Facebook has Promotional Guidelines that govern any competition that you run on it, and it’s imperative that you comply with them, as well as the other regulations that apply to competitions. If you fail to do so, Facebook may pull your page down without warning. This in turn can lead to issues with the State Lottery, Fair Trading and/or Consumer Protection agencies.
Will it be worthwhile?
Before you decide to run a competition on Facebook consider whether doing so will be worthwhile. Is your business brand or product targeted to those who use Facebook? Facebook is certainly popular, but it may not be an appropriate marketing platform for you. Having said this, with such a large number of dedicated users from all walks of life, you should not discount Facebook likes as a possible way of attracting new customers.
It is surprising how many businesses run Facebook competitions without being aware of the requirements. Although many will get away with not complying, those that don’t will definitely know about it!
So what do the guidelines say?
Firstly, it’s important to note that there are many laws that apply to competitions and that Facebook’s Guidelines do not give you a complete understanding of those laws. You must also consider consumer protection, privacy and trade promotion laws when designing and running a competition.
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Here is a summary of some of the key points in the Guidelines:
- You must use a third-party developed application to administer your competition. There are free applications around that you can use, such as Wildfire.
- You can’t enter people into your competition simply by them ‘liking’ your page or uploading content onto Facebook or tagging photos. You can have people ‘like’ your page, but then must have them take other steps, i.e. register to enter the competition using the third-party application.
- You must acknowledge that your competition is in “no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.” Your competition must also include a “complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.”
- You mustn’t notify competition winners on Facebook. i.e. when you determine your winners, you can’t notify or announce them over Facebook.
It is likely that you have seen a competition on Facebook that does not comply with some or all of the requirements listed above.
A Facebook competition may be a very worthwhile method of getting people to like your page and interact with your brand. However, remember that there are a number of requirements to consider when running a Facebook competition. If you’re going to go ahead with a Facebook competition, make sure that you check the current version of Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines and comply with all other requirements.
Have you run a Facebook competition? Are you considering promoting your business on Facebook and, if so, what has held you back from doing so already?