How to Setup a Compliant Facebook Contest

If you have a Facebook page, you definitely want to increase awareness around the page. A popular method of raising user engagement is running a Facebook contest.

We often bump into questionnaires, quizzes and surveys followed by a draw. Almost each page owner organizes a Facebook competition, but many of them do not pay attention to the promotion guidelines. It is easy to organize a contests, but it is not easy to stay compliant. Going against Facebook’s rules means that Facebook may make your contest invalid or even block your account. So it is better to follow the strict guidelines.

What are the most important rules of a Facebook contest?

1. Use an application to run the contest.

Several competitions use a Facebook feature as part of the contest elements. Each of us has seen “Click like to win” messages. This is not Facebook compliant. Clicking the like button cannot be used for entering a competition. Similarly, you cannot ask Facebook users either to share a post or to comment your post in order to enter into a competition. The like button cannot be used for voting, either.

The best way is to use a contest application. Creating a simple Facebook application is not difficult and is completely free. It can be done through a canvas page, but it certainly needs some basic programming knowledge.

Business owners, who have an in-house programmer, can have them develop the application. If you have no experience in programming or no programmer in house, you can rely on the services of third-party applications such as Binkd, Strutta, KontestApp, Halalati, Agorapulse or Wildfire.

Many users access Facebook using their mobile phones, so make sure the app will be mobile friendly.

A possible way to run the contest is to install a fan-gate page. After users have liked your page, they can get in through the fan-gate and see the content.That way users need to like your page first before participating in the contest.

2. Set the rules of the contest.

You need to inform the fans of your page on the rules of the contest. Define conditions of participation, start and end dates, and the designation of winners. The rules must be accessible from the entry page. Suitable means to communicate the rules: link to an online PDF or to an articl
e posted on Facebook. Set reasonable time-frame, contests shouldn't be either too short or too long.

Keep the rules simple. Bear in mind that these kinds of contests should not demand large involvement from fans in terms of rules, as your aim is to maximize the number of participants. Make the contest easy to enter and do not ask for too much information, name and email address is usually enough.

3. Inform your fans in a written disclaimer that Facebook has no associations with your contest.

4. Let your fans know that they submit their data directly to you and not to Facebook.

5. Use other channels as entry doors to the contest.

These may be Twitter, YouTube, a newsletter, your blog or website. It is not allowed to display on your Timeline cover image messages such as ‘Vote now!’.

Keep reminding your fans about the contest using the above platforms and the Timeline of your page..

6. Never notify the winner on the wall of your page.

This is another common mistake, although it would seem to be a good solution. Moreover, none of Facebook’s communication platforms (messages, chats, post on profiles) can be used for this purpose. You have to work out the method of contacting the lucky one, for example via email or phone call. After you notified the winner, you can post the results on Facebook.

Although Facebook has strict rules for contests, they might bring you big rewards, if you properly organize them. This type of promotion is an excellent tool of viral marketing. It allows you to communicate about your products or services, increase involvement of the fans on your page. grow your customer base, generate traffic to your website. or build your email database.



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