Running a Facebook competition? What you need to know!
Running a competition on Facebook is a great way digital marketing strategy to increase engagement and awareness by encouraging users to interact with your brand page, however, many of the competitions you see posted don’t follow the rules. While those of us who play fair can often be frustrated that Facebook doesn’t seem to be all that active when it comes to enforcing the standards they’ve espoused, it has to be said that while we’re in their house, we should wipe our shoes, because they can kick us out any time they like.
Facebook do’s and don’ts
Pages and apps, not Profiles
You can only use a Facebook ‘Page’ or a third party app to run a promotion like a competition or a giveaway. Personal profiles aren’t allowed to do so.
Respect the authorities
The competition must be legal in the places you’re running it. So before you think about adding a competition to your page, make sure you familiarise yourself with consumer laws for everywhere your audience can enter.
Include clear terms and conditions
It’s pretty self-explanatory, but make sure that everyone can easily find out what the competition rules are, who can enter and where it’s being run. As a courtesy to your fans outside the competition area, make an effort to restrict them from seeing it, there’s nothing more frustrating than to see a cool prize on offer only to realise it’s only available to folks living in another country/area.
Disassociate Facebook itself
It’s a condition of running any Facebook competition that you include a note in the T&C’s to say that Facebook is in no way responsible for, or associated with your promotion.
Likes shares and tags
If you’re running a competition, you are allowed to encourage people to like your page, share your things and to tag their friends, but you can’t make any of these a condition of entry.
What about all those other competitions I see? Aren’t they allowed?
Probably not. Chances are, most of the like and share competitions you see people liking and sharing are not just against Facebook’s rules but are utterly bogus.
You know the ones – they’re pretty formulaic and offer the chance to ‘win’ an [insert the name of an expensive/desirable item] by liking and sharing from an unverified brand page that’s not very old. The page may try to garner credibility by stating that the products in question are ‘old stock’ or ‘unsealed’ which means that they can’t be sold. Think to yourself; How credible is that? Really?
What’s actually happening in the majority of cases, is that someone somewhere is ‘like-farming’. If you post a stock photo of something expensive and offer people an easy way to ‘win’ it (along with a shaky story as to why you’re giving it away), you’ll quickly build up an audience of Facebook users who’re prepared to take a ‘low risk’ action ‘just in case’ it’s genuine.
Once these pages have built up a big enough audience, they’ll likely be sold to someone else and the page, readymade audience intact, is renamed and repurposed. That page might well be used to market things to you (a page you ‘like’ can serve ads to you), so If you’re wondering why you’re seeing so many dodgy adverts on your Facebook feeds, it might be because you liked, commented and shared at some point for the chance to ‘Win’. Next time, be a bit more sceptical about that (left-hand drive) Range Rover with a big bow on the bonnet or the Apple products whose value has disappeared because their seal has been broken!