How To Run A Promotion On Facebook

Most brands understand the importance and benefits of social promotions. What they don’t always consider are the constraints that go along with running Facebook promotions.  Along with Federal and State laws, Brands must also follow Facebook’s Promotional Guidelines when running a contest on their platform.  Here are some of Facebook’s rules, this is not a complete list only those rules we find most interesting and often broken:

You may not publicize or administer a promotion on Facebook if:

  1. The promotion is open or marketed to individuals who are under the age of 18;
  2. The promotion is open to individuals who reside in a country embargoed by the United States;
  3. The promotion, if a sweepstakes, is open to individuals residing in Belgium, Norway, Sweden, or India;
  4. The promotion is a sweepstakes that conditions entry upon the purchase of a product, completion of a lengthy task, or other form of consideration.

As you can see from the above list there are certain things your promotional rules must include in order to abide by Facebook rules.  This means in order to run any type of promotion, sweepstakes or not, clear rules must be composed and posted.

Administering a Promotion through the Facebook Platform:

  • You may not administer any promotion through Facebook, except that you may administer a promotion through the Facebook Platform with our prior written approval.
  • Users can only enter the promotion in the following locations on Facebook: On the canvas Page of an application on the Facebook Platform, On an application box in a tab on a Facebook Page.
  • Must include the following language in a clear and conspicuous manner adjacent to any promotion entry field: “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to [recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook.
  • You will not mention “Facebook” in the promotion’s rules except in the following ways: (i) “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.”; (ii) to fulfill your obligations under Section 3.7.

As you can see from the above rules it isn’t as easy as one would think to administer a promotion through Facebook. In order to run any type of promotion on Facebook one needs prior written approval. Upon receiving approval there are still important steps that need to be taken. This means if you want to run your promotion on Facebook you will need to plan ahead and be sure to secure written approval.

Examples to help you understand how to use Facebook in your promotions

  • You cannot: Condition entry in the promotion upon a user providing content on Facebook, such as making a post on a profile or Page, status comment or photo upload.
  • You can: Use a third party application to condition entry to the promotion upon a user providing content. For example, you may administer a photo contest whereby a user uploads a photo through a third-party application to enter the contest.
  • You cannot: Administer a promotion that users automatically enter by becoming a fan of your Page.
  • You can: Only allow fans of your Page to access the tab that contains the third-party application for the promotion.
  • You cannot: Notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles or Pages.
  • You can: Collect an address or email through the third-party application for the promotion in order to contact the winner by email or standard mail.
  • You cannot: Instruct people (in the rules or elsewhere) to sign up for a Facebook account before they enter the promotion.
  • You can: Instruct users to visit the third-party application to enter the promotion (as described in Section 3.4(i)). Since users must have a Facebook account in order to access an application on the Facebook Platform, if you give this instruction, they will be prompted to sign up for a Facebook account if they do not already have one.

After reading all of these rules we bet you are a little confused. So, now what? Here are some key things you should take away from this post:

1- Hire a company who understands the rules of promotions when it comes to each social platform you want to use, as well as, all state and federal laws.

2- Be aware you can lose the right to have a Facebook Page and understand the ramifications that come along with that loss.

3- Don’t think you can’t use Facebook at all for your promotions, you can, but do it right.

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