huge platform such as Facebook has to protect itself and its users when it comes to contests and sweepstakes being run on their platform. They don’t want to find themselves in legal battles so for this reason Facebook are very strict about their rules and how things are done on Facebook.

Contest and sweepstakes are without doubt a fantastic way to market your business online but if you want to run a contest or a sweepstake on Facebook, you need to do a bit of homework before hand to make sure you don’t get into trouble.

Below are 11 key points you need to know before starting a contest or sweepstake and also some helpful tips. Familiarize yourself with them to make sure you understand exactly what you need to do when setting up a facebook contest…

  1. Firstly you cannot run a facebook contest unless you are an admin of a facebook page.   So make sure you have your own page set up or that you are allowed full admin access for the page that wants to run the facebook contest. If you do not have admin rights you will not be able to get the facebook contest up and running.
  2. You must ensure and are responsible for the lawful operation of your contest or sweepstake
  3. You must state clearly that your contest or sweepstake is not sponsored, endorsed or affiliated with Facebook in any way, shape or form. In fact it’s best to include a statement on the contest page releasing Facebook from anything to do with your contest
  4. You need to disclose that any information being provided by entrants to be part of the contest or sweepstake is being given to you and not to Facebook
  5. Your contest must be run through a 3rd party app. This is very important, if you are found to be running a contest directly from Facebook without the use of a 3rd party application they will shut your contest and your fan page down. There are lots of apps to choose from so just do a Google search and pick one with good reviews from previous users
  6. Facebook has clearly stated you must not use any of the facebook functions such as likes, videos, photos, check-ins, comments or similar features as a way to register or enter the contest. Likewise you cannot get people to share the contest to their friends as a way of entry to the contest. If you do decide to go against Facebooks rules on this your contest will be shut down and maybe your page too.
  7. Make sure your 3rd party app has mobile capabilities. Over 543 million users are using facebook from their mobile. If you want to reach the most possible amount of people on facebook make sure you have mobile capability available on the 3rd party app that you choose
  8. Even though you are hosting your contest on facebook it doesn’t mean that you cannot promote it everywhere else on the web too. So send it out on your Twitter, Google plus and even Pinterest accounts, also put it in your email newsletter.
  9. You will want to send out reminders and incentives that your contest is running in order to maximize participation throughout the duration. But don’t go overboard either and remember to give content and talk about your business along the way too
  10. Depending on how much time and money you want to spend promoting this contest you could make a facebook ad for it. This will help to get more targeted traffic to your contest and your page. People may be more likely to click on the ad if they know they have a chance of winning something
  11. When you have a winner for your contest or sweepstake, do not inform the person they have won by using Facebook in any way. Call them, email them or even write them a letter. Just don’t include the use of Facebook

With these things in mind you can start to build your facebook contest in the right way. It is always best to read over Facebooks rules and guidelines that they have in their help center just in case you are unsure of anything.

Enjoy creating your facebook contest!

3 Tools to Improve Competition Success

The power of the web keeps expanding by providing new options to search smarter and even to program social media to work a certain. Using web services such as BufferApp, IFTTT, and Google Alerts have the potential to speed work on the web and make interactions between people more enjoyable. Correct use of these interesting tools can save time and can work like robotic computer assistants. It becomes possible to receive information on a regular basis with only one request, and a series of actions can be scheduled so a week’s work is completed in a few minutes. Smarter web-based applications benefit both solitary users and groups engaged in complex activities such as competitions.

The Automagical BufferApp Application

The Buffer company likes to describe its software as “Automagical.” This basically means you can reap the benefits without worrying about the technical details. While there is probably no such thing as trouble-free software, BufferApp can add a lot of control to the release of information. It is basically an automated control center for social media accounts. Other services allow a person to upload the same post to Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and similar sites with one button; BufferApp takes this a step further by releasing a whole stack of posts at predetermined times. A few hours of work will make sure that messages and mail are sent on schedule for the next week or month. It creates the appearance of an update feed without being labour-intensive.

