There is so much confusion about what is and is not allowed as a contest or giveaway on a Facebook business Page. A lot of the confusion comes from the fact that many businesses – even large corporations – skirt Facebook’s own Page Promotion Terms and do not follow all of the rules. They are then setting a poor example for others to follow, and many small businesses assume if so-and-so can do it, they can, too.
In my world, it is better to know the regulations and comply with them, than to take any chances of having your contest or even your business Page taken down or negatively sanctioned. Just because you see someone else doing it, doesn’t mean it is OK. You also need to be complying with your local and state regulations which may restrict you further.
Following are the rules specific to running a contest, a.k.a promotion, on Facebook. Only business Pages are allowed to run contests–not groups or profiles. This applies to “Facebook Parties” as well:
Facebook Pages TermsIII. Page Features1. 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, including:a. The official rules;b. Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); andc. Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals)2. Promotions on Facebook must include the following:a. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.b. Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.3. Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries”, and “tag your friends in this post to enter” are not permitted).4. We will not assist you in the administration of your promotion, and you agree that if you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk.
Here are some types of Facebook Page contests ideas that are 100% ok and legal to run on your Page, provided that you include all of the above (very important not to cut corners!):
- Post a picture in the comments! Choose a random commenter to win.
- Like this post for a chance to win!
- Answer this question in the comments for a chance to win!
- Complete this sentence for a chance to win!
- Answer this trivia question for a chance to win!
- Comment with a selfie holding our product!
- Comment with a picture of _____!
- Like this post for one entry, and comment for another entry!
- Comment up to 5 times to win! Each comment is one entry.
- Scavenger hunt! Find ____ on our website and comment with the answer to this question:___
- Rate the ______ on a scale of 1-10 to be entered to win!
- Do you prefer THIS or THAT? Comment with your choice!
- Which product should we put on sale next? Comment once with your favorite to enter.
- Rate our new product!
- Tell us about your _____.
- What is a product you wish we had? Comment to be entered to win!
- Like this post and comment with why you should win!
- Share a tip for our product in the comments to be entered to win!
- Caption this! Comment with your caption idea to be entered to win!
- What’s your favorite quote/tip/advice about ____?
- Ask a multiple choice question – correct answers are entered to win.
- Guess how many ____.
- What did you do/watch/eat last night? Comment for an entry to win!
- What’s your favorite song/vacation spot/beverage/etc.? Comment to be entered to win!
- Share a recipe! Each recipe counts as one entry to win
- How would you use this product? Or What’s a NEW way to use this product?
- Name our new product/service.
Example of rules/disclaimers: (Customize to your situation and your contest!)
Rules/Disclaimer: This promotion is open to those 18 and older in the United States. Void where prohibited. By “Liking” (or commenting) you enter and agree that this promotion is in no way associated with, administered by, or endorsed by Facebook, and acknowledge a complete release of Facebook by your participation. Random winner will be chosen Friday at 3pm Pacific and announced on this post.
Free tools to help you choose winners:
- Woobox Pick a Winner Free (can pick multiple winners or export list)
- FanPage Karma Good Luck Fairy (paste in the post URL and it picks)
- Contest Capture (Downloads likes/comments into a CSV from which you pick)
What contest ideas do YOU have that comply with Facebook’s Page Promotions Terms? Leave your ideas in the comments!