How To (Legally) Run Contests on Facebook

Facebook Promotion Guidelines

Holding a competition or giveaway on Facebook can be awfully confusing. Both large brands and small companies can be seen breaching Facebook’s rules and policies when it comes to contests. There seems to be a ton of confusion on what you can and can’t do when it comes to Facebook contests, but did you know if you don’t play by the rules, Facebook can delete your fan page?? It’s true. Facebook reserves the right to reject or remove your page at any time, without warning.

An astounding number of fan pages put their page at risk every day. If you’re running a contest through your Facebook fan page you need to take a good hard look at Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines. If you give away a prize of any monetary value based on skill or chance, you need to follow the rules.

Key Points:

  1. You cannot run a Facebook contest or giveaway directly on your Facebook fan page’s Wall/Timeline. You must use a third party app or create your own iframe tab to host your contest or promotion.
  2. You cannot use Facebook functions as a way to enter your contest (i.e., Liking a status update, commenting on or sharing a post, or uploading a photo directly to Facebook). However, you can make liking your page a part of the entry process as long as that is not the only condition to enter the giveaway. Tip: an excellent way to do this is to use fan-gating.Facebook Contest Guidelines
  3. You cannot use any action on Facebook as a voting mechanism (i.e., liking a photo).
  4. You must include a disclaimer including text similar to: “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook.”
  5. You cannot notify winners directly through Facebook, such as private messaging or on the Wall/Timeline of your page.

Note: This is just a guideline. We recommend always reading the full guidelines and make sure you understand them fully before launching a contest.

Charitable Campaigns:

There seems to be a little gray area for those of you trying to support a charitable campaign. “Like for Donation” campaigns don’t appear to be against Facebook Terms & Conditions. Make sure you run the campaign as a fundraiser, rather than a promotion (giving anything away, including a cash prize), and always be transparent on what the donation is for!

If you ever have questions about your page’s Facebook contest or promotion, feel free to contact us.