IFTTT Allows Contestants to Keep Each Other Updated

The IFTTT solution is similar in function to BufferApp but it has its own special powers. Rather than focusing on social media, IFTTT makes it easy to communicate over a broad network including email and LinkedIn. It is like a programming language for social media. IFTTT has the power to monitor accounts and then to react if certain triggers are released. For example, if a customer or colleague posted to a comment to a LinkedIn page, then IFTTT will send the interested party an alert or cause an even more complex reaction. The company promises “If This Then That.” This means that a complicated social network can be automated. Artificial intelligence does routine clicking for you. For the organizer of a contest, it has the potential to regulate interactions and set rules for a competition that occurs over social media.

Google Alerts For Automatic Web Monitoring

Google Alerts is a free service that allows the owner of a Gmail account to receive email updates for changes that occurs to specific websites or search choices. This is essentially a search engine 2.0, and it is a brilliant idea from Google. While the Google Alerts system cannot monitor absolutely everything that happens on the web, it creates some exciting opportunities. It alerts you either immediately, once a day or once a week and reports major changes. It is even possible to set the feed so changes or updates are reported vai RSS. If a person makes broad use of this service, it might be a good idea to have a dedicated email account. Participants in a contest might find this a free and easy way to stay updated on the profiles of rivals.

Robert Phillips uses these tools to manage and run competitions on Safe Options

Most Common Mistakes when Running a Giveaway

The relationship between a marketing professional and the public isn’t that much different from the relationship between significant others.  With Valentine’s Day just past, we are well aware of the fact that people are willing to invest in all kinds of gifts to make a partner feel special.

Online giveaways and promotions aren’t much different from chocolate and flowers.  However, if you forget your honey’s favorite type of flower or get the wrong flavor of candy, you might be in trouble.  Likewise, if done improperly, a giveaway marketing campaign can lose its effectiveness.

Here are six mistakes to avoid when implementing an online giveaway.

1.  Giving Generic Prizes

Everyone loves free stuff.  That is why giveaways are so popular.  However, if you give the wrong free stuff away, it will be difficult to distinguish between the prospective clients and the money-hungry visitors.

Instead of cookie-cutter giveaway items, use custom things that will appeal to your target audience.  For example, if you own a weight loss company, give coupons for a weight loss app instead of an iPhone.

2.  Being Too Vague

The primary component of a giveaway is a strong call to action.  You want participants to do something – subscribe, buy, like, etc.  Therefore, it is important to have a clear and concise call to action.  Tell them exactly what you want them to do.

3.  Ignoring Your Landing Page Design

You may think visitors will be so attracted to your fabulous prize they won’t notice the shoddy design of the landing page used to get them what they want.  However, you couldn’t be more wrong.

If you want to win loyal customers, you need to present a professional front at all levels of the interaction.  That means you nix the lame template homepage and opt for a nice interface that is user-friendly.

4.  Not Reading the Fine Print

Facebook has quickly become the go-to source of online giveaways.  Unfortunately, a great many of those promotions go against Facebook’s rules and regulations.

Facebook has restrictions over what you can ask a participant to do.  This includes things like posting to a wall, commenting on a post, or liking a post or image.  Check out their promotion guidelines for more information.

5.  Letting Someone Else Promote Your Giveaway

Many businesses use a third-party to help with their giveaway.  If you choose to go this route, be sure to stay involved in the process.  Don’t rely on the publisher of the giveaway to do all the promoting.  Send out emails.  Share information on social networks.  Don’t sit back and let someone else do the important part.

6.  Being Ordinary

Running a giveaway that lasts too long or offers too many items is a bad idea.  Participants are drawn to rare and limited editions.  Don’t undermine your marketing campaign by turning your special offer into something ordinary.

Guest author Jessica Velasco is a marketing professional.  She has helped various clients with their efforts to efforts to attract more visitors and increase their online presence. 

