Every day I see Pages conducting contests and promotions that violate Facebook Pages Terms of Service (TOS). I truly believe that these are typically good people with good intentions who simply don’t know the rules. Maybe, like most of us have been known to do, they merely clicked the “I Agree” button for the TOS without reading them. Maybe they did read the TOS, but like so many other aspects of Facebook, it isn’t crystal clear until you’ve rolled up your sleeves and gotten elbow deep into the mechanics of it all. But, just because “everyone is doing it” doesn’t mean that you won’t be the one whose Page is shut down for non-compliance. Frankly, I’d hate to see that happen! We succeed when your business succeeds through social media marketing… I love helping people and making the world a little bit better, so let’s unpack the Dos and Don’ts of Facebook Contests and Promotions.
Let’s start with the negative, so that we can end on a positive note!
1. DON’T use a page “Like”, a place “Check In” or an app “Connection” as the means of entry. (Bad Example: “Like this Page to win a dinner for two!”) or select a winner from those who have “liked” your Page, “checked in” at your Place, or “connected” with your app. (Bad Example: ”When we reach 500 likes, we’ll select one lucky Fan to receive a one-hour massage!”
2. DON’T use Facebook features or functionality as a mechanism for voting. (Bad example: ”Vote for your favorite photo caption with the “like button” .
3. DON’T require a participant to take any action within a Facebook feature or function. (Bad examples: ”Like this post to be entered in the drawing to win two tickets.” “The first to comment wins one dozen muffins.” or “Upload your photo to our wall to enter to win an 8×10 gallery wrapped canvas.” “Upload your humorous post/photo, then tag us to win lunch with the local DJ.”
4. DON’T use Facebook to notify the winner(s). (Bad Example: Notifying the winner(s) through Facebook messages, Facebook chat, or Wall posts.)
1. DO use a third party app to run your contest/promotion. (Apps are available that can handle whatever type of promotion/contest you would like to run.)
2. DO feel free to use a page “Like”, a place “Check In” or an app “Connection” as a requirement for entry, as long as it is not the means of entry. (Good Example: “Like this Page, then click here to register to win the latest gadget!”)
3. DO acknowledge that Facebook doesn’t sponsor, endorse, administer, or associate with your promotion. (Be sure to state that Facebook isn’t involved in your contest or promotion.)
4. DO include a release of Facebook by every participant. (Be sure to ask participants to acknowledge that Facebook isn’t responsible for the contest or promotion.)
5. DO notify every participant that information they provide is being released to you, not to Facebook. (When you collect information, such as an email address, be sure to let participants know that the data is being collected by your business.)
6. DO comply with all of these requirements even when the promotion is administered outside of Facebook, but is promoted, advertised or referenced on Facebook through a Page, Post or Ads. (If you mention a promotion or contest at all on Facebook, your promotion/contest needs to adhere to these terms.)
Follow these guidelines and your Page will shine like a star in it’s next Contest or Promotion. As a bonus, I’ve created a printable PDF of the 10 Step Facebook Contest/Promotion Compliance Checklist Plus, check out these tips on How to Promote your Contest.