For online sweepstakers, Pinterest is one more website to add to your set of opportunities to win prizes large and small. Here are three things to know to get you started entering sweeps on the site.
1. What is Pinterest?
Pinterest stood out since its inception from other networking sites because of how visual it is. Think of it as a digital bulletin board where you place pictures and links of your favorite things. Users create boards, or categories, to place 'pins' on. Pins can be a link to a website that has a graphic that Pinterest can pull, an image from your computer or you can place a pin from another users board onto yours. Creating boards can be addicting. You'll find pins on tons of topics including fashion, food, decor, entertainment, culture and more. It's easy to sign up through Facebook or an email account.
2. Searching for Sweeps
There are several ways to search for sweepstates on Pinterest. One way is by checking the websites of companies you're already aware of and shop at for a Pinterest link. To find sweeps on the Pinterest site, type the word sweepstakes in the search engine along with the current year. Or be more specific and search for terms like cookbook giveaways, automotive sweepstakes, cash contests and so on. I pin the ones I'm interested in a board simply titled Sweepstakes to keep them all together.
3. How it Works
Just like other sweepstakes, there are different processes you may need to go through for each sponsor. It may be an easy entry like entering an email address or you may need to play an instant win game.
Whatever the method of entry, one thing most companies will have in common is a request for entrants to pin the contest info on their boards. This is a great promotional tool for them and an easy way to contact you in case you win. But if you're a snail mail kind of sweeper, then just follow the sweepstakes links to the official rules of each sweep to find the address for the mail-in alternative.
Be sure to use the same caution you would with any other contest. You may want to set up a Pinterest account just for sweeping with the email you use for that purpose. Also be aware of any sponsor asking for inappropriate information upfront, i.e. bank account info or your social security number. Stick to sponsors you trust until you get used to sweeping on the site if you're concerned about privacy issues. Many sponsors will use Pinterest as one of several starting points of entry with a link that takes you to their Facebook page or their official website to enter.
The only downside I see with entering sweeps on Pinterest is the same with any other social networking site and that is the potential for distraction. Unlike sites like Facebook, however, Pinterest doesn't have a constant stream of text messages and pictures posted by friends family. You can follow other people and boards but I find it much easier not to get caught up in what others are doing if I don't want to.
I do prefer sites like Sweepstakes Advantage to any social networking site, but sweepstakes directories scour places all over the internet including Pinterest to find listings to share with their members. Learning how to navigate Pinterest now will give you good practice to enable you to quickly enter sweeps from sites you already use.
Happy Pinning and Good Luck!