Is your competition breaking Facebook rules?

Is your competition breaking Facebook rules?

Are you so busy securing your prize, putting together your artwork and getting your content plan together that you haven’t stopped to check Facebook’s latest guidelines for brand promotions? Not to worry – we have broken it down for you in this post, with a little help from ShortStack.

By now, you probably know that like-gating is banned by Facebook. In other words, you’re not supposed to ask people to like your page to gain automatic entry into your latest competition or promotion. There’s a good reason for this: with so many people liking company’s pages just to enter competitions, this led to lots of brand with very low engagement. People stopped interacting with the page as soon as the competition results were announced.

Of course, promotions are an excellent way to incentivize people to engage with your brand by liking and/or commenting on a timeline post – such as the one that explains how your competition works. However, just gathering likes shouldn’t be the sole purpose of your contest. Rather get people to like your post and fill in an entry form, share something personal or creative, and just generally interact more. This way, you’ll also get the customer insights or user-generated content that you’re after – and hopefully attract a whole lot of new fans in the process.

Facebook contest DOs and DON’Ts   

It’s important to be aware of what is and what’s not allowed when running a Facebook competition. Otherwise, your contest could end up looking like it was designed by someone who does not understand or respect social media etiquette. Even worse, your competition could end up being perceived as a scam. You will also be aligning your brand with illicit practices, which is never going to look good. Rather stay on the right side of Facebook’s rules and maintain your good reputation.

The no-go areas

Let’s start with the bad news first. Here’s what you may not do when you’re running a contest or competition on Facebook:

  • Don’t like-gate (as discussed)
  • Don’t host your promotions on your personal profile
  • Don’t ask people to share your page on their timeline as a condition of entry
  • Don’t ask people to share your page on a friend’s timeline to get additional entries
  • Don’t require people to tag friends in a post to enter

So, what is allowed?

The good news is that there is still plenty that you can do to encourage people to enter your competition, raise brand awareness and grow your fanbase.  Here’s what you may do:

  • Do host promotions on your page or within a custom Facebook app
  • Do host promotions on your page’s timeline
  • Do ask people to like or comment on a post to enter
  • Do ask people to post on a page to enter
  • Do ask people to message a page to enter
  • Do ask people to like a page to get access to a contest entry form
  • Do ask people to submit suggested names for a new product as a condition of entry
  • Do ask people to like your page as a voting mechanism

And once you’ve selected a winner, you are at liberty to contact the lucky individual by posting a status update, commenting in your page’s comment stream, sending a ‘Congrats’ email to the address provided upon entry, Tweeting the announcement or posting the news on your blog or website.

More must-have information

Once you have managed to wrap your head around these rules, there are just a few more things you need to remember.

All Facebook promotions must include your promotion’s official terms and conditions, including eligibility for your promotion. Very importantly, you must also include a note that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by or in association with, Facebook; and that Facebook can’t be held liable for anything related to your promotion.

A great place to house all these terms, conditions and other information is a website or landing page, with a link in your post. This not only ensures that you don’t clutter your contest post, but also drives traffic to your site (if this suits your marketing strategy).

To find out more, you can read Facebook’s latest guidelines published in March 2017, or give Kri8it a call to make time for coffee and a chat. We’ll not only explain the rules in more detail, if you like, but also handle your competition for you if you’re pressed for time.

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