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Get to Know Facebook Contest Guidelines

by Liz Plachecki

Facebook Contest Guidelines

A Facebook promotion, contest or giveaway can be a great component to the social media strategy for virtually any individual or business. Whether you’re looking to build your social media audience, promote a new product or service, or generate new interest in your brand, a Facebook contest will lead people to your page and increase your followers. However, many people want to run away after they read Facebook’s detailed promotional guidelines or hear horror stories from fellow Facebook page owners who had contests that went awry. The following is a break down of the rules to help you get more comfortable with running amazing promotions and staying ahead of your competition who may not be aware of these important guidelines.

For an updated overview of Facebook’s Contest Guidelines click here.

All Facebook promotions must include the following components:

  • Full release of Facebook by every single participant
  • Full disclosure that Facebook does not sponsor, administer, endorse or have any association with the promotion
  • Full disclosure that each participant is releasing information to a particular Facebook page administrator and not to Facebook itself

All Facebook promotions must be managed within Facebook’s apps, which include both page apps and canvas pages. Take the time to familiarize yourself with these options before you launch a contest. This will allow you to choose the app that is most appropriate for your particular giveaway and learn everything that you possibly can about it ahead of time.

Facebook has explicit guidelines for using Facebook features and functions during a giveaway, a.k.a. checking in to a location, connecting to an app, or liking a page, post, photo or video. You can’t use these to register people, or use them as entries or as voting mechanisms. For example, users can’t leave a comment on a wall photo as an entry. On a similar note, participants can’t be required to post on walls or leave comments on photos or videos for registration or voting.

If you choose to use Facebook for any sort of contest administration or communication, you must take full responsibility for the promotion’s lawful operation. This includes adhering to the official rules, eligibility requirements (i.e. age, location), offer terms and all promotion regulations (i.e. the registration process). If you’re ever unsure of the lawfulness of a promotion, it’s a good idea to contact an experienced professional before proceeding.

Facebook guidelines even dictate how winners are to be notified. You might think that since people entered through Facebook, they can be notified that way as well, but that’s not the case. So, keep in mind that when you’re setting up your contest, you need to collect contact information from participants so that you can alert them off of Facebook should they win. Facebook messages and posts on timelines or pages are not acceptable according to Facebook contest guidelines.

For a complete look at the promotional guidelines, click here.

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