Facebook have guidelines that govern your communication about or administration of any promotion that includes a prize and a winner – regardless of whether this is based upon chance or skill.
Basically you are not allowed to use Facebook’s own tools at all in the running of any competition. If you wish to run a competition using Facebook then you must use an external application.
You can still run a competition external to Facebook and market it on the platform – but you cannot individually contact any user in regards to the competition, or gather entries on Facebook. So you can’t post on your wall or theirs, send them an inbox message or use the Facebook platform in any way to get in touch with an individual – you should collect an email address from them either on your own site or in a 3rd party application for this purpose.
You must make it clear that Facebook is in no way affiliated to you or the competition. They state the following:
You will include the following disclosures:
- Adjacent to any promotion entry field: “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.
YOU CAN insist that someone ‘like’ your page or check-in to a place in order to be eligible to enter – although this cannot guarantee them an entry – they must then use the same channels (external to Facebook or through a 3rd party application) as existing fans.
YOU CANNOT insist upon someone engaging with your Facebook page in any other way – for example you cannot ask them to like your status or image, or upload an image in order to enter your competition, unless this is done through a 3rd party application.
YOU CANNOT market a competition on Facebook that is open to under 18s, nor can you promote a competition with a randomly selected winner from Belgium, Norway, Sweden or India.
YOU CANNOT instruct people to sign up for a Facebook account in order to enter. However YOU CAN ask them to sign up to a 3rd party application which is only available on Facebook (which will then instruct them to first set up a Facebook account).
Examples of 3rd Party Applications upon which you can run competitions
A wide variety of third-party apps offer promotion services that meet Facebook’s rules. Check out any of the following:
• Momentus Media
Many of these services are quite costly, and so if you come across any that are cheaper, or better still, free then please post them into the comments section below and I will add them to the post.