Pinterest has been the talk of most marketers – how do they use it, what’s the best way to engage their consumers, and how will it bring more sales? Pinterest contests have begun to pop up with a variety of success. 

From August 13-22, 2012, Norwegian Cruise Line ran its first Pinterest Contest. In order to reach its 337,757 Facebook fans, the company created an app called Pinterest with two custom pages to engage its fans and extend the reach of the competition.

There have been a number of companies assisting brands on creating apps and contests within Facebook in order to follow Facebook regulations. In this instance, Norwegian Cruise Line used Shoutlet (who will be at our upcoming JUMP conference on January 30, 2013), which allowed the team to drag and drop content to create the app pages. The first page gave instructions on how to participate and enter, including hashtags to use in Twitter and Pinterest.

With simple calls to action, the team created two buttons to click through – one to to start their board, and one to a second page that included a sign up page and a Facebook comments plug in to capture the Pinterest board URLs. 

Norwegian Cruise Line had 635 entries: 105 submissions via Twitter and 530 entries via Facebook on the Pinterest app. The hashtag #NorwegiansPinToWin generated 248 total tweets with approximately 428,531 impressions and a reach of 79,938. Their followers on Pinterest also leapt from 900 to 2600 during the contest window. 

These results weren’t huge but the team at Norwegian Cruise Line seem to be happy with the results:

We don’t have any leads as far as ROI but our direct marketing team told us that the email they sent out to our database had a very high opening rate of almost 28%.

This was the very first contest of its kind that we’ve ran so we don’t have anything to compare it to but for something that is so involved and requires a high-level of attention to detail and creativity the response was great!

As the company normally has thousands of entries for its normal submission contests on Facebook, a Pinterest contest could show how far customers will go in terms of effort and creativity. Most Facebook and Twitter competitions require very little from participants, while creating Pinterest boards does take more time and effort. 

This was definitely a good start for the cruise line to break into the Pinterest space and the proof will really come when it embarks on its second competition.