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17 oct

Sweepstakes and Contest Rules

By: Sync Marketing | In: Ask Sync Marketing, Best Practices, Contests, Legal and Prize Fulfillment, Marketing, Sweepstakes

Anyone who has enters sweepstakes or contest has usually noticed a long list of rules and regulations. Some may be put off by all this legal jargon. It’s not just there to protect the companies involved in the promotion, but it is also a helpful tool for the entrant. It outlines very important features of the promotion in one neat package. Different variables of the promotion can change what needs to be outlined in your rules. Today, I have provided a list of some of the items that should be included in your sweepstakes and contest rules:

Eligibility

This section is important in sweepstakes and contest rules, because it outlines who can enter. This should include the geographical location where the promotion is open, i.e. 50 US states. It should also include the minimum age of entrants. Lastly, it should call out the fact that your employees, family members, etc. cannot enter or win.

Timing

This section should outline the exact start date and time and end date and time. Obviously, this is important because it tells entrants their deadline for entering.

How to Enter

This section outlines where and how people enter. Maybe it’s an online sweepstakes. In that case, the URL to the sweepstakes or contest home page will need to be provided. Also, you will need to tell entrants what you are collecting from them, i.e. name, address, phone number, etc. Here is a link to a sweepstakes home page that shows the entry process.

If you are running a sweepstakes where the entry method is on social media, you will need to explain the process for entry. Here’s an example of a Twitter and Instagram sweepstakes.  In addition, this section should outline the total number of entries a person can earn during the sweepstakes entry period. Depending on the complexity of the sweepstakes or contests, this section needs to be drafted with acute attention to detail from a legal standpoint. That’s why it’s important to hire an administrator who specializes in sweepstakes law to identify any additional information that needs to be included.

Winner Determination

This section should clearly outline when the winners will be selected and notified. This helps legitimize the process for the administrator when contacting the potential winners. The entrant can refer to the rules and see that the dates match. It also lets entrants know if they will have to wait days or weeks after a promotion to find out if they are a winner. Patience isn’t always a virtue when it comes to winning a prize, so this will inform your entrants when you will be conducting the drawing so that they have an exact date in mind.

Prizes

This section outlines what prizes you are awarding and their approximate retail value (ARV). This is important because any time a prize has an ARV over $600, it will need to be reported to the IRS. Winners should have fair warning before accepting any prize where they are going to be issued a 1099.

The above is a basic list of things to think about when drafting sweepstakes or contest rules. Keep in mind, there are a lot of other items that need to be included. It is extremely important to work with an agency that knows everything that is legally required to run a promotion.

Sync Marketing’s legal team is constantly researching and staying up-to-date on all the latest legal actions and changes in the field. We also attend the most respected marketing law conferences each year. This translates into invaluable legal counsel and advice for you on all your promotions and will ensure your sweepstakes and contest rules are the most iron clad. Here is a link to some of the legal services we offer at Sync Marketing. Contact us today and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have about sweepstakes and contest rules.

Sweepstakes and Contest Rules

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


21 sep

Solutions for Running Cost-Effective Sweepstakes

By: Jennifer French | In: Marketing, Sweepstakes, sweepstakes company, Turnkey Sweepstakes, User Generated Content

When running a sweepstakes, there are a lot of factors to consider. As you start to plan, think of your objectives, target audience, timing, and theme. A major factor that can determine the entire scope of the campaign is your budget. Many marketing teams have the fortune of having large supporting budgets to run their campaigns. Some on the other hand have limited budgets. Regardless, all are in search of running a quality campaign which achieves their goals. Below are a few suggestions for running cost-effective sweepstakes.

Social Media

One cost-effective sweepstakes idea would be to offer your method of entry on one of your social channels. This will require you to create a campaign hashtag to track your entries. It will also require that a full comprehensive set of official rules be created. The benefit of running social sweepstakes is that it can increase your social following and allow you to collect fun user-generated content. These types of sweepstakes however are not ideal for a brand who is only looking to increase their email database. This is because there is no personal data collected from the entrants.

Here is an example of a social sweepstakes that is currently running for REI. In this sweepstakes, they are asking entrants to take a photo of themselves enjoying the outdoors. In order to be eligible, entrants must use both #OptOutside and #Collegesweepstakes when uploading their photo on Instagram or Twitter. Here are some additional reasons to run a social sweepstakes.

