Facebook Contests: Rules and Regulations

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Advice, Facebook, Social Media, Tips and Tricks | Posted on Jun 21, 2012

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Contest Like

So, you want to hold a contest on your Facebook Page. The first thing you should know is that Facebook, Inc. takes this all very seriously. That being said, there’s a lot of fun to be had holding contests online, and both your customers and Facebook will appreciate it when it’s done right.

Rule #1: Use Apps!

Relying on Posts from your fans for a contest can be a cumbersome and incredibly confusing process. Luckily, Facebook requires all promotions to be run through third-party Applications. Using Custom Web Forms like the ones found in Social Page Builder, you can easily create unique Applications for your contest and include everything from email subscription options to downloads and image submissions. With proper documentation, these features can even be used to create exclusive content for your other fans! Most importantly, email address submissions can be used to notify contest winners, as simply posting it might not reach enough people for the winners to be seen.

Rule #2: Be Independent

Due to the complete lack of verification required to set up a Page and begin a contest, Facebook mandates all contest holders to explicitly state that Facebook does not endorse their promotion. Additionally, all participants must acknowledge and release Facebook of responsibility for the promotion. This is all about liability; like any business, Facebook must protect themselves from those who would use their product in an unsavory or illegal way. As long as you’re legitimate, include the appropriate fine print, and make it clear that Facebook isn’t directly involved, your contest should be able to stand on its own.

Rule #3: Be Generous

It’s fine to ask a contest participant to Like your Page; it spreads awareness and helps you to keep track of submissions. What’s not cool is requiring your participants to Comment on your Timeline and Share your Posts; it’s a sleazy way to boost traffic and Facebook will slam you for it. If you’re providing a quality service and maintaining an honest Facebook presence, the Likes and Shares will come.

All Applications shown above were created using Social Page Builder, the App creation tool from High Impact Designer. To learn more about contests and how to regulate them, you can visit Facebook’s Official Terms of Service. For more on Web Forms and other tools, read 5 Ways to Use Web Forms or many of the other posts in the Tips and Tricks section of this blog.

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