If you’re reading this post, it may be because you’re searching for a way to open up a Board on Pinterest so any of your followers can post Pins. Guess what? You already know the answer: you can’t open up a Board — you have to manually add contributors. Additionally, two steps are required before a contestant can submit a Pin (three if the contestant has not yet registered on Pinterest):
1. A contestant must first Follow the specified Board.
2. After receiving an automated email notification of the new follower, the owner of the Board must then Edit Board and enter the contestant’s name to the Contributors field. See above screenshot.
Then the contestant receives an email (for me, it took over six hours to receive an email notification I was added as a contributor) and must return to the Board to submit a Pin.
Not ideal. Those are small but significant barriers to entry. And if you’ve run online contests like I have, you know the challenge of getting participants — even when you’re giving away cool, free stuff.
So Pinterest, if you’re reading this, my solution is as follows:
- Allow people with Boards the option of selecting all their Followers as contributors.
- Better yet, create a List function (like on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+) which allows users to categorize their followers. That way, users can add specific lists of contributors (e.g., employees, customers, or — in the case of individual consumer users — close friends) to different Boards.
Don’t let the barriers to entry stop you from running a contest on Pinterest. If you’ve got a good idea, it’s always worth the experiment. Just be sure to set your expectations and explicitly state the contest instructions in the Board description. Check out Confused.com’s “Driving in high heels competition” on Pinterest. Contest instructions are called out at the top. But to my above points, at the time of this writing, the contest has had only ten pins.