Prize Provider

You may not have the actual funds to run a sweepstakes, but you may have plenty of compelling merchandise, travel elements, or services to trade with a company who is already planning to run a sweepstakes. Companies are often looking for a partner to provide the prizing. This allows them to save money, offer compelling giveaways, and it helps their sweepstakes. A lot of time, the prizing that you can offer is at cost so it is less of an investment for your company. In exchange for providing the prizing, the company can feature the merchandise you are providing along with your company logo and link to your website. You should also ask them to collect and provide email opt-ins on your behalf. In exchange, you can promote the sweepstakes on your social media channels and marketing pushes to help promote the sweepstakes. If you are looking to utilize the cost-effective sweepstakes idea of becoming a prize provider, contact Sync Marketing today. We can put you in touch with companies who are looking for this type of partnership.

TurnkeySweeps by Sync

If you are looking for a cost-effective sweepstakes option that is full-service, you should consider our TurnkeySweeps by Sync platform. These turnkey sweepstakes are an affordable solution that can launch within one week of receiving approval on creative. With TurnkeySweeps, not only will you receive programming, design, legal and prize fulfillment at a very competitive rate, our price also includes Sync’s personalized customer service and management. They are a low-cost solution that offers exceptional ROI. Here is some additional information about TurnkeySweeps by Sync.

We know that budget can be a concern for everyone who is considering a promotion. With that in mind, reach out to a team member at Sync Marketing who will be happy to discuss your options and provide pricing that will work for you.

Cost-Effective Sweepstakes

 

 

 


15 aug

Holiday Sweepstakes

By: Julie Link | In: Marketing

Thinking about running a holiday sweepstakes, but don’t know where to start? Today, I’ll go into the different types of sweepstakes you can run this holiday season based on your goals that produce the best ROI.

Social Sweepstakes

If increasing your social reach is a goal, then a Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook sweepstakes is a great way to build your followers. Some of our clients like to create a post on Twitter and then ask consumers to reply to the post for their chance to win. This is a great way to engage with consumers in real time. Another option would be to offer a photo contest where entrants upload a photo on Instagram along with the campaign hashtag for their chance to win. Instagram photo contests provide exceptional user-generated content for minimal costs. When running social sweepstakes, make sure to hire an agency like Sync Marketing to handle all of your legal needs. This will ensure you’re following all of the latest FTC guidelines.

Turnkey Sweepstakes

If your goal is to gain email opt-ins, then Sync Marketing’s platform TurnkeySweeps by Sync is the perfect solution for you. These are extremely cost-effective sweepstakes or contest microsites that can launch within a week of receiving approval on creative, are mobile optimized and produce exceptional ROI.

Instant Win Sweepstakes

The holidays are a time for giving, so a great way to layer on to a TurnkeySweeps would be to add an instant win component. We would recommend giving away many smaller prizes with the instant win portion of the sweepstakes and then having a larger overarching grand prize. We have found that when you add an instant win component, participation rates are higher because consumers feel as though they have a better chance to win something, and they do!

Text-to-Win Sweepstakes

Lastly, is the text-to-win sweepstakes. These are especially important for retailers during the holidays. If your consumer is on the go and shopping, offer them a chance to win for shopping in your store. Set up in-store POP explaining how to play for their chance to win. What’s even better, if you can offer those who opt-in to your mobile database a surprise and delight offer like a discount coupon. We have found this greatly increases return purchases.

All of the above sweepstakes types can easily be tailored to be thematic to the holidays. Need more ideas or want to strategic the best holiday sweepstakes for you? Call us today and we would be happy to come up with a clear and effective plan that will exceed your goals!

Holiday Sweepstakes

 


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28 feb

Different Types of Sweepstakes to Run on a Mobile Device

By: Jennifer French | In: Contests, Facebook, Instagram, Marketing, Sweepstakes, sweepstakes company, Text Message Sweepstakes

Mobile phones are such a big part of our daily life that it’s hard to remember a time without them. If you are anything like me, you are constantly checking email, looking at social media, searching things online and of course sending text messages. And we are not alone.  Marketers are counting on the fact that one’s smart phone is a direct extension of their user. When a company decides to include a sweepstakes as part of their marketing strategy, it is imperative that they make the site optimized for mobile devices. Results show that large numbers of people who enter a sweepstakes do so from their phone. With that in mind, below are different types of sweepstakes to run on a mobile device.

