As with most things today, there are rules to running competitions on Facebook and while the clear majority of Facebook pages flout the rules, Facebook is starting to crack down on them. Not only have they said they are going to be coming down on pages which do break the sacred rules, ie: close them down, we also had a client who tried to boost a competition, but the boost was rejected because they had asked people to like the page and tag a friend to enter. So be wary of flouting the rules.
When setting up your competition consider this, what is the outcome you are wanting? Is a competition going to achieve this or are you gaining unengaged followers who are only in it for the prize, not because they feel a connection to your business? The key to success on Social Media is to have an engaged audience, not having the largest number of followers, so don't let ego blur your vision.
So what are the rules?
If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:
- The official rules;
- Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and
- Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals). Please note in New Zealand our Liquor Licensing Laws prohibit the use of alcohol as a prize or enticement to enter a competition.
Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
- A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
- Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
- Notification that Facebook can not be held liable for anything to do with your promotion.
Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. To collect entries, you can ask people to:
- Like or comment on a post on your Page (ex: "Like this post to enter") (comment on your favourite autumn vegetable)
- Publish to your Page
- Send your Page a message
- Like as a voting mechanism
Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions, ie: you cannot ask people to:
- “Share on your Timeline to enter” - (ie share a post or share a page)
- “Share on your friend's Timeline to get additional entries”
- "Tag your friends in this post to enter"
- Like a Page or multiple pages to enter the competition
There is a lot of flouting of the rules, but as Facebook tightens their grip on advertising are they going to continue to let businesses effectively run competitions for free likes, no way! There are ways and means around rules, you could say something like “show us the love by liking our page” or “if you think you know someone who would love this competition make sure you share it with them”. But as noted above, with any competition stay within the guidelines and ask yourself, what is the objective of this competition and will I gain engaged followers?
Any questions on running a competition via Facebook or any other social platform, connect with us to make sure they are delivering value to your business and not just to vanity metrics.