Giveaways and Sweepstakes – What a Wonderful thing

We are all aware of the fact that giveaways and sweepstakes are something that is excellent for a blogger to get more views and, as they say, more “buzz” on a web-site. Frankly speaking, having loads of potential customers browsing around a web-page, or stopping by the retailer’s store can be nothing but beneficial. Apart from that, they can build up an e-mail list, advertise their content at a pretty much reasonable cost, and improve the relationship that the company has with the customers and the precious market research process is done during. However, there is some legal mumbo jumbo that you should be aware of before you go into participating in such an event. You should go through the following piece of text, just so that you can avoid setbacks. Believe me – you want to make sure that your giveaway is a successful one, because an unsuccessful one can lead to a number of very bad things.

At the very beginning, let’s take a look at some formal definitions:

Sweepstakes are, in their essence, a prize giveaway. The winner here is chosen randomly. For instance, if you want to participate you can sign up by filling in a piece of paper with the required information, or  simply post a comment on the blog, and the website owner uses something that will generate a random number – the number is the winner. That’s it! The prize itself can be anything that you want it to be, but be sure that everything related to taxes is done accordingly.

Contests are different than sweepstakes only in the sense that participants have to show some sort of virtue to get the prize. When it comes to blogs, the most common thing that people go for is a “best photo” competition, or “the fastest one gets the prize”, or something like that. It is very nice to host a children’s party, with adequate party themes, where there will be a “best costume”, or “best poem”, or “best drawing” competition (each child can get a complementary gift, and you can arrange to have more “serious” prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place). Wouldn’t it be nice to find such a contest? Browse our website.

A lottery differs from a sweepstake because of the fact that participants have to give something away in order to participate. The winner is chosen randomly, just like with a regular sweepstake. Now, the thing that participants give away is formally called “a consideration”. A consideration can be something tangible (like money), but it can be almost anything that people consider to be of value (like tweets or even time, for instance). You should be aware of the fact that the laws that govern lotteries are different from state to state, and it can be very risky to participate in such an event, so either make sure that the website owner is well aware of everything that has to be done in order not to break the law,  or avoid lotteries altogether.

After reading everything stated above one can pose this question: When you enter a contest, you have to give something away – a photo can be considered as something of value – so, how come a contest is not a lottery? Well, the prize is not awarded randomly. You see, a lottery consists of 3 things: a consideration, chance and a prize. If you have two of the three in your event – it is not a lottery (sweepstakes have chance and a prize, contests have a consideration and a prize). How it is named is unimportant in the eyes of the law. If you call it a contest, and it has all the elements of a lottery – it’s a lottery. It is as simple as that.

To conclude, here is some advice…

I will leave you with some tips connected to what one should do in order to participate in a successful giveaway. They are mainly connected to how the rules should be explained.

Make sure that you see defined what a participant has to do in order to take part thoroughly. Research everything to the last detail so that there are no (or just a few) possible additional questions.

1      A limit should be defined, meaning that each participant can apply a predefined number of times. On most websites the first entry is free, and then for any other entry, a participant has to do something (like, share, tweet).

2      The time limit or more frankly speaking, how long the event lasts, should be predefined and followed accordingly.

3      The terms in which the winner is chosen should be clear to everyone.

4      You must make sure that you have a clear distinction to who is eligible to participate. For instance, website owners don’t want someone from South Africa to win, if they are a citizen of Australia. Therefore, you should see participants limited to just the ones that live in your hometown, for instance. Furthermore, an age limit can be added, or it can be an only male or only female contest. Be sure to check that out before applying.

5      And, last but not least, you should make sure that everything is legal, and that all the tax considerations of the winner are taken care of.

Now, feel free to visit our website and participate!

Give a Little, Get a Lot!

There are lots of freebie sites cropping up all over the web and sites that claim that you only need to sign up for a free account to start entering to win cash and prizes. In most cases, these “freebie” sites are not what they say they are. There are lots of scams out there that steal money and information from those who do not know what to look for in a real freebie site.

But there are diamonds in the rough. There are real sites that are set up to connect you with all the best free items, without so much as a dime out of your pocket. If you know how to look for the warning signs, you can find the best sites for freebies while protecting yourself from those with less than savory intentions.