Text-to-Win

An SMS or Text-to-Win sweepstakes is one of the easiest ways to enter a sweepstakes as it doesn’t require much from the entrant. These types of campaigns tend to work well at events where people can quickly and easily text in for a chance to win. Here is a blog article that discusses the benefits of running a text message campaign.

Social Media Campaigns

Twitter and Instagram sweepstakes have become increasingly popular. For companies, they are very low in cost to run and easy to enter. A common sweepstakes has entrants snapping a photo on their phone, including the campaign hashtag, and then posting to enter. Because these types of campaigns typically produce a lot of fun user-generated content, they’re popular among brands. Running a sweepstakes on a social platform is also a great way to get your promotion viral. Here is a post on tips for running a promotion on a social media channel.

Enter by Using an App

More and more brands of all sizes are offering apps to their consumers to make their mobile experience even better. Apps are an effective tool to increase brand loyalty and reward consumers for their frequent purchases or using their app. Adding a sweepstakes component to the app is an additional way to increase consumer engagement and drive sales. McDonald’s has run several sweepstakes to promote their app, most recently the “Shake a Gift Game” in December. Consumers were invited to use their app daily for the chance to win food and prizes. Here is a link to McDonald’s app.

Lastly, one thing to keep in mind is that with any sweepstakes you must have a set of official rules for the campaign. Among other things, the rules must clearly outline how to enter the promotion. If you are considering the different types of sweepstakes to run on a mobile device, Sync Marketing can help. We can guide you on the best type of mobile-optimized promotion for your needs. Contact us today.

Different Types of Sweepstakes to Run on a Mobile Device


31 jan

Sync Marketing 2016 Year in Review

By: Julie Link | In: Marketing

Before we dive fully into 2017, it’s always nice to reflect on the past year and what was accomplished. 2016 was a very exciting year for Sync Marketing. We are always grateful to our loyal clients who continue to come back to us to run their sweepstakes and contests, and owe our success in part to them.

We created a new sweepstakes platform

One of the most exciting moments for Sync Marketing this year was creating and implementing a new sweepstakes platform as a new addition to our list of services. This new sweepstakes platform is called TurnkeySweeps™ by Sync. TurnkeySweeps™ is an affordable solution for our clients who have small budgets and are short on time. These full-service, cost-effective turnkey sweepstakes can launch within a week of receiving approval on creative, and are very affordable. In addition, they still include our personalized customer service and management. Our clients have embraced this new platform and we have launched several of these campaigns in the first few months of announcing this service, with many more in the works for 2017.

2017 Top Shop!

Sync Marketing is honored to be listed among the greatest in the business as one of the Top 100 Promotional Marketing Agencies for 2017 by Chief Marketer. This is our second year receiving this award and are once again, very honored to be included in this group of esteemed agencies. You can learn more about it here.

We’re honored to be named a PROMO Top Shop for 2017 and to be listed among this exceptional group of agencies for the second consecutive year. Our continued goal is to provide outstanding service to our clients all while offering the best value possible. Our TurnkeySweeps™ platform that was introduced in 2016 allows our clients the ability to run full-service sweepstakes for a fraction of the cost. Because TurnkeySweeps™ still comes with Sync’s extreme attention to detail and personalized service, our clients have been very happy with this new option for running a sweepstakes campaign,” said Jennifer French, Co-Founder.

Continued our NWBOC certification

Sync Marketing renewed our certification as a business owned and controlled by a woman by the National Women Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC), the first national certifier of Women Business Enterprises. The goal of the certification program is to streamline the certification process and increase the ability of women business owners to compete for contracts at a national level.

Judged in the 2016 Chief Marketer Pro Awards

Sync was once again asked to participate as a judge in Chief Marketer’s Pro Awards and Jennifer French happily volunteered to year to review and judge the entries.

