Have you always wanted to run a contest on Facebook, but were intimidated by the rules and regulations? Well, the globe’s most popular social media platform has made some huge changes to their policies–making it much easier for businesses of all sizes to hold contests of their own. So, if you’re ready to add contests to your marketing mix, now is the time.
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For the first time, businesses can now operate contests from their own timelines. Note the word “businesses.” Contests cannot be run from personal timelines. Businesses can also collect entries by having participants “like” posts, comment on posts, or message the company page. The only caveat is that “liking” your page cannot count as an entry.
What Rules Are In Place?
Facebook does, however, require some stipulations. Here are the official rules as found in their Facebook page guidelines dated August 27, 2013.
- If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:
- The official rules.
- Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions).
- Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals).
- Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
- A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
- Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
- Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries” is not permitted).
- We will not assist you in the administration of your promotion, and you agree that if you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk.
It is important to adhere to Facebook’s guidelines–particularly if you do not wish to have your page closed down.
What Are Some Other No-No’s?
Again, you cannot enter someone in a contest simply by asking them to “like” your page. In order for a “like” to count it must pertain to a specific post. You cannot require prospective participants to tag themselves or others in pictures; share a post or picture; or post something on any personal timelines.
How Will The New Rules Work For Me?
- The new Facebook rules make running contests a breeze. All you need to create your own contest is a business Facebook page which, of course, is free. Yes, you can employ this valuable marketing tool at absolutely no cost to you except for the price of the prize, of course.
- Facebook, by its very nature, is designed for sharing. While you can’t ask people to “share” the news about your contest for a chance to win, you can still invite them to share the news with their friends. Yes, Facebook is the ideal tool for increasing your valuable word-of-mouth traffic.
- As the number one social media platform, Facebook is, obviously, a fun place to hang out. Facebook contests, therefore, are fun by association.
- While people are “liking” your post or composing a post on your timeline, you are gaining valuable new contacts and potential clientele for future marketing campaigns.
- And, Facebook contests help to get your company name out there. Yes, they are free and effective advertising tools.
How Can I Make My Contest More Successful?
- Make sure that the advertisement or announcement for your contest is eye-catching and easy to understand.
- Offer a prize that will have broad appeal, but attract people to your business. If you own a spa, for example, your prize should strive to get the winners through your doors, not someone else’s.
- Be creative and make your contest unique. With these new rules, there will likely be a large influx of Facebook contests, so you need to make sure yours stands out.
- Ensure that photos are high quality and that you proofread everything before you hit “post.” And make sure that your contest rules are easy to understand.
It’s time to put on your marketing hat and start creating a Facebook contest that will knock their proverbial socks off. And have fun. What are the most creative Facebook contests that you’ve encountered? What sets them apart from the rest?
Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer and avid blogger. She is a social media addict who has written on many topics including internet reputation management services, social media marketing, and business advice for WAHM’s. She wrote many article for us too here.