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Running a Contest on Facebook

Enter to Win Facebook ContestHello everyone! I wanted to make sure everyone was aware that in many cases it is against Facebook policy to run a contest on your Facebook page. It used to be allowed but recently Facebook has made their rules more strict. Contests are fun and can encourage people to “like” your Fan Page but don’t take the chance of having your page disabled – follow their rules!  These pages will help:

Read Facebook’s Promotions Guidelines very carefully:

Explanation and suggestions on the Facebook Help Forum:

In a nut shell, you must either receive special permission from Facebook to run a contest, or use a Facebook-approved third party application to run a contest ON Facebook and you must follow the other rules as well.

There is another option though.

Write up and conduct your contest on your blog. Have readers comment to enter the contest (things like tell me your favorite product, or share a story, become my fan on FB and tell me in the comment etc.) Then announce the winner on that blog. Use that blog URL to promote the contest on your Facebook profile or fan page – so the actual contest is being held somewhere else, you are just sharing a link on FB.

Additionally, there are several contest, coupon and promotion applications available through App Bistro. I’ve also recently been experimenting with Rafflecopter.

Do you have any other creative ideas?

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  1. Cameo Necklaces on November 6, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Great article on Facebook contests. we are in the process of researching information on what it takes to have a Facebook / Twitter contest to generate more traffic to our webs site. Tis post was helpful in that process and had some good links to follow for additional information Thanks again.

  2. Lisa Robbin Young on March 21, 2012 at 7:27 am

    I shared this article as an answer to a question on my blog about contests on facebook. Great info here that more direct sellers need to know. Thanks!

  3. Karen
    Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
    on March 21, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    THANK YOU Lisa! Much appreciated!

  4. Mike Brown on March 25, 2012 at 12:57 am

    Great information.

    Thank you.


  5. William on April 20, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Hmmm….one facebook link just goes to a white screen for me. The other goes to FB help pages but not to anything in particular. Last time I read the giveaway rules, it just seemed like FB would allow use FB functionality as the way to enter the contest, which may be what you’re getting at…I don’t know.

  6. William on April 20, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Correction: …would NOT allow people to use FB functionality… (had that part all messed up).

    • Karen
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on August 8, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      Yes basically you cannot have the contest entries or award rely on anything done within FB unless you use an approved app. I’m experimenting with Rafflecopter and it seems to work great – and is free. If you read their blog they’ve had discussions with FB and seem to have an agreement that they are a legal app to use, which is good news!

  7. Minerva Collection on September 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Great post …will have a look at rafflecopter for our handbag & jewellery giveaway – thanks. 🙂

  8. Lindsay
    Follow me on Twitter: MamanLoupsDen
    on March 26, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    This post answered my questions about FB contests perfectly. I have a blog, so that’s the route I’ll go! How do you randomly select a winner, though, from those who comment/like?

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on March 26, 2013 at 6:57 pm

      Hi Lindsay – If you use Rafflecopter it has a random prize winner thing built in! Otherwise if you aren’t using that app, there are some random apps like or Have fun!

  9. Sonburst Communication on February 10, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    We purchased and used the Woobox platform to run our contest. These things drive engagement like crazy! We had over 3,400 entries, 500 shares, and 600 invites!

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on February 10, 2014 at 8:16 pm

      GREAT! Thanks for sharing your article as well – it’s awesome!

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