“It was an honor to participate as a judge in the 2016 Chief Marketer Pro Awards. It was a great experience seeing a collective of the amazing works that were submitted by the most creative agencies around. The competition was definitely a tight one.” – Jennifer French

In addition to the above, we also gained several new clients in the agency world that have opened opportunities for us to work with some of the biggest brands in the world. We love partnering with other agencies and enjoy the reciprocal relationship of hiring each other for what we do best, which is a win-win for our clients. We hope to continue to build our client base in 2017 and look forward to what lies ahead. Here’s to a great year!

 


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28 dec

Affordable Sweepstakes Company

By: Julie Link | In: Best Practices, Contests, Legal and Prize Fulfillment, Marketing, Prize Fulfillment, sweepstakes company

Looking to run an affordable sweepstakes while still receiving an exceptional product with the most up-to-date legal expertise? TurnkeySweeps™ by Sync is your affordable sweepstakes company solution.

There are a lot of low cost sweepstakes tools out there, but when looking for a sweepstakes agency, make sure that the company you are looking at is more than an app. Do they specialize in all aspects of sweepstakes and contests? At Sync Marketing we specialize in the ideation, design, programming, legal and prize fulfillment. We eat, sleep and breathe sweepstakes. If they don’t seem to have a rigorous review process and custom official rules, you could be risking running a non-compliant promotion. Sweepstakes guidelines change often, especially when it comes to social media promotions, so it’s imperative to work with a sweepstakes company that knows their stuff. You can learn more about the important of legal compliance in this article here.

We created TurnkeySweeps™ by Sync to offer an affordable sweepstakes solution for our clients who wanted sweepstakes to launch fast with a limited budget. With TurnkeySweeps™ by Sync, we can launch a campaign in under a week after receiving approved creative. Need more than a simple enter to win sweepstakes? We offer photo upload, social share and more as affordable add-ons.

In conclusion, if you would like to learn more about our inexpensive and affordable sweepstakes solutions and what add-on options we offer, contact us today.

Inexpensive and Affordable Sweepstakes Company

08 nov

Ideas for Running a Spring Pinterest Sweepstakes or Contest

By: Julie Link | In: Best Practices, Contests, Marketing, Pinterest, Sweepstakes, sweepstakes company

A few of you who are reading this right now may be thinking, wait, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet and you are already talking about spring! But for marketers, we are already headed into 2017, planning-wise anyway. Spring is a great time to run a sweepstakes or contest. People are ready for winter to be over and are looking forward to seeing anything and everything fresh and new. There are a lot of great thematic opportunities in the spring. Below are a few ideas for running a spring Pinterest sweepstakes or contest.

But, before we get into the spring ideas, I want to first touch on some of the benefits of running a Pinterest sweepstakes or contest:

Promote your merchandise or messaging virally

When you make pinning your featured images a requirement of a sweepstakes entry, it allows your merchandise and/or messaging to be spread virally. The hope is that their friends will see it and come to your website as well. To be legally compliant, you must include a campaign hashtag that includes the word #sweepstakes or #contest.

Engage and reward consumers

Running a Pinterest sweepstakes or contest is an easy, fun and cost-effective way to engage and entice consumers. Offering a compelling prize is a great way to reward consumers for pinning your merchandise. But, be sure to offer a prize that is proportionate to the amount of effort that is involved in the entry process.

Increase your email database     

Lastly, we recommend hosting an entry form on a microsite that includes your images for pinning and requires entrants to provide their information. While collecting this data, you can also have people opt-in to receive future email communication.

Now that we’ve hopefully convinced you that Pinterest is the way to go, below are a few spring-themed ideas to work with:

Capitalize on Spring Fever

We’ve all suffered from Spring Fever, and what better way to shake off those winter blues than with a Pinterest sweepstakes? For a retailer, show the hottest spring looks, for a travel company, entice people with photos of a warm weather locale.

Go on Spring Break

The shiny beacon of hope for any student (or parent) is Spring Break. Market your Pinterest sweepstakes to families, throw in a trip for four, and call it a day.

