Running Facebook Competitions


Have you ever thought about running a Facebook competition as part of your off page SEO work?

Facebook have stringent guidelines for running competitions and, if they are not followed, you run the risk of having your business page, or your client’s businesses page shut down.

Here is a quick rundown of the guidelines to follow when running your own Facebook competition.

    • Facebook classes a competition as a “promotion” along with contests or sweepstakes. Promotions cannot be run directly from your business page, however you can use the page to promote the competition via status updates and announcements. The actual competition itself should be “hosted” on your website, blog or via a Facebook competition application, such as OfferPop, WildFire or Shortstack.


    • Promotions must include a complete release of Facebook, i.e. they in no way endorse, sponsor, or have anything to do with the running of the promotion.


    • Promotions must also include disclosure that followers are submitting entries and providing personal information to your business (or your client’s business) and not to Facebook itself.


    • You cannot use any Facebook functionality as a mechanism of entry to any competition, i.e. “like” this page to enter our competition, or “share” this post to enter. Have followers enter the competition via a competition app or on your blog. It is then up to the individual to like or share the competition on their own page if they want to.


    • Facebook must not be used to inform an individual that they have won the competition; however, you can announce who the winner is once you have notified them via email, post or telephone.


  • You can use Facebook functionality to condition a promotion, as long as your don’t tell people that they have to like your page or share any posts. For example, you can say that the competition is only open to people who have liked your page, provided that you don’t say “like our page and enter our competition”. It should be up to the individual to like your page; in the same way that Google penalises unnatural links, Facebook will penalise you for gaining unnatural “likes”.

So there you have it! Take a look at the applications available for Facebook promotions; many of them are paid but they’re often very reasonably priced.

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