November 23, 2014

Before You Launch a Facebook Contest...

Contests and Promotions can be great for driving traffic, building engagement and increasing brand visibility, when done right...

With over 1.35 billion active members, Facebook is a popular place to host these contests. Before you start collecting Likes and handing out prizes, there are some things you need to know about running promotions on Facebook... including some very important Facebook contest rules.

What Is Considered a Contest or Promotion?

On Facebook, contest and promotions typically include the following:
  • Entry or registration
  • An element of chance
  • A giveaway or prize
Before August 2013, Facebook page owners wanting to hold a contest or run a promotion on Facebook had to use third-party services. To make it easier for businesses to create contests and promotions, the Facebook removed the requirement for those to only be administered through third party apps. Now you can also host contests and promotions on Page Timelines. Contests and Promotions on personal Facebook Timelines is not permitted.

While you can run contest and promotions in the Page Timeline, running contests and promotions via Page tabs and apps, is easier to administer and allows you to build your mailing list at the same time. It also gives you more space and flexibility for content. No matter which method you chose, Page posts about contests and promotions can be displayed in the News Feed, helping you reach a broader audience.

How You Can and Can't Collect Entries

According to Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines, Pages running contests or promotions via their Page Timeline can collect entries by:
  • Having people post on the Page or comment/Like a Page post
  • Having people message the Page
On the other hand, you can’t:
  • Encourage people to tag themselves
  • Require people to Like your Page
  • Require people to share the post
Pages running contests or promotions via a third party app can collect entries by:
  • Having people register via an sign up (opt-in) box on the app
  • Having people submit photos, recipes etc via a specialized contest app
On the other hand, you can’t:
  • Encourage people to tag themselves
  • Require people to Like your Page
  • Require people to Share the Contest  

The actions you can require are fairly self-explanatory; but those you can’t require need a bit more detail.

Facebook prohibits businesses from encouraging people to tag themselves in content that they’re not actually depicted in. For example, it’s alright to ask people to submit suggestions for names of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize. However, it's not permissible to ask people to tag themselves in pictures of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize.

Facebook’s new ban on Like-gating will have a slight impact on the way contests are run. As of November 5th, Pages can no longer require members "Like" their Page in order to enter a contest.

These restrictions ensure that people who are taking these actions are doing so because they genuinely want to interact with your Page. It creates a better experience overall, and ultimately you’ll have better fans as a result.

Additional Guidelines

The Contest and Promotions section of Facebook Page Terms offers up more legal guidelines for businesses. If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a contest or promotion, you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion. This includes:
  • Official rules
  • Offer terms and eligibility requirements
  • Compliance with rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered
Facebook contests must also include a complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant, as well as acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook.

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