March Madness

Okay, we all know about the brackets, but do you know what the second most popular activity surrounding March Madness? FOOD and BEER! A food-related or beer-centric Pinterest sweepstakes is a no-brainer for relevant companies

Here are a few others themes to consider including in a Pinterest sweepstakes or contest:

April Fool’s Day

Earth Day

Mother’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day

Fitness or Outdoors-Related Sweepstakes

Spring Fling

Spring Sale

Easter

Spring Cleaning

Spring Forward

The possibilities are endless. Just consider the message you are trying to convey and the audience you are trying to reach. Pair it with a spring-related event, and you have yourself a fun Pinterest theme. However, keep in mind when running a sweepstakes on Pinterest that you ensure that you are following their most recent guidelines. It’s important to note that their guidelines frequently change with respect to running sweepstakes and contests. On that note, here is a recent blog article that outlines some new rules for Pinterest.

In conclusion, Hiring a company like Sync Marketing to oversee your promotion will guarantee that you are complying with all the latest Pinterest guidelines. Also, our team has a lot of creative ideas for running a spring Pinterest sweepstakes or contest. We will put together a fun and creative Pinterest spring campaign for you. Contact Sync Marketing today!

Ideas for Running a Spring Pinterest Sweepstakes or Contest


19 oct

Running a Promotion Directed Towards Children

By: Julie Link | In: Best Practices, Contests, Legal and Prize Fulfillment, Marketing, Sweepstakes, sweepstakes company

We are continually being asked by companies if they can run a sweepstakes or contest that includes entrants under the age of 13, and the answer is yes. However, if your sweepstakes or contest includes collecting the personal information from children under the age of 13, you must comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/rules/rulemaking-regulatory-reform-proceedings/childrens-online-privacy-protection-rule. Understanding and interpreting the nuances of COPPA can be quite overwhelming. The FTC has put together a list of frequently asked questions on their website to help guide businesses through the Act. Below are a few of the most pertinent questions and answers to keep in mind when running a promotion directed towards children.

“Who is covered by COPPA?”

“The Rule applies to operators of commercial websites and online services (including mobile apps) directed to children under 13 that collect, use, or disclose personal information from children.  It also applies to operators of general audience websites or online services with actual knowledge that they are collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under 13.  The Rule also applies to websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information directly from users of another website or online service directed to children.”

The FTC requires that if you are going to be collecting personal information from children under 13 that you be sure to disclose what information you will be collecting and how it will be used. They also require that a verifiable parental consent be obtained.

“What is Personal Information?”

“The amended Rule defines personal information to include:

  • First and last name;
  • A home or other physical address including street name and name of a city or town;
  • Online contact information;
  • A screen or user name that functions as online contact information;
  • A telephone number;
  • A social security number;
  • A persistent identifier that can be used to recognize a user over time and across different websites or online services;
  • A photograph, video, or audio file, where such file contains a child’s image or voice;
  • Geolocation information sufficient to identify street name and name of a city or town; or
  • Information concerning the child or the parents of that child that the operator collects online from the child and combines with an identifier described above.”

“How do I get parental consent?

“You may use any number of methods to obtain verifiable parental consent, as long as the method you choose is reasonably calculated to ensure that the person providing consent is the child’s parent. The Rule sets forth several non-exhaustive options, and you can apply to the FTC for pre-approval of a new consent mechanism, as set out in FAQ H.14 below.

If you are going to disclose children’s personal information to third parties, or allow children to make it publicly available (e.g., through a social networking service, online forums, or personal profiles) then you must use a method that is reasonably calculated, in light of available technology, to ensure that the person providing consent is the child’s parent. Such methods include:

  • Providing a consent form to be signed by the parent and returned via U.S. mail, fax, or electronic scan (the “print-and-send” method);
  • Requiring the parent, in connection with a monetary transaction, to use a credit card, debit card, or other online payment system that provides notification of each discrete transaction to the primary account holder;
  • Having the parent call a toll-free telephone number staffed by trained personnel, or have the parent connect to trained personnel via video-conference; or
  • Verifying a parent’s identity by checking a form of government-issued identification against databases of such information, provided that you promptly delete the parent’s identification after completing the verification.

If you are going to use children’s personal information only for internal purposes – that is, you will not be disclosing the information to third parties or making it publicly available – then you can use any of the above methods or you can use the “email plus” method of parental consent. “Email plus” allows you to request (in the direct notice sent to the parent’s online contact address) that the parent indicate consent in a return message. To properly use the email plus method, you must take an additional confirming step after receiving the parent’s message (this is the “plus” factor). The confirming step may be:

  • Requesting in your initial message to the parent that the parent include a phone or fax number or mailing address in the reply message, so that you can follow up with a confirming phone call, fax or letter to the parent; or
  • After a reasonable time delay, sending another message via the parent’s online contact information to confirm consent. In this confirmatory message, you should include all the original information contained in the direct notice, inform the parent that he or she can revoke the consent, and inform the parent how to do so.”

