Running a competition, contest or draw on Facebook? What you need to know.

After a conversation on my Fanpage about the new rules regarding competitions on Facebook.  I’m just going to pop this brilliant article from Sally Walker Creative Media in I know it’s not really Party Plan based .. but its topical and relevant to anyone with a Fanpage 🙂

#joannedewberry facebookIn December 2010, Facebook tightened up their promotions/competitions guidelines. Competitions, contests and ‘draws’ are run on Facebook pages every day of the week but so many people are getting it wrong and could end up having their Facebook page suspended. We, ourselves, run a monthly competition on our Facebook page and even we have had to change the way we do it in order to ‘fit in’ with the guidelines.

Competitions, promotions and contests are those events where a winner and prize (whether virtual or physical) is determined via a basic amount of skill. For example, answering a question or ‘completing the phrase’. Sweepstakes and lucky draws are those events where by the winners are randomly chosen by chance. The Facebook guidelines are for ALL kinds of competitions.

You can read the full guidelines here but below is a our plain English run through for you of the most important points.

  • You CANNOT run a competition that allows people to enter JUST by ‘liking’ the page. Or by ‘liking’ a post, status message, link, picture or video.
  • However, you CAN ask them to ‘like’ your page BEFORE they enter the competition via a third party application or another website.
  • You CANNOT run a competition that allows people to enter JUST by ‘checking in’ to a place.
  • You CANNOT run the competition directly on your Facebook page. It has to be via a third party application or another website. You can promote it via your Facebook page wall but the actual competition has to be via an application or another website (the obvious place is your website or blog).
  • You CANNOT notify your winners via Facebook at all. They must be emailed with their notification of winning or told via your website for example.
  • You MUST add a Facebook disclaimer on your competition application or wherever you are hosting your competition, if the competition is to be promoted on Facebook. The disclaimer is: “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for [disclose any way that you plan to use the user’s information].”
  • You MUST ensure that all entrants to your competition are NOT staff, sponsors or associated with in any way to Facebook.
  • You CANNOT ask people to create an account with Facebook itself in order to enter your competition.
  • You CAN collect information about your entrants (such as email address, name, location etc) if you are using an application or web form for your competition.
  • You CANNOT ask people to upload something for the competition to your Facebook page wall. This HAS to be done via a third party application or your website/blog.

There are other conditions as will see from their official terms, however if you stick to the above rules, you won’t be going far wrong.

Two of the most popular apps on Facebook for promotions and competitions are Wildfire and EasyPromos

We hope this brief guide helps you to run your next competition on Facebook! Don’t forget to ‘like’ our brand new Facebook page too whilst you are there!

Thank you to Sally Walker Creative Media for allowing us to ‘borrow’ this very comprehensive yet easy to read article!  Facebook revised their terms on 11th May 2011.  It’s vital if you rely on competitions to keep updated on these terms.