Facebook Competitions

Facebook Competitions:

Your Prize May Be Your Facebook Page Closed Down!

You can't run Facebook Competition where people like to enterFacebook marketing is all the rage and the promise of offers, promotions and competitions are a great way to get people to “Like” your page and be one of your followers, but many local Redcliffe small businesses are not aware that they are running competitions that are against Facebook’s Terms and Conditions…. with the danger that it could result in their page being closed down!

The Facebook “promotions guidelines” are made clear on their web site and include the following:

  • Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or an app on a Page Tab. This means that you cannot run a competition on your Wall – it must have a separate tab.
  • There must be an acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
  • You must not use the act of “Liking” a page to automatically enter the “Liker” into a competition, contest or other promotional offer. There must be a separate action from the user to enter.
  • You must not condition registration for any of your promotions upon the user liking a Wall post, commenting on a post or uploading a photo on a Wall.
  • The “Like” button cannot be used as a voting mechanism for a promotion, nor can a “first to comment” competition be run as this would be using a native feature of Facebook specifically for running a promotion: not permitted.
  • You must not notify the winner(s) through Facebook messages, chat or posts on pages. This is a shame because allowing this on your page would increase the level of interaction and enable you to promote your brand better as it shows up to all of your fan’s friends, increasing your reach.

How many small businesses running competitions, sweepstakes or promotions on their Facebook pages are abiding by all these rules? How many larger companies and corporations know about them? Did you know they existed? The first that some people might know about them is when their page is summarily closed down….which poses the question of why they aren’t more publicised? When you sign up for a Facebook business page why aren’t they made clear and in bold, rather than just a side issue listed under Terms and Conditions which nobody ever reads?

Well, the fact is they do exist. So….what’s the best way of circumnavigating these Facebook rules? Well one way is use an app like Wildfire to host your competition, which will create a separate competition tab that will sit on your business page’s navigation bar on the left hand side under the logo ….for a fee!

Another way is to promote your competition on Facebook but not host it there….you can direct them through to your web site, where they can enter and you can interact with them there.

The only downside to this is that it’s not helping your Facebook Edge Rank which is like Search Engine Optimisation for your Facebook page, determining how many of your wall posts are displayed in your fans’ news streams. This is likely to become an important measuring tool in the future.

That’s the downside. The upside is that you don’t give Facebook a reason to close your page down!

Are you looking to run a competition on your Facebook page? Drop a note in the comments about what you want to do and I’ll let you know if falls within Facebook’s terms.