If you run any sort of Facebook page – even a small one – you may have considered running a competition. And why not? Competitions are a great way to get people talking and interacting with your page, which is just what you want to keep things on your page active and interesting.
You should listen to a few words of caution though before you get started, as not all of your competition ideas will be approved by Facebook. There are a few important things to note about competitions that you need to adhere to. If you don’t, Facebook might shut down your page. Read on and make sure you know what’s allowed and what’s not.
Entrants Can Like, Add Apps Or Check In – That’s All!
To keep your competition in the clear with Facebook, the only actions on Facebook that you can require of your entrants is liking a page, adding an application or checking into a place. Anything else is not allowed and could get your page banned!
So, in other words, condition of entry to the competition can’t include entrants uploading photos, making a wall post, sharing a post or answering a question in a comment. They can do this for fun, but it can’t be a requirement of the competition. Sadly, many page managers don’t understand this and will ask users to do these things in order to enter a competition.
Don’t Use Facebook Tools For Competition Entry
You also need to ensure that there is another step to registration for the competition. This means you can’t have a competition where liking a page, checking in or adding an app automatically enters people to the competition. It can be a condition of entry, but not the mechanism by which they are entered.
Notify Winners Directly, Not Via Facebook
You must not notify your competition winners using Facebook tools. So, you can’t send a Facebook message, inform them via chat, or let them know on their timeline or Facebook page.
Distance Yourself From Facebook
All competitions need to ensure that it is very clear to entrants that you, not Facebook, are running the competition. This includes clearly stating that Facebook in no way endorses or administers your competition, ensuring each entrant completely releases Facebook from responsibility, and noting that any data collected for the competition is collected by your organisation and not by Facebook.
Use An App To Promote The Competition
All promotions and competitions must be conducted within Apps on Facebook. Facebook suggest using a canvas or Page app to promote the competition. As you can see, if you aren’t allowed to communicate with entrants via Facebook, it is really important to collect their contact information somehow.
Disclose All Restrictions Clearly
You must ensure when running a promotion or competition on Facebook that any limitations are clearly disclosed. This includes expiration dates, eligibility to enter (e.g. age limits or residency requirements) or any limits on redemption.
You Must Be The Merchant Or Manufacturer
For any offers on Facebook, you must be an official merchant or manufacturer of the goods on offer. If the offer can be redeemed with other merchants, it’s your responsibility to discuss terms with them before you begin your promotion or competition.
Keep It Legal
Don’t forget that many countries and states have their own rules about what is allowed in a public competition and what’s not. Do try to look up your local laws and ensure that you are on the right side of the law there too. Don’t let your competition ruin your business!
Full Facebook Page Guidelines
Facebook have a detailed page outlining the guidelines for all pages, including competition guidelines. It’s worth reading this page occasionally to ensure you’re up-to-date on the current guidelines.