How to Run a Facebook Competition (Legally)

The number of Facebook pages running competitions that blatantly disregard Facebook’s strict terms and conditions is ever increasing. We have all seen such competitions as: ‘share this photo for your chance to win’ or ‘like/comment on our page and you will be in the draw…’. But what some administrators don’t realise is that these competitions are against Facebook’s strict guidelines and if caught such pages are at risk of being shut down without warning.

The upshot of Facebook’s ‘page guidelines’ is that Facebook is in no way associated with any promotions or competitions and promoters cannot use Facebook or its’ features to run a promotion. This means that ‘likes’ ‘comments’ ‘posts’ and ‘shares’ are not acceptable modes of entry. Furthermore, promoters cannot randomly select an existing follower to win and competition winners can’t be contacted via Facebook.

A competition can’t be hosted on the pages ‘wall’ and instead a third party app like “Wildfire” must be used which can sometimes be costly for the average business. Within the promotions tab it is acceptable to collect the entrants details because as mentioned above promoters will need another means to contact winners outside of Facebook. A tab for your competition will be hosted in the main navigation of your page. See the below example:


In addition to avoiding the aforementioned ‘illegal acts’ the promotion must include a complete release of Facebook by every participant, an acknowledgement that Facebook is in no way associated with the promotion and a disclosure that the entrant is providing their details to the promoter and not to Facebook.

Given the extensive number of ‘can nots’ listed above, depending on your budget restraints running a Facebook promotion might not be worth the hassle and cost. If this is something you are seriously considering, promoters should definitely read through Facebook’s strict guidelines for themselves. It may also be worth contacting a digital marketing company to request a quote for running the promotion and/or developing the third party app.

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