Thinking of launching your own Facebook campaign or promotional contest? Great! Contests can be a smart way to drive traffic to your Facebook page and, in turn, to your site. It’s also a great way (if done correctly) to build a fan base for your brand.
While you’re working out the logistics of how everything goes down, make sure you keep in mind there is a set of specific promotion Facebook guidelines that you’ll need to abide by if you plan on keeping your contest – and your page – out of trouble. They recently updated this set of “rules” for Facebook page administrators.
What you need to know
Facebook is strict on some of their contest policies and lax in others, but in the end you’ll find yourself much better off having known what the rules were from step one. Here are some of the biggest topics to know inside and out:
1. Promotions on Facebook must be hosted on Pages via an app on Facebook, either on a Canvas Page or an app on a Page Tab.
2. All Facebook promotions/contests must include some key elements:
a. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
b. Acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way associated with Facebook.
c. Disclosure that the participant is providing information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook.
3. You aren’t allowed to use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or means of entry. For example, you can’t ask participants to “like” your Page or check in to a Place to be automatically registered or entered into a promotion or contest.
4. You can’t require that a participant comment on your wall, upload a photo or like certain elements of your page (other than the page itself) in order to be registered. You are, however, permitted to require participants to “like” a Page, check in to a Place, or connect to your app.
(Note: This is probably the least-strict rule that Facebook asks of its Page administrators. We see hundreds of contests every day that ask for participants to simply leave a comment in order to have a chance at winnin something.)
5. No using Facebook features, such as the Like button, as a voting method for a promotion.
6. Winners cannot be notified through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles or Pages.
(Another thing we see everyday, so how strict it really is can be questioned).
7. No using Facebook’s name, trademarks, trade names, copyrights, or any other intellectual property in connection with a promotion or mention Facebook in the rules or materials relating to the promotion, except as needed to fulfill your obligations under #2.
Read all of the promotion details and guidelines in full at Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines Page for a more technical and legal understanding.