Facebook Promotions and How to Avoid Penalties

Posted on: 12th February 2013
[caption id="attachment_1417" align="alignright" width="225"]Avoid Penalties for Facebook Competitions How to avoid facebook penalties for your competitions and giveaways[/caption]

While a Facebook competition can rapidly boost and encourage fans to interact with you and build brand awareness, understanding the regulations surrounding Facebook promotions really requires you to put your face in a book. Luckily, we’ve discovered some simple steps for how to run an effective Facebook promotion without getting your page taken down.

If you use Facebook to communicate about or administer a promotion (such as a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including the official rules, offer terms and eligibility requirements (e.g., age and residency restrictions), and compliance with regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered in connection with the promotion (e.g., registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals).

According to Facebook promotions’ guidelines:

  1. Competitions must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com. You cannot use the Facebook platform itself, or the page to run the contest. There are a variety of third party apps available, such as Wildfire.
  2. Official competition rules and terms and conditions should be visible directly on the app page.
  3. In addition, you must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your app. For example, you must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall. You can ask participants to ‘like’ the page as part of the entry process, but they will need to officially enter the competition using the app that you have set up on the page. For example, they can ‘like’ the page, but they should then enter their details through the entry form to enter the competition.
  4. Furthermore, you must not use Facebook features as a promotion’s entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant.
  5. You must not use Facebook features, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion. For example, a winner cannot be picked due to the amount of likes they have received for an entry.
  6.  You are not allowed to notify the winner through Facebook. When you set up your competition entry form, collect their email or phone number so you can contact the winner.
  7. You must make sure that competition entrants realise that Facebook is not liable and does not sponsor, endorse or administer the competition.
  8. It is also important that you comply with the relevant laws regarding games of skill and chance.

Promoting your competition on Facebook without breaking any rules:

An attractive option is to promote the competition with Facebook ads. This allows you to target the ad down to a specific target market based on their age, interests and location. Another choice is hosting the competition on an external website which can be integrated with Facebook and other social platforms for more viral impact among social media users and non-users alike.

The full terms and conditions of Facebook Promotions can be found on their website.

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