Credit Card Required (Not good!)
Any freebie site that requires you to input a credit card when you sign up is not the right choice of free website, simply because these items are supposed to be free! There is no reason for the website, or any of its sponsors to need your credit card information for you to become eligible for a freebie contest. It is best to steer clear of any website that requires a credit card to make an account, as you cannot be sure of their intentions.

Software Download Required (Not good!)
Any freebie site that requires or even asks you to download software to your computer is not to be trusted. This software could possibly be malicious and harmful to your computer. To enter the freebie contests, you should only need to visit a sponsor or enter some very basic information about yourself. There is no need for any sort of toolbar or software to be downloaded to your computer. You should always be leery of any program you are unfamiliar with. A quick search engine query can even tell you if the software is malicious before you agree to download it.

Paid Offers (Good!)
If you have to pay to join the site, or pay money to complete an offer just to get a freebie, then it isn’t much of a freebie at all. While sponsors are what keep freebie websites in business and allow you to get your items for free, but you should never have to pay to complete an offer just to be entered in a freebie contest. Also, any freebie site that makes you pay for membership is something that you need to steer clear of.  If you have to pay them a fee, whether one time or monthly, then the items you are getting are not free!

Just as there are red flags to keep you away from websites that don’t have your best intentions, there are certain cues that will let you know that a freebie website is one of the good ones, and an opportunity that you shouldn’t pass up.

Straight Talk (Good!)
A freebie website that lets you know up front what is expected of you is a good website to be a member of. Freebies are, of course, free, but sponsors are who help make these freebies available. So a website that lets you know what sort of information you need to give to their sponsors and how to complete the offers is one that has nothing to hide.

Quality Freebies (Good!)
It may seem like an obvious point, but the quality of the freebies is an important deciding factor when choosing the best freebie site for you. If a site will not show your their freebies in advance, they are likely not worth your time. While putting in the time and connecting with the sponsors is part of getting your freebies, you want to know that your time is being aptly rewarded. Sites like MyFreeBeez offer quality freebies like Amazon gift cards for your time.

There are also great coupon and deal sites that can save you money when you have no choice, but to spend money.  Sites like Save1.com have coupons and special offers from more than 5000 on the top online retailers.  With Save1, each time you save money, they feed a hungry child.

With these tips and tricks, you can find the best freebie sites on the web and know that you are not only getting the most out of your time, but also that your information is safe and protected. You can check out sites like MyFreebeez.com to see how a little bit of time can lead to all kinds of great deals and sweet freebies.

Lessons Learned From the Top 7 Biggest Competitions

Whether you’re organizing a small local contest or something more ambitious, you can learn a lot by studying some of the successful large-scale competitions. From corporate contests intended to showcase the expertise of an organization’s staff to more light-hearted tournaments, here are seven famous contests and what they can teach us about being a successful competition creator.

1. Apps 4 Africa: Have clear goals.

Before anything else, you need to define your goals. Vague goals will tend to lead to weak organization, budget and scheduling problems, disputes and general confusion.

The Apps 4 Africa competition sought to inspire technologists in the East African region to step up and use their expertise to tackle some of the technological problems facing the region. By clearly defining their goals, the organizers of Apps 4 Africa were able to develop the criteria for the kind of software applications they wanted to promote.

2. Miss World: Choose a great theme.

Whether you love or hate beauty contests, it’s hard to dispute the success of the Miss World pageant. One of the reasons Miss World has survived is its strong theme: the quest for beauty. Adapting this theme (by emphasizing social responsibility, for example) has allowed Miss World to remain relevant as attitudes change.

A good contest theme should be something that people can relate to – especially if the contest is meant to appeal to the general public.

3. Writer’s Digest Writing Contests: Be honest and transparent.

For over 80 years, Writer’s Digest has continued to attract entrants despite a growing awareness of contest scams. This is largely down to a transparent judging process and a solid track record of awarding winners the prizes they expect.

