Facebook presents an amazing opportunity for businesses to gain exposure. Having a Facebook page gives customers a chance to interact with the company by leaving comments and asking questions. Additionally using Facebook for competitions is a great way to get people interacting with the company and each other and can help make new people aware of your company and what you do.
As with everything on Facebook there are rules to follow when starting a competition. The gist of these rules is that Facebook wish to distance themselves away from any competitions you place on Facebook, so unfortunately there are a few hoops to jump through:
- Promotions on Facebook cannot be on your page wall, they must be administered through a Facebook application. This is simple enough (assuming you have built a Facebook application, more on this in a future post), you can post about the competitions on the page wall to make people aware but to enter and register for the competition they must do so through your application and not utilize any native Facebook feature.
- Any promotion on Facebook must include the following:
- A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
- Acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook.
- Disclosure that the participant is providing information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook.
- Basically Facebook want to distance them from your competition entirely and do not wish to be contacted regarding it. Make sure you have stated this in your own Terms & Conditions. Perhaps have a tick box that the user has to tick to show they have read and understood the T’s & C’s, or a sentence stating that by entering the competition you have read, understood and agreed to the T’s & C’s.
- You must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any native Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your application. 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 must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant.
- Covering points 3 and 4, registration and entry of the competition must not be through any Facebook feature. However you can have them ‘Like’ your page to access the app as long as the method of entering the competition is not the ‘Like’ itself. This is allowed because the act of liking the page does not automatically enter or register the user for the competition; the user has to answer a question etc in the application itself to enter. Simply put having the user ‘Like’ the page to enter the competition is not allowed.
- You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion. Picking the winners of your competition must not involve the use of any Facebook features, such as liking for example. So a winner cannot be picked due to the amount of likes they have received for an entry.
- You must not notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles (timelines) or Pages. Simply put you can contact the winners of your competition however you wish as long as it is not through any Facebook features. So getting email addresses or phone numbers through your competition application is a must. Announcing the winners should only be done once the winners have been notified and have gotten back to you.
Finally Facebook reserve to right to reject or remove pages for any reason. So basically put, it’s follow the rules or lose your page. Having said that Facebook do not seem to be actively tracking down pages which break these rules. So you need to ask yourself is it worth the risk of losing your page?