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Penned by Janet Thaeler
We were impressed with how eBay leveraged a live event with the ideal demographic to tie into Pinterest. Learn from what they did and see if you can come up with a way to take Pinterest offline at your next event.
eBay Green had a suite at the 2012 EVO Conference (for women in social media) with a unique take on the classic “pin to win” Pinterest contest. Instead of the usual online contest, eBay had LIVE Pinterest boards and you entered the contest IRL (in real life). Their suite focused on reuse, reduce, and recycle so the contest had to fit that theme. Even their swag was green and they got a lot of buzz for it.
Here’s how eBay’s Pin to Win Pinterest contest worked: the team had a “closet” of clothes including shoes and accessories. Fitting with the theme, none of the clothes were new. They were all upcycled (donated or thrifted). There were two “pinboards” which were cork walls with pins so you could take pieces and create an outfit. The outfit you created was your entry into a contest to win an iPad. The staff took pictures of everyone’s entry and they had a laptop so you could log into your Pinterest account and post the image (or use the Pinterest app).
Here’s my outfit:
You had to create a new board called, “eBay @ Evo Style” and comment on your entry with the hashtag #ebaygreenstyled. Then you tweeted your pin using the same hashtag. The person with the most likes and repins won.
We think this was a clever idea – especially since it was a conference that hit their target market perfectly. Their contest also fit their brand (except the prize, we wish they could’ve picked a prize that fit the brand better). They benefited from tapping into a group of women that were not only very into Pinterest but that love to share.
How they could improve: They needed more laptops because it was a small room and there was just one. They also needed to display the instructions for the contest in a place that was easier to see (the poster was above the clothes rack). Since it took a long time to complete all of the steps they couldn’t accommodate too many people at one time.
Key Takeaway: When it comes to contests, keep it simple to get more entries. Even though they had a high value prize of an iPad, not too many people entered. If you look at the entries, very few had even a single repin. We suggest that people added the hashtag in the description to enter. No additional board needed. No tweets required.
We’d love to get some stats about their results, but we give eBay high marks for their ingenuity. With a few tweaks the contest would’ve generated more buzz.
What do you think of eBay’s live Pinterest contest?