7 Rules You Must Follow to Run a Facebook Contest or Sweepstakes
I loved this article by Tracy Sigler - http://avlmarketing.com/2202/7-rules-for-facebook-contest-sweepstakes/. It explains what Facebook’s policies are in respect to contests and sweepstakes posted on its platform. Check out this great information:
Facebook contests and sweepstakes can really create some excitement for your company’s brand and drive growth of your Facebook fan base. If you’re considering a Facebook promotion, be warned that Facebook has some very specific rules, and not following them can potentially result in your page being taken down.
In this article we’ll look at each of these rules in turn and use Hotels.com Mystery Suitcase Sweepstakes as a case study of how to run a Facebook promotion correctly.
Straight from the Facebook Promotion Guidelines page:
If you use Facebook to communicate about or administer a promotion, you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including the official rules, offer terms and eligibility requirements (e.g., age and residency restrictions), and compliance with regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered in connection with the promotion (e.g., registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals). Please note that compliance with these Guidelines does not constitute the lawfulness of a promotion. Promotions are subject to many regulations and if you are not certain that your promotion complies with applicable law, please consult with an expert.
OK, let’s take these one at a time…
Rule 1. Use a Third Party App
We’ve reviewed a bunch of third party apps and you can get that report if want to see which companies we like. Even if you can figure out how to run a promotion that is within Facebook’s terms of service without a third party app, your life will be made much easier by using one of the many quality services available. Pricing and options vary widely and there are new companies popping up every day. The better promotion apps will step you through everything that Facebook requires for your contest or sweepstakes to be in compliance with their terms of service.
Rule 2. Be Clear That Facebook Doesn’t Endorse Your Promotion
Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
- A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
- Acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
- Disclosure that the participant is providing information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook.
It can’t hurt to mention the above in at least a couple places. In addition to the main page of your sweepstakes or contest you can add it to your contest rules. The rules can be on a separate page as long as there are prominent links to them. Hotels.com makes it clear Facebook does not endorse their sweepstakes.
Rule 3. Don’t Use Facebook Features as an Entry System
You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant.
Hotels.com uses a completely custom application for their Facebook sweepstakes. Most apps will require the user to “allow” access to their info at some point. For this sweepstakes there is a request just to get to the entry form. The important point here is that there is a third party app that enables users to enter, and it has nothing to do with Facebook.
Rule 4. Don’t Use Facebook Features as Requirement to Enter
You must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your app. For example, you must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall.
As you can see, you are allowed to require people to “Like” your Page to enter your promotion. Simply liking the page cannot enter the person but it can be a requirement. Most third party apps makes this type of “fan gating” or “required liking” easy to implement.
Also, if you run a photo or video contest (or any type of “user generated content”) DO NOT use the built-in Facebook apparatus for contestants to submit their entries. Again, a third party app comes to the rescue.
Rule 5. Don’t Use Facebook Features to Vote
You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion.
Voting only applies to “contests,” “sweepstakes” are usually done by a random drawing. People break this rule all the time. The typical scenario is to ask people to post a photo on the wall (that alone is a rule breaker) or joke or whatever, and then whichever wall post gets the most “Likes” is the winner. Clearly, that’s not allowed.
Rule 6. Don’t Use Facebook Features to Notify Winners
You must not notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles or Pages.
Have I mentioned that you can’t use the built Facebook features in any way? Except, of course, for requiring a “Like” to enter. Your entry form must include at least one way to contact the winner. It’s against Facebook’s terms to even post the winner’s name on your page. That said, it is a common practice to have the winner (photo and/or name) displayed in the page’s profile image. Hotels.com collects quite a bit of info, too much in my opinion. But at least they will be able to contact me when I win!
Rule 7. Don’t Use Facebook Logos in Ads
Ads may not imply a Facebook endorsement or partnership of any kind. Ads linking to Facebook branded content (including Pages, groups, events, or Connect sites) may make limited reference to “Facebook” in ad text for the purpose of (1) fulfilling your obligations under Section 2 and (2) clarifying the destination of the ad. All other ads and landing pages may not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Book, and Wall) or any confusingly similar marks, except as expressly permitted by our Brand Usage Guidelines or with our prior written permission.
Trust me. The Facebook ad monitoring goons will shoot you down for using anything remotely resembling Facebook branding. I speak from experience. Save yourself some time. Don’t use any of the things mentioned above in your ad images or copy.
That seems lot a like to digest but as I mentioned before a quality third party app will help you get through this. If you have questions please post them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.
Reposted by Carie Statz, Marketing and Sales Instructor