Facebook Contest Rules You Should Always Abide By
One of the best ways to gain some brand recognition is by running contests on your Facebook Business Page. People love free things, and contests will draw your audience in and increase engagement on your page. However, it's essential to recognize Facebook's rules for running contests, so you avoid violating their guidelines like many other business pages have done.
While before, contests and promotions could only run on 3rd party apps, now page owners can post contests right from their Timeline, reaching the newsfeeds of followers and other potential fans. While the rules have become more relaxed, there are still ones you must follow.
Facebook is the world's largest social network, with over 2.2 billion active accounts. With ever-changing algorithms, however, it can be challenging to reach the people you need to extend your brand's reach and acquire more loyal followers. Contests can help you reach your targeted audience and spark excitement about your brand by putting it in front of people that may have never known about you otherwise. Before you launch your next contest, take a look at this list to make sure your brand can get the exposure it needs without risking your account.
Know which Types of Contests are Allowed
It is essential to know which kinds of contests are allowed on Facebook and those that are not. Sweepstakes and drawings are allowed: this is where a person only needs to enter to win, and a winner is chosen by chance. Contests that ask for user-generated content entries where the content is judged by the sponsor to select a winner are also allowed. Lotteries are not allowed: this is where someone is required to purchase a ticket to win.
Make Sure the Contest is Administered on an Official Facebook Page
It's important to make sure you've created an official Facebook Page for your business rather than a personal profile. If a personal profile has accidentally been created for your brand, make sure you get it straightened out before posting your contest. According to Facebook's Rules, you can only administer a contest on Pages, Groups, Events, or apps on Facebook.
Provide Your Audience with Detailed Rules for Your Contest
When posting or promoting a contest on Facebook, it is essential to create an easily accessible landing page for your audience that lists the contest rules. Some important contest rules to consider might be:
- Make it clear to your audience that no purchase is necessary to enter or win.
- Making purchases will not increase their chances of winning.
- Include a release form that allows you to use any user-generated content that is entered into the contest.
- A release for publicity rights if you plan on announcing the winner publicly.
- When and how the contest winner will be chosen.
- Who is running or administering the contest.
- Make it clear when the contest will begin, end, and how long it will run for.
- What the prizes are. Many territories require clear descriptions for prizes, so this is very important.
- State the competition is void where prohibited.
Acknowledge that the Contest is not Sponsored by Facebook
When running a contest on Facebook, make sure you acknowledge that it is not administered, endorsed, or sponsored by Facebook and that Facebook is in no way associated with your contest. There must also be a statement that releases Facebook from responsibilities to contest participants.
Don't Force People to Share or Tag to Enter
I'm sure you've scrolled through your timeline and have seen those Facebook contests where you have to share a post in order to win. What you may not have realized though, is that these kinds of contests are explicitly prohibited by Facebook's rules. You are not allowed to require actions on Facebook's platform in exchange for entries, which means you cannot ask for shares or likes on Facebook as a means of entering the contest.
You can, however, have a contest that leads participants off Facebook and asks for actions there. It is permissible to use contest software that has referral features which allow people to gain extra entries.
You also can't require people to tag their friends in order to enter the contest. A better idea would be to create a contest that people want to share because they are excited about the content or prizes you have to offer.
Don't Require "Consideration" from People to Participate
Facebook does not allow contests to require "consideration" for people to enter. Consideration means having to exchange something of value for an entry. In some places, consideration can include a person's identifying information such as their name, phone number, or address. You'll want to make sure you understand the laws of the location where your contest is available.
Get Permission to use Submitted User-generated Content
If you decide to run a contest where participants submit photos, videos, or other user-generated content, make sure you have somewhere where they can acknowledge that they agree to you using it.
User-generated content can be very valuable to businesses, as it can generate interest and help raise awareness of your brand. You can take entries from previous contests and use them in your promotions going forward, but only if you have permission to do so.
In addition, if you have decided that you're going to announce the winner publicly, you will need to get publicity rights from everyone who enters your contest. This is something that should be in your contest rules, so that anyone who clicks "agree" will be giving permission.
Remember that Facebook will not Administer or Assist in Your Promotion
Facebook also points out in their contest and promotion rules that they will not administer or assist in your contest. Any page that runs a promotion on Facebook is doing so at their own risk, which means that if you violate any rules or laws with your contest, Facebook is not to be held liable.
When running a Facebook contest, you'll want to make sure you carefully adhere to all their rules. While this can mean taking a bit of extra time and jumping through a few more hoops, in the end, by making sure you are in line with the rules, you can ensure your contest runs smoothly.
By paying careful attention to the rules, there is less of a chance that your content will be deleted, or your page will be suspended or banned. Stick to the rules to enjoy the benefits of greater brand exposure and awareness while removing the risk.
Want some tips on how to run a successful Facebook contest? Check out our Why and How to Run a Facebook Contest article.
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