Who doesn’t love a simple Facebook competition? Click like and share and you can win…
Win-win all round…
Over the last couple of weeks, I have spoken about Facebook competitions more times than I care to count with various small businesses looking to get their name out there. Many have seen the like and share competitions for valentines and mother’s day whizz through their newsfeeds and want to do something similar. Several have asked me to monitor their Facebook pages to help out.
And, I hate saying no…
But the fact is, these type of like and share competitions are against Facebook guidelines. I wouldn’t be any kind of consultant if I didn’t let them (and you) know the risk involved or if I took their money and did it anyway. That’s not my way of working.
Facebook competition guidelines
You find the guidelines here, scroll down to section E.
i. Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or a Page App.
ii. Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
a. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
b. Acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
c. Disclosure that the participant is providing information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook.
iii. You must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your app. For example, you must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall.
iv. You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant.
v. You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion.
vi. You must not notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles (timelines) or Pages.
Every single one of those “like and share” Facebook competitions you see flying through your newsfeed do break the rules.
If you are caught breaking the rules, the punishment is DEATH of your page.
No warning, no trial, no judge and jury. Just removed, gone and ceasing to be.
You might get away with it, you might not. Is losing your Facebook Page worth the risk to you?
Types of Facebook Competitions
I’ve mentioned the “like and share” type of competition above because they seem to be the most popular and the type I have been asked about. There are many other competitions that breach the guidelines, for example:
- Prizes for reaching a specific number of likers
- Tag a photo to win
- Leave a comment to win
Not only do these types of competition go against the guidelines, they are also a major pain to administrate. If you do have 100’s or even 1000’s of likes, comments, shares, tags or whatever your entry specification was, who is going to verify the entries or even choose a winner? It is a time zap and a headache!
How To Run A Facebook Competition
First of all you need an app.
This isn’t as difficult as it may sound, you can find several services that offer competition apps. If you want to know how to create, run, and promote your competition as well as an app, you’ll do no better than joining Donna’s Facebook Competition Training.
Using one of the many premade apps out there, you’ll find you have covered your bases on the other stipulations too. They often include the rules and disclaimers for you, they make it easier to administrate and run your competition.
Try sites like:
Of course, these apps do charge a fee to use. It works out far cheaper than sitting and monitoring posts, shares, likes etc (unless you like working for free), creating your own entry forms if you are technically challenged, let alone dealing with disgruntled fans!
You can create your own app or use an iframe tab for entry into your competition. You do need some coding knowledge or use a WYSIWYG HTML editor. Your WordPress page/post editor works well for this too!
Since you cannot accept entry into your competition using Facebook likes, shares or comments, you do need an entry form. Using an email autoresponder opt-in has a double benefit – you get your entries and can send entrants emails well after the competition has ended.
Ensure that you include your closing date, competition rules, a disclaimer that Facebook has nothing to do with your competition and a link to your privacy page.
Announcing the winners
Whichever method you choose to run your competition, announcing the winners on Facebook is also against the guidelines. As you have collected people’s emails addresses, you can easily announce winners by mail.
There’s no issue with posting an update (or three…) saying “Check your email – are you a winner?” Once your winner has acknowledged your email, then you can say who has won on your Facebook Page. Be sure to have included that you will use entrants names for further marketing in your competition rules!
Over to you
Have you ever run a competition on Facebook? What was your experience?
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How To Run A Facebook Competition (Or How Not To Get Your Page Shut Down) by Jan Kearney