Avoid accusations of dishonesty with clear procedures and by ensuring that you can meet your obligations to the winners.

4. DMC World DJ Championships: Have excellent promotion and sponsorship.

The annual DMC World DJ Championships attract DJs from around the globe. The organizers use a combination of big-name sponsorship and strong promotion to attract entrants.

If you can, get some of the big names in your field to back your contest. Brand names lend prestige to your competition, and your backers will help promote the event.

5. Moonfruit’s Win a Macbook Pro Every Day for 7 Days: Have a great prize.

Moonfruit, a provider of inexpensive website building tools, self-promoted its “Win a Macbook Pro” contest via social media – specifically Twitter.

Great promotion doesn’t have to be expensive provided you know how to exploit social media effectively. Without the promise of a desirable prize, however, it’s hard to generate buzz.

6. Volvo VISTA: Showcase talent with a contest.

The Volvo VISTA competition pits Volvo’s employees against each other in a contest of workshop skills. This inspires staff to hone their skills and highlights Volvo’s aftermarket services.

An in-house contest can encourage staff to take pride in their skills, as well as providing a useful media talking point to generate public attention.

7. The World’s Biggest Liar: Have a terrific gimmick.

A gimmick is a light, clever touch that highlights the contest’s main theme and grabs people’s interest. The World’s Biggest Liar contest bars lawyers and politicians, on the grounds that they’d have an unfair advantage. By playing up to popular stereotypes, the contest organizers get the public on their side.

A clever gimmick can get people talking. It should not feel forced, however.

Conclusion

When you set clear, meaningful targets, devise a powerful theme and deploy a great promotional strategy, you can turn any competition into a real winner. The most important elements of a successful competition are enthusiasm and commitment; putting in your best work at every stage, from defining strong goals to offering a prize worth competing for. As Joe Namath said: “If you’re not gonna go all the way, why go at all?”

Key Takeaways

  • Have a great theme
  • Offer attractive prizes
  • Be transparent
  • Promote effectively

This article was provided by Broadband Expert who run regular iPad prize draws

4 Creative Ways To Boost Your Business Online

The world of business can be tough to survive. In a downed economy, companies far and wide are looking for new and exciting ways to attract customers.

Luckily, there are a few ways to promote your business that most companies never think of. They are not new, but they are certainly creative.

1. Timed Giveaway

A time giveaway is essentially a game in which participants have to perform a specific task at a given time to win. A great example of this is companies using Facebook and Twitter to their advantage.  They send out messages for people to answer a trivia question or “like” their page. They will then reward the first 20 people to perform the task. It builds up social media presence in a way that makes customers happy.

2. Contests

A contest is when people compete against one another and a winner is selected based on their own ability. The winner is usually chosen by a group of judges or by votes. A contest requires customers to become invested in your company. By taking the action to compete against others, they are becoming loyal to your brand. It’s even better if you let others vote on the winner of the contest as that enhances the interactivity.

3. Skill Games

A skill game is also a form of competition where multiple people play a game to reach a top score. Usually the top 5-10 scores win a prize. Just like with a contest, skill games build brand loyalty, but they do it much more flawlessly. All humans love to play games and when a customer is having fun in your business, chances are they are going to come back again.

4. Sweepstakes

A sweepstakes is different from a contest because a winner is not chosen based on ability. They are chosen randomly giving everybody who enters a fair chance. A sweepstakes does not require as much of an investment, but because of that you will have more people enter. This is good because although there brand loyalty may not be as strong, you are building a great deal of familiarity with a wide arrange of people.

Business can be fun. Between all the profit statements, there is a world of experience you can give your customers. Regardless of your industry, there is always an online opportunity to grow.

Games aren’t just a way to bring in new business, they are a way to keep your existing customers and build long-lasting relationships.

Get creative and surpass your competition.

Check out this article if you would like some help getting started.  Or, consult an online promotions company – they can help make sure your marketing efforts are successful.

