Let’s face it running a competition on Facebook is a well known strategy, it’s one that also has many small businesses running scared. It can be so much easier than you think and here I give you the sauce on just how easy it is to get it right.
First up: The Rules!
The Facebook Promotions Guidelines govern your communication about or administration of any sweepstakes, contest, competition or other similar offering (each, a “promotion”) on Facebook.
A “sweepstakes” is a promotion that includes a prize and a winner selected on the basis of chance.
A “contest” or “competition” is a promotion that includes a prize and a winner determined on the basis of skill (i.e., through judging based on specific criteria).
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So, anytime you run a campaign on Facebook where you wish to select a winner, that would fall into the terms of Facebook’s Promotions Guidelines.
Facebook also says:
You will not administer a promotion through Facebook, except through an application on the Facebook Platform. Administration includes operation of any element of the promotion, such as collecting entries, conducting a drawing,judging entries, or notifying winners.
Simply said: You can’t use Facebook’s features for your promotions!
A promotion where you select winners is not to be confused with you simply promoting and marketing your business after all that’s why we have a Facebook Page for our businesses.
Below is a a plain English run through for you of the most important points.
You CANNOT run a competition that allows people to enter JUST by ‘liking’ the page. Or by ‘liking’ a post, status message, link, picture or video.
However, you CAN ask them to ‘like’ your page BEFORE they enter the competition via a third party application or another website.
You CANNOT run a competition that allows people to enter JUST by ‘checking in’ to a place.
You CANNOT run the competition directly on your Facebook page. It has to be via a third party application or another website. You can promote it via your Facebook page wall but the actual competition has to be via an application or another website (the obvious place is your website or blog).
You CANNOT notify your winners via Facebook at all. They must be emailed with their notification of winning or told via your website for example.
You MUST add a Facebook disclaimer on your competition application or wherever you are hosting your competition, if the competition is to be promoted on Facebook. The disclaimer is: “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for [disclose any way that you plan to use the user's information].”
You MUST ensure that all entrants to your competition are NOT staff, sponsors or associated with in any way to Facebook.
You CANNOT ask people to create an account with Facebook itself in order to enter your competition.
You CAN collect information about your entrants (such as email address, name, location etc) if you are using an application or web form for your competition.
You CANNOT ask people to upload something for the competition to your Facebook page wall. This HAS to be done via a third party application or your website/blog.
There are other conditions as will see from their official terms, however if you stick to the above rules, you won’t be going far wrong.
The MUST HAVES:
The Disclaimer: You MUST have this disclaimer or something like it on all your competition pages: “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to [recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for [disclose any way that you plan to use the user's information].”
The ‘Third Party’ App: This doesn’t have to be difficult in fact it can be as easy as using an App designed just for the purpose from the list below.
List of good Apps for Running a Facebook Competition:
Here’s a list of the top 14 apps I have found for running Facebook contests:
- Social Prize
- Momentus Media
Or You Could Try:
- Your Own iFrame Tab – It can be as easy as setting up a Tab on your page with a form that gathers information and leads and making sure you have the MUST HAVES in place for yourself. Yes a Third Party App can be as easy as using one of the free iFrame Apps available for adding extra tabs and having your legals in place.
- Using Pinterest to run a photo competition from your Facebook Wall just create a Pinterest Board and make it Open to public pins and add the disclaimers etc.. into the competition board description box. Come back to Facebook and advertise your 3rd Party Photo Competition.
- Run it on your blog – create a post about your competition and make sure you add the correct disclaimers etc.. either post links to the competition on your Facebook page or import the post into a new Facebook Tab via iFrame and start rolling.
The takeaway points to remember are 1. It’s easier than you think to run a competition on Facebook 2. Remember, remember the disclaimer and the privacy policty 3 a 3rd Party App can be another site, another iFrame Tab or a Contest App.