You have a Facebook Page, you have a great promotion with a kick-ass prize and now you want to run a competition and share the joy with the world. Let’s get to it.
Did you know Facebook has strict rules about how competitions are run? No.
Well here’s the low-down from the horse’s mouth:
Above from Facebook’s Guidelines Page
Some definitions seem appropriate here to understand what Facebook considers under the following:
Sweepstakes a.k.a. Giveaways: Sweepstakes are promotional drawings in which the prizes are given away to the participants at no charge.
Contest: A contest is slightly different from a sweepstakes in that it requires participants to complete some sort of challenge, such as a trivia question, or demonstrate talent or skill.
Lottery: (although not expressly mentioned in this excerpt, know that Facebook is not a fan of lottery) A lottery requires purchase, payment or other consideration, chance and a prize. DO NOT run a lottery style competition.
In layman’s non-digital terms though this means the following:
#1 You can use the following actions as entry mechanisms for your competitions – asking your followers to:
- Like your Page
- Like your post
- Comment on your post
- Post on your timeline
- Send a message to your inbox
- Check in to a location
#2 You can’t use the following as entry mechanisms for your competitions – Which means you can’t ask your followers to:
- Share your competition
- Tag their friends
#3 You can:
- Circumvent these rules by using third party contest platforms. These platforms offer many amazing features that can benefit your social media presence as well as other marketing mediums.
- A few of the capabilities that these platforms offer us as marketers in the social space (which are within the rules) is the ability to:
- Ask users to Like a Page
- Ask users to post to Facebook
- Incentivise users to use Social Plugins (the like and/or share buttons)
- Award incentives for sharing posts or pages
#4 You should (and this is the fun best practice bit of this post):
- Create a competition that is engaging enough for people to automatically want to tell their friends
- Include copy that clearly states that the promotion isn’t “sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook in any way”
- Add an Age Restriction, if applicable
- Use a landing page with all the competition details on your website/blog and use Facebook to promote it
- Include very specific T’s & C’s associated with the competition
The truth is you may see Pages run competition where they ask followers to share and comment as entry mechanisms. Some get away with it (good for them) but it’s not worth the risk. Facebook can choose to ban your page without any recourse and your competitors may even choose to flag your little incognito mission.
What competitions have you tried on Facebook and which would you recommend?