Guest author Kevin Smith helps Custom Corntoss market corn toss supplies.  The competitive nature of the game plays right into easy online marketing options like contests and skill games.

How Startups Use Freebies and Coupons to Get Discovered

Consumers love freebies, coupons and giveaways. Ever wonder why companies give away free stuff? It drives audience awareness, user engagement, and retention. As the marketing manager of TheCast.tv, a casting call and coaching startup website, I am exploring how to use freebies to enhance our community.

Online Businesses Benefit from Allowing Users to Try Their Product for Free

People want to try, feel, and touch the product before spending the first penny. This is especially true of younger generations who expect everything to be free online. The premium online business model that offers services with basic free features and paying features is for this reason widely used today. At TheCast.tv, in addition to the free access to our basic features, we frequently give free casting calls or casting coaching tips to give our community the opportunity to get to know our product and love it.

Giveaways Help to Build Community Morale

Every business needs a community. It brings retention, referrals, and eventually sales. Building a community isn’t as simple as updating the company’s Twitter and Facebook accounts from time to time. It implies creating an actual relationship between the company and the audience. Your communication is not only about your company, it is mainly about your community. A business must give to a community if it wants it to get something back. If a company helps its followers, publishes interesting pieces of content, gives coupons, it will soon start seeing likes, comments, and conversions.

My team and I recently organized a contest: “Like our Facebook page and get 3 casting auditions for free.” As a result, our number of likes increased more than 20%. With creativity, it is easy to run several contests to entertain and help a community.

Studies also show that a brand’s followers and fans also expect special treatment in exchange of their fidelity. Coupons and freebies are good ways to reward a community and to transform a twitter follower into a brand ambassador!

Users Love Free Events 

Contests and coupon giveaways are their own types of events. In my past experience, I’ve seen unexpected levels of excitement for free contests. Who hasn’t received an email from a friend saying “Please like my image on the [brand]’s page! The more likes I get, the better my chances at winning the contest!”? Some people put a lot of effort into winning contests.

Acquiring new leads

Many people will also spread the word via social media outlets. Thus, contests are perfect opportunities for businesses to acquire new leads and incentivize their community with a prize. In fact, almost all freebies are given in exchange for user engagement ranging from Facebook likes, to filling out forms with your information. Platforms such as Freebeez.com are therefore beneficial because it brings leads to businesses but also free stuff to the users!
Conclusion
A free event is a hook that can help unknown businesses– i.e. new startups – to get their name out there and grow their fan base, community, and sales. People like free events…but startups love them more!

The Art of Using Giveaways to Promote Brands

Giveaways are a proven, easy and an inexpensive way for brands to promote their products among a group of new customers. Bloggers can have even more rewards out of announcements related to giveaways. By nature, all people love free stuff and brands can take advantage of this factor to bring more sales to their products. When applied with a proper insight and discretion, giveaways can be a fantastic way to promote your products by driving more traffic to your online channels.

Apply your skills to boom up your favorite brand. Once you establish a relationship with the prospective customers, you can go ahead with announcing the giveaway associated with the sale of the product. Create leads with a polite but alluring email. Make a specific mention of the brand you want to deal with and clarify how the sale will be executed. Understand the unique advantages of the product and gain a thorough knowledge of it before convincing the customers to buy it. This will place you at a winning edge to promote your business.

Blog posts are invaluable avenues to announce giveaways. While there is no need to directly announce giveaways through a blog post, you can do this through an exclusive social media. Once this is done, your blog post can be an invaluable tool to drive traffic to the site of your product description. Some of the important aspects of promoting blogs include attractive images of the products, brief and clear descriptions, update regarding the availability and closure of sale, cut-off date for entries and so on.

You can track the entries by requesting the visitors to leave their comments. Experience reveals that this arrangement can help you manage the whole process easily besides getting to know the reactions of people.

