If you’ve been on Facebook or Instagram recently you will have likely seen some sort of competition, you may have even entered it. This form of content is utilised by everyone from small, local businesses to big brands with an aim to increase reach, exposure and page likes/followers.

Why Run A Facebook Competition?

Social Media competitions are a great way to engage with your followers and ‘give back’. If you’re in a position to offer one of your products or services as a prize, then you can also potentially find yourself with a new customer or perhaps some user-generated content from the winner.

However, are businesses breaking the rules? It’s so easy to just get carried away and publish a generous promotion but it’s important to realise that both platforms do have policies in place that you need to know and understand beforehand.

The Rules: Facebook

Facebook state that ‘If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion, you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion’.

This includes the official rules, offer terms and eligibility requirements such as age and residency restrictions. 

You must include the following in any promotions:

  • A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
  • Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Facebook.

You can run promotions on Facebook Pages and within Groups, Events and Apps. Personal timelines and friends cannot be used to administer promotions.

This means you must not:

  • Ask people to ‘Share’ on their own, or friends, timeline for additional entries.
  • Tag friends in the competition to enter.

You can find the full detail of this information here: click 🙂 

The Rules: Instagram

You probably know by now that Instagram is owned by Facebook which means their competition rules will be very similar. Of course, the ‘share’ functionality is different on Instagram but encouraging users to ‘tag’ people is still a big no.

As above, you must include the official rules, offer terms and eligibility requirements such as age and residency restrictions in your Instagram competitions.

You must also include the following in any promotions:

  • A complete release of Instagram by each entrant or participant.
  • Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Instagram.

You must not:

  • Inaccurately tag content.
  • Encourage users to inaccurately tag content such as tagging themselves in photos that they aren’t in. 

You can find the full detail of this information here: click 🙂 

Different Competition Types

It is also important to understand there are different types of competitions to take into consideration. This should be made clear within all posts so users know how to enter and how the winner will be selected.

Sweepstakes

A sweepstake is a style of campaign where entrants have the opportunity to win a prize on chance. This means the winner is selected completely at random and there is no payment or consideration involved. 

Contest 

This is a competition for which an element of skill or effort is required to enter. For example, you could ask your audience to upload a photo or suggest a caption as way of entry. The winner will then be chosen by having the highest number of votes or other judging criteria that is made clear in the original post.  

What’s Next?

Before going live with your next Facebook /Instagram competition, familiarise yourself with the above rules and best practices and take some time to think about how best to promote it in a fun, social way whilst being complaint. It’s also important to remember that competition rules or guidelines may differ platform to platform so you can’t just copy and paste across all of them.

Furthermore, consider the desired outcome of your competition first as this may well influence your prize. If you’re looking to engage with customers who most likely don’t need your products or services (due to them being existing customers) then consider an alternative prize.

However, if you’re looking to target a conquest audience and raise awareness of your brand then your products or services are of course the best way to do this. Be sure to use a suitable image with your competition post as this is what your audience will most likely see first. It needs to stand out and be relevant to the competition or prize.

Finally, if you’re asking your winner, or winners, to provide you with their personal contact details to receive their prize, encourage them to do to over private message to keep their information safe. Also, don’t forget to post that you’ve selected the winner for all your entrants to see!

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