In most instances, when running any sweepstakes, entrants’ personal information is not disclosed publicly, so the “Email plus” method is very effective and less time consuming for the child entrant and the sweepstakes administrator. Another way around this is to have the parents enter on behalf of their child and award the prize to the parent. This way you know you are getting parental consent without having to do the extra step.

“I want to have a contest on my child-directed website.  Can I use the Rule’s “one-time contact” exception to prior parental consent?”

“Yes, if you properly design your contest.  You may use the “one-time contact” exception if you collect children’s online contact information, and only this information, to enter them in the contest, and then only contact such children once when the contest ends to notify them if they have won or lost. At that point, you must delete the online contact information you have collected.

 If, however, you expect to contact the children more than one time, you must use the “multiple-contact” exception, for which you must also collect a parent’s online contact information and provide parents with direct notice of your information practices and an opportunity to opt out.  In either case, the Rule prohibits you from using the children’s online contact information for any other purpose, and requires you to ensure the security of the information, which is particularly important if the contest runs for any length of time. 

If you wish to collect any information from children online beyond online contact information in connection with contest entries – such as collecting a winner’s home address to mail a prize – you must first provide parents with direct notice and obtain verifiable parental consent, as you would for other types of personal information collection beyond online contact information.  If you do need to obtain a mailing address and wish to stay within the one-time exception, you may ask the child to provide his parent’s online contact information and use that identifier to notify the parent if the child wins the contest.  In your prize notification message to the parent, you may ask the parent to provide a home mailing address to ship the prize, or invite the parent to call a telephone number to provide the mailing information.”  

 And even with screening measures in place, you may run across the following issue:

“Am I responsible if children lie about their age during the registration process on my general audience website?”

“The Rule does not require operators of general audience sites to investigate the ages of visitors to their sites or services. See 1999 Statement of Basis and Purpose, 64 Fed. Reg. 59888, 59892. However, operators will be held to have acquired actual knowledge of having collected personal information from a child where, for example, they later learn of a child’s age or grade from a concerned parent who has learned that his child is participating on the site or service.”

 “What are the penalties for violating the Rule?”

“A court can hold operators who violate the Rule liable for civil penalties of up to $16,000 per violation.  The amount of civil penalties a court assesses may turn on a number of factors, including the egregiousness of the violations, whether the operator has previously violated the Rule, the number of children involved, the amount and type of personal information collected, how the information was used, whether it was shared with third parties, and the size of the company.  Information about the FTC’s COPPA enforcement actions, including the amounts of civil penalties obtained, can be found by clicking on the Case Highlights link in the FTC’s Business Center.” 

Reading through and understanding COPPA can be a daunting task for those not as familiar with the Act. With the possibilities of steep penalties for violating COPPA, it is advisable that you consult the experts to advise you if you choose to run a sweepstakes or contest aimed at children. Furthermore, Sync Marketing’s legal team are experts in the field and can guide you through your promotion to ensure compliance with COPPA. Here are some of the services we provide and don’t forget to contact Sync today for your next promotion.

Running a Promotion Directed Towards Children

 


10 oct

Updated Pinterest Guidelines for Running a Sweepstakes

By: Sync Marketing | In: Best Practices, Contests, Marketing, Pinterest, Sweepstakes

Running a Sweepstakes or Contest on Pinterest is a great way for a company to market themselves. They are able to encourage consumers to “pin” a variety of their products and pages, which in turn increases engagement. This also results in entrants’ friends seeing the pins and therefore leads them to the company’s website. But, before running any promotion on a social media platform, it’s important to know what is allowed by that platform. Recently, Pinterest has made some changes, so today I will discuss the updated Pinterest guidelines for running a sweepstakes or contest.

