Over the past few weeks running competitions through Facebook has come up again and again. There are obvious reasons as to why Publishers would want to run a Facebook competitions but they mainly revolve around getting people to like your page and getting your posts shared onto others walls. Competitions definitely are a viable option for covering these aspects in part.
However, before you go jumping in you need to be aware of the Facebook Promotions Guidelines. If you don’t follow them you may find yourself in trouble with Facebook and your fans.
The Facebook Promotions Guidelines state the following
You cannot: Condition entry in the promotion upon a user providing content on Facebook, such as posting on a Wall of a Page, uploading a photo, or posting a status update.
You can: Use a third party application to condition entry to the promotion upon a user providing content to the application. For example, you may administer a photo contest whereby a user uploads a photo to a third-party application to enter the contest.
You cannot: Administer a promotion that users automatically enter by liking your Page, checking in to your Place or connecting to your Platform integration.
You can: Require entrants to like your Page, check in to your Place or connect to your Platform integration before they provide their full entry information, such as name and contact information.
You cannot: Notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles or Pages.
You can: Collect an email or address through the third-party application for the promotion in order to contact the winner by email or standard mail.
You cannot: Instruct people (in the rules or elsewhere) to sign up for a Facebook account before they enter the promotion.
You can: Instruct users to visit the third-party application to enter the promotion. Since users must have a Facebook account in order to access an application on the Facebook Platform, if you give this instruction, they will be prompted to sign up for a Facebook account if they do not already have one.
The full Facebook Promotions Guidelines can be found here – http://www.facebook.com/promotions_guidelines.php
If you’re sitting their screaming, “but I’ve seen loads of companies doing this, big ones too”, then you’re not alone. I’ve lost count of the number of companies flouting these Facebook Promotion Guidelines. However Facebook clearly state the following:
“In addition to our other remedies, we may remove any materials relating to the promotion or disable your Page, application or account if we determine in our sole discretion that you violate any of our policies.” - Facebook Promotions Guidelines
However of course it’s always your choice.
So……. you want to do it by the rules, what is the easiest way? Well there are probably two, as follows:
1. Use an app to administer the competition, there are pay per month apps such as Wildfire or we can build you a royalty free version that is affordable, and can be used again and again.
2. Although you cannot automatically allow entry to a competition through ‘liking’ a page, you can lock content that provides the information about the competition behind the ‘like’ button. You can then run the competition off Facebook, on your website, but you will have gained the like.
We offer social media strategy and implementation to publishers, talk to us about your Facebook competition needs or any other social media requirements.