It’s time to cover my pet hate: competitions on Facebook. Who amongst us hasn’t run a competition on Facebook? They’re huge when it comes to driving engagement, and they can cause a huge spike in traffic to your website, but the vast majority of competitions on the platform actually violate Facebook’s terms and conditions. That’s right: you’re doing it wrong.
Obviously, you want those sweet, sweet page likes, so you’re going to ask people to like your page.
What about tagging friends? There’s nothing better than guaranteed views of your post.
Asking people to share on their timeline? You’ve guessed it.
Things have changed a lot over the past five years – up until 2013, we were only allowed to use third party applications to run competitions on Facebook. These rules have since been relaxed, however there are still a number of stipulations in place which many businesses don’t adhere to (even though they run the risk of losing their page!)
Here’s what you’re NOT allowed to require for your competition:
- Like a page/multiple pages to enter
- Share a post to enter
- Tag yourself in a photo to enter
- Share a page to enter
- Tag your friends to enter
You can, however, like or comment on a post, or you can use a third party app such as PromoSimple or WishPond – both of which will allow you to build your network on other platforms thanks to “tweet to enter” etc. entry options.
When running a competition on Facebook, it’s also important to acknowledge that the post is in no way sponsored by or affiliated with Facebook, and to make sure to post your eligibility requirements.
So, what happens if you break the rules?
Maybe something, maybe nothing. You’re always a very small fish in a very big pond on Facebook, but that won’t ever make you above the law. It only takes one person to report you for you to lose your page or be denied access for a period of time, which is obviously the worst thing that can possibly happen to you on Facebook.
Even if you don’t get the ultimate penalty, you risk losing out on valuable competition participants. If someone recognises that you’re not following the rules, it’s easy to see how they could believe that you’re not following other rules (is your competition fixed?), so they won’t enter. If your competition is all about building up the likes on your page, you also risk losing a huge chunk of those likes due to people un-liking your page after the competition – nobody wants to deal with a surge of “professional compers”, and by not following the rules, that’s exactly what you’re asking for.
And if you're still stuck; don't just wing it. Talk to the experts.
And by "experts" I mean us, obvs - I've seen far too many "marketing professionals" flaunting the rules of Facebook competitions, and it breaks my heart.
Have you spotted a competition which breaks the rules?
Go on, share this blog with the page.
Be that guy.
I dare 'ya.