All of these updated guidelines can be found in Pinterest’s Acceptable Use Policy. Previously, their guidelines stated that companies were not permitted to “run a sweepstakes where each Pin, board, like, or follow represents an entry;” require that people “Pin from a selection;” or “require a minimum number of Pins.” Within the new guidelines, none of those restrictions appear in the Pinterest Acceptable Use Policy.

In addition, the new guidelines state that companies who run campaigns should, “encourage authentic behavior, keep Pinterest spam-free, and be sure to comply with all relevant laws and regulations.” What does this mean for you and your brand? Make sure your campaign hashtag includes, “sweepstakes” or “contest.” This way consumers are aware that their friend is pinning that particular image for a chance to win a prize.

The new guidelines also state that companies who are running campaigns should not require participants to Pin one specific image. Furthermore, they acknowledge that requiring consumers to Pin from a selection is now allowed. This is a benefit to your brand because the more options there are to pin, the more diversity of images of your brand will be on Pinterest.

“Give Pinners the ability to choose Pins based on their tastes and preferences, even if it’s from a selection or a given website.” – Updated Pinterest Guidelines

Lastly, Pinterest is now requiring that there is a limit of one entry per person. This new guideline may affect entry numbers slightly, but know you are getting more genuine content.

What do the updated guidelines mean to companies running a sweepstakes on Pinterest? More brand exposure for you! Now that you can require pinning from a group of images, means your images will appear on entrants’ boards. With this change, you should definitely consider adding a Pinterest sweepstakes to your marketing plans. Not convinced? Here is an article giving five reasons why Pinterest is great for business.

As we’ve said before, social media platforms change their guidelines on a regular basis. Recently Facebook has taken out the language about not allowing shares for extra entries. This implies that this is now permitted. Here is a link to Facebook’s guidelines.

Regardless, it’s important that you make sure you’re up-to-date on all of these changes each time you run a social media campaign. Hiring Sync will help you with knowing you’re running a complaint promotion. Our team is in direct contact with the legal teams at all of the social media platforms. We are even alerted if there are any changes to their guidelines that could affect your upcoming promotion. Consider reaching out to Sync for your next sweepstakes or contest.

Updated Pinterest Guidelines for Running a Sweepstakes or Contest.


29 sep

Marketing to Millennials with a Sweepstakes

By: Julie Link | In: Advertising, Best Practices, Contests, Facebook, Instagram, Marketing, Sweepstakes, User Generated Content

Marketing to millennials can be a challenge. They are currently the largest living generation and that’s a lot of people to target with many different personalities and habits. So, if you are a brand, how do you get their attention and stand out among all the messaging sent their way? Surprisingly, marketing to millennials with a sweepstakes or contest is an extremely effective method. Below I will break down a few reasons why this method works.

They Love to Share

Millennials love to share with anyone and everyone who will like, retweet or view their messaging. Whether it’s Instagramming a photo of their lunch, snapchatting a reunion with their best friend, or tweeting their opinion on the election, sharing is their impulse reaction. Why not take advantage of that constant need to share by inviting millennials to share their talents by snapchatting a video for their chance to win a prize.

Here’s an excerpt from an article on Marketingland.com on the subject:

“I didn’t expect that my daughter and her friends were looking for coupons but was a little surprised that they were willing to actively engage with the brand and even enter into a traditional sweepstakes (albeit via sharing a picture).” For the full article, click here

They Love to Engage

This is the next step that organically occurs after asking millennials to share. They in turn engage with your brand. When running a sweepstakes or contest, think about engaging with millennials rather than focusing on selling your product or service. Have your prospective customer tell a story with your hashtag. The more you engage with them by having them organically spread content about your brand, the better your content and relationship with that millennial will be. American Eagle’s latest #WeAllCan campaign is a great example of this.

They Love to Reach People

The natural step of sharing a photo on Instagram and an opinion on Twitter is to reach the masses. Prizing is an important component when running a sweepstakes geared towards millennials. Make sure that the prizing is something that will resonate with them. If your prize is an experience trip, have your winner share their experience through social media by using the campaign hashtag. Get them excited by telling them the winner’s experience on their trip will be featured on your social media channels. This is a great way to spark the interest of millennials. Knowing their experiences will be shared with thousands to millions of people is reason enough to enter for them.

If you’re interested in marketing to millennials with a sweepstakes, reach out to us today for a quote.