Digital marketing

Why your Facebook competition is probably illegal

- March 11, 2015 2 MIN READ

Want to ensure your Facebook competition is above board and not breaking key Facebook terms and conditions? You just need to follow these four simple rules.

Facebook has very strict conditions around how you can use your page to promote the competitions you run. If you run afoul of these conditions you risk your page being suspended, or worse, shut down.

So let’s go through the four things you must do to avoid any penalties when running a Facebook competition.

Rule 1: Don’t be a tag dag

Here’s something you probably see a lot: a page posts an image and asks its fans and customers to tag themselves or a friend as entry to win a prize. It’s a nice quick way to be shared across multiple timelines, but it’s against Facebook policies.

Facebook says: “You must not inaccurately tag content or encourage users to inaccurately tag content”.

Broken down simply, this means you can’t encourage people to tag an image if they’re not actually in it.

Rule 2: Sharing isn’t caring

Another thing you’ll see quite often is a page creating a Facebook competition where a condition of entry is for its followers to share something to their personal timeline.

Facebook says: “Personal timelines must not be used to administer promotions”.

If you’re keen to use this strategy you can ask and encourage your fans to spread the word and share the competition, but don’t make it an entry requirement.

Rule 3: Have you got the skills?

Each state and territory in Australia has its own rules and regulations for competitions. In the interest of keeping things simple, it’s all about the skills! To ensure your promotion is above board and not jeopardising your page, you need to do two things.

Firstly, make your Facebook competition a game of skill. “25 words or less” type competitions are an example of a game of skill.

Secondly, the prize needs to be under $500. This way you don’t need to apply for permits with any governing body, and you can get your promotion up and running easier, faster and avoid any permit fees.

Rule 4: Get out the small font

In order to keep Facebook happy about using their platform to promote your competition, you need some terms and conditions. These should be easy to access, and a great way to do this is to just pop it into a comment on the promotion post.

Here’s a head start on what you should be including:

By entering and participating, entrant agrees to hold harmless, defend and indemnify Facebook from and against any and all claims, demands, liability, damages or causes of action (however named or described), losses, costs or expenses, with respect to or arising out of or related to (i) entrant’s participation in the Sweepstake, or (ii) entrant’s participation in any Prize related activities, acceptance of a Prize and/or use or misuse of a Prize (including, without limitation, any property loss, damage, personal injury or death caused to any person(s). This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.

And that’s it! Following these four simple rules will ensure you stay on Facebook’s good side and ensure access to your Facebook community is never compromised. 


Have you ever run afoul of Facebook’s terms and conditions when running a Facebook competition?

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  • Andrew Caska

    Caska IP Patent Attorneys

    'Flying Solo opened up so many doors for us - I honestly don't know where I'd be without it"