Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Advice, Facebook, Small Business, Social Media, Tips and Tricks | Posted on Jun 17, 2011
Running a Contest on Facebook Might Be Harder than You Think
You have finally reached that 1,000 ‘Likes’ threshold on Facebook and are itching to reward your followers, increase engagement, and generate more likes. You decide you want to have a contest for your fans, but aren’t too sure about the rules for contests on Facebook. Facebook has some pretty strict rules when it comes to contests, and if you don’t follow the rules there could be some serious repercussions. This information is readily available here, so claiming ‘…but I didn’t know’ isn’t going to fly. If you read through the Terms and Conditions and got a little confused, here is a summary of Facebook’s contest rules.
Creating your Contest
Create your contest within Apps on Facebook. You have two options for how you create your contest, on a canvas page or with an app on a page tab. A canvas page is a blank Facebook page that will call your contest into the Facebook chrome through an iFrame.
Canvases are wider than tabs, normally a page can only be 520 px but a canvas page is 760 px wide giving you more room to promote your contest.
Provide a link that brings the user to an external site for the contest. The major benefit of this option is that once the user leaves Facebook you are exempt from every other Facebook rule and regulation for contests. However, the major problem is that it takes users away from Facebook, and it is a general rule of thumb that ‘people on Facebook, want to stay on Facebook.
Take full responsibility for your contest; make sure you know the applicable laws for contests before you create your contest.
Make it absolutely clear that your contest is in no way sponsored by Facebook.
Make it clear YOU are receiving the information of the registrant and Facebook is not receiving the information.
Simply put you cannot use any of the Facebook functionality for a contest. This means no use of the ‘Like’ button as a voting mechanism.
The action of ‘liking’ your page cannot be the way a participant registers so if you have a landing page that says ‘Like our Page to enter the contest’ you need a form for visitors to fill out to complete registration. The action of ‘liking’ your page cannot be the way a participant registers.
You MUST notify your users outside of Facebook, so do not announce winners through Facebook messages, chat, or posting on their profile.
And as always, ‘you many not use Facebook’s name, trademarks, trade names, copyrights….in the rules or relating to the promotion’.
If you have any more questions about Facebook contests ask us in our comments or on our Facebook page.