JFlowers and Cue Listings is giving away a free $300 cue and the only thing you need to do is to subscribe to a YouTube channel.
So, I came across this competition and got curious. What are the actual rules for giveaways on Facebook?
I mean, it's great that I can now get a free cue with a carbon fiber shaft, (yes, of course, I subscribed to enter!) but I got curious about the actual rules for these competitions. Everyone is doing it, but what are the actual rules on Facebook? Been on social media lately? Then it’s likely you’ve scrolled past a Facebook competition. From “Like to win” prize draws to “Tag to enter” giveaways, these are used by some of the biggest brands in the world. But are they breaking Facebook’s rules?
Facebook’s Policies specifically state: “If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion.” Lucky for you, our Facebook Competition Rules Guide provides everything you need to know before creating a giveaway!
Get the results you seek without upsetting the social network’s regulations and risking the status of your Facebook page or breaking your customers’ trust.
Is share to win Facebook competitions allowed?
In short, no. “Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions,” according to Facebook’s page terms.
The good news is that, requesting people to share a competition post as an entry requirement is not practical anyway. Many users, particularly after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, have private profiles. This means you are not able to specifically track everyone who actually shares your content.
It’s important to remember that you can still prompt people to share your post, just not as an entry requirement for a competition or sweepstake.
Are “tag your friend to enter” competitions allowed on Facebook?
As is the case with “share to win” competitions, this is not allowed. A quick look at Facebook’s Policies will tell you that: “Friend connections must not be used to administer promotions”. The Facebook Page Guidelines explicitly state: “tag your friends in this post to enter” are not permitted”. It could not be clearer than that!
You are free to encourage people to tag their friends, but you cannot make it a requirement of entry. For instance, “Don’t forget to tag your friends and family members who would love to enter!” would be allowed; “Tag your friend to be in with a chance of winning!”, on the other hand, would be breaking the rules.
Can you ask people to like your page to enter a competition?
“You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page.”
The above sentence is pulled straight from the Facebook Developer’s site, which goes on to say: “This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page.”
Again, there is nothing stopping you from asking people to like your page. We would recommend saying something along the lines of: “Remember to follow our page to ensure you don’t miss out on our winner announcement!”
What are the Facebook competition rules?
So, you know what not to do when publishing your Facebook competition, but what do the social network’s guidelines actually allow?
The main objective for most Facebook competitions is engagement, right? So, why not encourage people to comment, without tagging in their friends. Securing a comment already massively increases the chances of your post popping up on the news feeds of their friends, even if they don’t like your page. Drive engagement by asking a question and prompting a response via the comment section. This can be used as an entry requirement.
Additional ‘comment to enter’ Facebook competition ideas are:
Ask users a trivia question relating to your products or industry. Anyone who comments will be entered into a prize draw to win.
Name your new product or service competition. This is great for boosting engagement and building up customer and brand loyalty.
Caption competition. These can be a lot of fun, especially if people start naturally tagging in their friends to see their suggestions.
Guessing competitions. Post a video that requires your followers to watch all of it to make an accurate guess of the correct answer. For instance, “How many footballs did you see in our video?” or “How many sweets are in this jar?”
You could even use Facebook to promote an offline competition. We have seen some success in doing this, particularly in regards to driving people to trial a new product or subscribe to a mailing list by entering each person that does so in a prize draw.
Things to remember when running a Facebook competition
Additional things you ought to consider are:
Where are you running the competition? If you are based in the US or targeting US customers, you need to remember that lotteries are illegal across the pond. What’s a lottery, we hear you ask? A lottery is a contest that requires a purchase. This means that, if you want to target America, you can’t run a competition along the lines of: “Buy this hoover to be in with a chance of winning a holiday to Hawaii”.
Provide a date for when the winner will be decided, and let people know how the winner will be notified. This will ensure you don’t frustrate your followers.
If you’re encouraging User Generated Content, such as photos or quotes from customers, make sure you have explicit permission to do so. This can be included in the small print of your competition.
Make it clear that your competition is not part of any partnership with Facebook, and that it is entirely independent of the social network.