So you have the killer Facebook page skin, and you’ve worked diligently to build and engage your community. What’s next? Perhaps a promotion or a contest or some sort of give-away right on the page would get even more “likes” and further engagement!
Danger! Will Robinson!!
Facebook has very strict, and I mean “strict” rules about running any kind of promotion or contest within their walled garden. Violate the rules and you risk having your page deactivated by the Facebook Police.
What are the rules? They are outlined in Facebook’s promotions guidelines http://www.facebook.com/promotions_guidelines.php
What follows is a discussion and my own interpretation of the rules. Please don’t use this as gospel – read the rules yourself and if in doubt – get expert help (i.e.: call us).
First – you cannot run any contest or promotion directly on your Facebook page. You can’t give a prize or reward for someone “liking” your page. You can’t put coupons on your page; you can’t use your page as an entry port. You can’t use photos on your Facebook page in a contest. Whether a winner(s) is selected by random drawing (“sweepstakes”) or by skill (“competition” or “promotion”) makes no difference. Neither is allowed.
You can’t require the participant to provide content to Facebook – like posting on your wall, uploading a photo or posting a status update. You can’t require people to activate a Facebook account as a condition of entry.
You can’t even notify winners through your Facebook page.
Basically, the only way that you can promote your contest on your Facebook page is through a third party application that can be clicked through from you Facebook page. You can have a clickable tab that leads to the app.
Secondly, Facebook gets very specific regarding liability. They require you to include the following:
“This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for [disclose any way that you plan to use the user's information].”
In the promotion’s rules:
A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
Whew, and you’re just getting started! You can’t use Facebook’s logo, name, trademark, copyrights or any of their intellectual property.
You can say: “You can enter the promotion through the [application name] application on the Facebook Platform. You can also find the application on the [tab name] tab on the [Page name] Page on Facebook.”
Third, you absolutely cannot run any contest or promotion, even through third-party apps that:
- Is open or marketed to individuals who are under the age of 18;
- Is open to individuals who reside in a country embargoed by the United States;
- If a sweepstakes, is open to individuals residing in Belgium, Norway, Sweden, or India;
- The promotion’s objective is to promote any of the following product categories: gambling, tobacco, firearms, prescription drugs, or gasoline;
- The prize or any part of the prize includes alcohol, tobacco, dairy, firearms, or prescription drugs; or
- The promotion is a sweepstakes that conditions entry upon the purchase of a product, completion of a lengthy task, or other form of consideration.
The penalty? The Facebook Police deactivate your page and send you packing.
How do you implement that great idea to impact your Facebook community? Make sure that you are compliant with all of Facebook’s guidelines (talk to your attorney, too). Then, have your digital marketing team or agency build an app for your Facebook page.