Facebook competitions: There are rules

Update 27/8/2013: Facebook have dropped the requirement for competitions and promos to be run via an App. Liking and Commenting is now permitted as a means of competition entry although Sharing is not permitted. Read more from Facebook.

You’ve seen them in your News Feed and quite possibly today; the Like or Like and Share competitions from businesses and brands. They are widespread often generate lots of ‘entries’ but Facebook’s Page Terms clearly state that competitions such as the Hot Diamonds competition below from The Goldman in Gloucester are not permitted.

So let’s look at how this competition breaches the rules plus problems that could arise:

1) Facebook’s rules state that competitions must be run using a Facebook App. This competition is run on the Timeline and not using a dedicated app like this #SipToBelieve competition from Twinings Tea or this one from Sticher Radio that I blogged about earlier this year.

2) There is no acknowledgement that the “promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook”.

3) Entrance to competitions cannot be conditional on users liking a Page or a Wall post. Facebook states, “You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism”.

4) If a competition is run through a App you can collect the entrants names onto a spreadsheet or similar. It’s not so easy to obtain all entrants and pick a winner without this or similar functionality.

5) Without an entrant’s contact details the Page Admin has no way of contacting the winner directly, other than posting on their own Page, the winner’s Profile or by messaging them. Not very satisfactory and also a breach of Facebook rules. 

Most important of all though is that strictly speaking Facebook can turn your Page off without warning for breach of the rules. In practice, they’re likely to warn you first but given the difficulties highlighted above it’s not worth the risk.

If you need advice on setting up a Facebook promotion or competition please get in touch.

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