Facebook Contests? Be Careful!

Are you running Facebook contests on your company's page? If so, you may be in direct violation of Facebook's official guidelines for  running contests. The wording in there is pretty direct, but here's a quick synopsis:

1. You need an App

There are plenty of apps out there, including OfferPop, Shortstack and others. Our favorite so far is OfferPop and we've run some effective campaigns using this software. These applications offer the ability to capture e-mail addresses, run voting contests, video contests, caption contests and many others. The pricing for these apps varies widely, so be sure to find a pricing structure that meets your needs.

2. Take Facebook off the Hook

You must have language on your page that completely releases Facebook from any liability associated with the contest. You must also acknowledge that the promotion is in no way "sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook." Additionally, if you are collecting information (such as e-mail addresses), you must also acknowledge that the information is being provided to your company, not to Facebook.

4. Liking and Sharing Don't Win

You cannot use "liking" or sharing as a voting mechanism or way of entry into the promotion. So, a lot of these like and share to win campaigns, unless run through an appropriate app, are most likely in violation of Facebook's rules and regulations and therefore at risk of having their pages shut down.

5. You Can't Announce Winners on your Page

To notify a winner of the promotion, you cannot post a message to their wall, tag them in a post or send them a direct Facebook message. They must be contacted outside of Facebook.

Ultimately, taking the risk is up to you, but our advice is to stay within the guidelines and not take the risk of having your page shut down and lose all of the followers you have worked hard to gain.

If you'd like us to help create your Facebook contest, let us know!

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