You can use the brand’s handle and allow entries through media like Twitter and Facebook. This will boost up the visibility of the product. Certainly use the social media to announce your giveaway. If your visitors tweet something about the product and are made to include the handle of the product, then the hyper-linked page on Facebook can be encouraged to retweet entries. This will widen your exposure further. The selection of the winner can also be announced through the social media and the winner can be allowed to share it. Such arrangements have been proved invaluable strategies in promoting a brand.

Creating #hashtags to track entries is a wonderful way to track entries. Instruct your readers and followers how to tweet and what to tweet to enter into the giveaway scheme. Once the giveaway is closed, the #hashtags will make it easy to trace all your social media entries. Always discuss with the brand and find out the #hashtags they are comfortable to approve.

Decide how the winnings will be mailed to the buyers: whether directly by you or by the brand. It depends on the way you want the giveaway to go. If you produce the picture of the giveaway in the blog, then it is your responsibility to contact the winner from your side and arrange to deliver the winnings by bearing the cost of mailing charges. If the giveaway is heavy, then it is prudential to let the brand do the shipping to save on the mailing costs.

Post by Kate Pirs. Marketing manager in a team, who developed mobile phone spy app, which helps tracking children smartphone activity and finding stolen or lost phones.

How Pinterest Competitions Work (and How to Win Them!)

Since its launch in 2010, Pinterest has quickly become one of the most popular social sites on the web. Popular with individuals and companies alike, it provides a creative way to share interesting and beautiful images with ease.

Many companies have now realized that Pinterest is also an excellent place to launch competitions. These competitions can help companies to improve customer engagement, build trust, improve brand awareness and generate more social media followers.

But how do these competitions work and, more importantly, how can you improve your chances of winning them?

Types of Pinterest Competitions

Pinterest is all about inspiring creativity, and this is one of the reasons why it has been so popular. There are hundreds of companies running competitions on Pinterest at the time of writing, including Atom Books, Schuh, Occa-Home and many more. You can find out what competitions are currently running by visiting the page on Pinterest devoted to current competitions here: http://pinterest.com/compersnews/pinterest-competitions/.

You will notice that there is no set formula for competitions on the website because companies are constantly coming up with new ways to get creative and generate more interest from users. However, there are a few types of competitions that tend to be especially popular, so look out for the following:

Basic Competitions:

At its most basic level, a competition may simply ask you to follow the company on Pinterest, ‘repin’ their images and make a comment. However, Pinterest seems to be cracking down on competitions where entrants use a very simple action like a repin as an entry, as this can encourage spam.

Brand-Focused Competitions:

Sometimes companies ask you to create a board using images that you think represent their brands most effectively. These are popular for companies because they are great for improving brand awareness, and they also provide you with the chance to get creative.

Create Your Own Board:

Some competitions ask you to create your own board on Pinterest and you are then asked to do something with your board using either their own images or images that you find online. For example, Royal Caribbean Cruises recently ran a competition where entrants were asked to create their own boards to design their perfect cruises, then to comment on them and generate repins. These are often the best types of competitions because they allow you to be more creative and they reward that creativity.

These are just a few types of competitions that are popular on Pinterest, but companies are getting creative all the time and coming up with their own versions. Check out the current competitions on the website and see if anything catches your eye.

How to Choose & Win Competitions

When you are looking through the open competitions, keep an eye out for companies and brands that you already have a connection with. There are two reasons for this:

– firstly, you are more likely to get properly involved and create an entry with a greater chance of wining;

– secondly, the prize on offer is likely to be of greater interest to you.

Try to find a competition that challenges your creativity and that you think you will enjoy doing. Once you have found one of these, you should get stuck in and spend some time finding the best images that you can.

Try to be as creative as possible – if you just do the same as everyone else you are unlikely to make your entry stand out. Find images on websites that other entrants are unlikely to come across, think outside of the box and try to express your creativity by doing something different.

At the same time, make sure that you are fully aware of the competition rules. Most companies will have a page on their website dedicated to the competition details, so read the details carefully to avoid wasting your time.

Do all this and you will stand a much better chance of doing well when you enter Pinterest competitions, and you could find that you start to win some excellent prizes in no time at all.