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Deseret Book’s Pin Wish Christmas Pinterest Contest

Penned by Janet Thaeler

Deseret Book (an LDS/Mormon bookstore that sells books and gifts) recently launched their 3rd contest on Pinterest. Retailers know Christmas is a huge time for buying gifts, and with social media, sharing what you plan to buy with others.

Pinterest allows us to be more than a bookstore, we can highlight our gifts.

How the Pin Wish Contest works: to enter, you follow Deseret Book on Pinterest. Then you pin at least 10 products from their store to your board. You need to tag your pins with their hashtag and then email your entry in.

Prizes: 5 $100 Deseret Book gift cards.

Contest rules:

How the Pinterest contest was promoted: Facebook is the primary tool Deseret Book uses to drive people to Pinterest. There is not a Facebook tab for Pinterest on their page, but they add links to pins in their posts. They do a good job of reminding people to participate. There are “pin it” buttons on product pages once you get to the site (although we suggest moving them closer to the images).

One tip is to always post the image manually and link to the pins rather than posting to Facebook when you add the pin. It looks much better.

Contest graphic (on Facebook):

I asked Mike Jensen, Deseret Book’s director of communications, about how they got started, what participation was like, and the Pinterest tools they use (we were pleased that the main tool they use is PinAlerts).

Mike says he decided to get more involved in Pinterest after seeing that it was in the top 15 sites that referred traffic to their website. Pinterest sends around 30k visits per year to their site. He wanted to see if they could increase that number with a Pinterest strategy.

When it comes to getting pins and repins, being one of the first to put something timely, and that their target market cares about, is key. For Deseret Book, that means pinning images that are popular with members of the LDS church. This might include leaders of the church participating in popular culture, or producing images with inspiring quotes from the church’s worldwide conferences. They both find popular images to post and create original images. Also, they’re community-minded and pin other people’s images, not just their own.

The biggest benefit of a Pinterest contest is to gain new followers. We’ve seen that for many businesses, entries are not that high. Perhaps some of the issue is for the prize, this contest requires too much work. We wonder if there would be more entries if all people only had to do to enter is repin one product and tag it. Keeping the barrier to enter low is important if getting more entries is your goal.

Entering the contest is really an incentive for people already on Pinterest to help you build followers and pins. The number of entries for their contests so far isn’t that high (around 50). Instead, the contest gives people a reason to follow Deseret Book and pin their products. When they do this, their friends see and some of them follow or pin too. This has worked well – they have gotten about 500 new followers in just a week since launching the contest.

One tip that Michael shared is that gift purchases are affected by seeing Deseret Book products in context. They want to see how their products can be used in the home. They want new ideas. For example, a craft blogger showed how a pretty dessert bowl could be made into an inexpensive gift (under $10 each). Instead of a just a bowl, it’s a cute planter for a small plant. See My Craft Channel for the video and more ideas. The planter would also be pretty on an end table or in a Christmas tablescape.

Deseret Book could take this further. We hope a future contest will encourage their fans to find creative uses for their products (and give some examples, such as the one above).  Showing your products in context can be so much more effective than just a simple product photo from your website.

In fact, their boards could be more like RodWorks – showing how to use their products in your home. Here’s an example of how a simple home decor idea from a blog, went crazy on Pinterest, led to sales and launched an online store. We heard of this case study and planned to use it in our upcoming book on Pinterest contests, however, it was shared at a conference and got on VentureBeat.

If your business centers around gifts, Christmas is the ideal time to promote them on Pinterest. Take some tips from Deseret Book and RodWorks and let us know if you’re seeing a bit more red this year.

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