Facebook Contests

Facebook ContestsIf you have a Facebook page for your business? Then you’ve probably run or are thinking about running a Facebook contest. This is a really good idea as 57% of consumers “like” brand Facebook pages for promotions.

I’ve seen countless “contests” on Facebook pages that had you like the page, upload a photo to the wall or comment. These brands are facing a huge risk.

Is it as simple saying “like” us and win? No.

Facebook has very specific rules for managing and promoting contests on your page.

What is a Facebook Contest or Sweepstakes?

According to Facebook, a contest or sweepstakes is a promotion where a prize of monetary value is offered to a winner.  If you want to give a prize to a winner on Facebook, you need to read further and adhere to the Facebook Promotion Guidelines.

The Don’ts

  • Don’t use Facebook features, such as the Like Button, as a voting mechanism.
  • Don’t imply the contest is a partnership with Facebook.
  • Don’t notify winners through Facebook message or status updates. E-mail them instead.
  • Don’t use Facebook features, such as commenting, as a contest registration or entry mechanism.

The Dos

  • Use a third-party application on Facebook to manage your contest.
  • Release Facebook of liability.
  • Disclose that contestant information is provided to you and not Facebook.

How Do I Run a Contest on Facebook

Don’t let the restrictions scare you off.  Contesting on Facebook is a great way to engage fans and encourage page growth.

The simplest and most effective way to run a contest on Facebook is to use a Facebook application platform that has a contest feature.  There are number of vendor that provide these services.  For the past year, I’ve been using a product called ShortStack. It is drop-dead simple and allows you to create Facebook contests very easily.  It allows you to to even to limit the display of the contest entry form to fans only.

In an upcoming post, I will provide a tutorial on using ShortStack, which can be used for much more than just contests.

Can I Just Ignore Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines?

While Facebook obviously doesn’t have the resources to monitor every contest, is it worth the risk, especially if you’ve invested a large amount of time in your page? According to Facebook, it’s not work the risk:

In addition to our other remedies, we may remove any materials relating to the promotion or disable your page, application or account if we determine in our sole discretion that you violate any of our policies.

Have you ever successfully run a Facebook contest? I’d love to hear your story below.