Are you thinking of running a contest or promotion on Facebook?
Facebook is a great platform for running a contest because it can expand your audience, raise awareness about a product or service, boost audience engagement and increase your fans. Facebook has strict rules around running contest so it’s important to understand their contest rules before you run a competition of your own. If you violate the rules, you risk having Facebook disable your Page or account.
Facebook states that if you are running a competition of any sort, then the following rules MUST be adhered to or you run the risk of getting your page removed. Also Facebook clearly state that “We reserve the right to reject or remove Pages for any reason. These terms are subject to change at any time.”
Full details of Facebook Page Rules are here: http://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php#promotionsguidelines
The bottom line is that Facebook does not want to be associated in any way, shape or form with any competition or promotion, and you as a promoter are not allowed to use Facebook, its functions and features as a mechanism through which to run your competition.
In addition, Facebook doesn’t allow promotions to be administered on their platform. “Administration” includes “…collecting entries, conducting a drawing, judging entries, or notifying winners.”
This means that:
- Entrants need to enter the contest within the 3rd party application.
- Entry into the contest cannot require entrants to post content within Facebook (like posting a comment on the Wall, sharing a photo or uploading a photo).
- Entrants cannot be automatically entered when they “Like your Page”. You can require them to like your Page before they can enter but this must be done through your 3rd party app.
- Judging cannot be done within Facebook. For example, you cannot ask fans to vote for their favourite entry on the Wall. Again, this must be done via a 3rd party application.
- Winners cannot be notified via Facebook, either in messages or posts on Pages or profiles. You need to collect an email or mailing address through the 3rd party application and then contact the winner by email or mail.
While this seems like a lot of rules and regulations, running competitions on Facebook on 3rd party apps can be quite easy and has a good return on your investment of time (and/or money if you choose to use a paid-for 3rd party app)
Don’t have time to set up a 3rd Party App?
If you are running a competition, why not host the competition on your website or blog then promote/tell your fans on Facebook about this competition?
Thus, killing two birds with the one stone:
1. Offering value to your fans by giving them a chance to win something
2. Increasing traffic to your website.
All done in the comfort of your own website and free from the rules and regulations of Facebook! To be on the safe side, I would also include this disclosure, “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook” when posting about the competition on Facebook.