One of the most common frustrations for Social Media Educators and Marketers is when we see Facebook competitions or promotions not being run correctly. Although Facebook has relaxed the rules around promotions there are still several important things to understand.
It can be confusing and this is where using a consultant to set up your promotions can be a benefit. We have created an infographic to help you to understand the basics and we really hope it is helpful to you.
To make it easier, we will examine the rules in stages.
So just what is a Facebook promotion?
There are three basic components which are generally present and these are:
1. There is a request or offer made for users to enter such as to comment, like or name (see the little example with the puppy icon)
2. There is an element of chance (not a guarantee to win such as a random draw)
3. There is something on offer in return for the entry such as a prize or to take part in a giveaway
Further examples could be to name a cocktail, simply to like a particular page or to send in a comment via a message.
Here are the things you can do:
- Promotions may be placed directly on a Facebook page (which is very quick and easy) or a third-party app may be used (we list some of the benefits here).
- Entries may be collected in several ways: you may ask your fans/users to post something on your page, request them to comment on, or like a particular post
- you can ask entrants to submit a message to the page using the message feature (this can be useful for tracking entries where a third-party app has not been used).
- You also must make sure that you do provide terms and conditions in line with Facebook regulations and other state/territory laws. Facebook information can be found here.
Things you should not do:
- Do not ask for your fans or users to “tag” themselves in a post. This is only allowed if there is content which actually depicts them in it (such as you have posted a photograph of people who recently attended one of your events).
- You cannot use your personal profile to administer the promotion and entries must be via the Page itself or a third-party app.
- You must not ask users to “share” the page onto their personal timeline. WHY NOT I hear you say! This is the one rule that many get wrong, and do not understand, but the reason is very simple. All individuals have very different privacy settings, if people start to comment or like via a personal page, then unless all the settings on their page are public, you will not see the responses. It is much fairer to make sure everyone has an equal chance by directing them to enter on your page (see it’s not that silly a rule really is it!).
So Why use a third-party app when you can just post on your page?
Using an external application means that you can actually request data which is collected in a much more secure way (you may lose track of entries on a page if the contest is very popular for example). You are also able to produce a much more professional promotion which also enhances your branding, particularly if you make sure that the promotion uses familiar elements of your brand. Using a third-party app allows you to have a lot more flexibility in the content and type of promotion you offer, and is much easier to display the terms and conditions and ensure they have been read (which protects both your business and your entrants).
So the next question you might have is Why bother running promotions at all?
The answer is very simple. Promotions are a very simple and effective way to help build community, brand and interest in your products. It can create a great “buzz” around your business and it doesn’t have just to be products either. You might want to promote a change of location, a new event, new staff or new products or services – it is only limited by your imagination. Of course you may attract some users who are only interested in trying to win whatever it is you have on offer, but even if they are not hanging around, you will still be attracting new traffic and if you are using your page, then your business will be appearing more regularly in the news feed too!
So there you have it, we have covered the very basics.
Now for some other important bits!
The last area I wanted to cover was the very important issue of ensuring that you do understand that by running a promotion for your business, you may be participating in a “trade promotion”. There may be State and Territory laws which affect whether you need a permit or not, and other conditions you must adhere to. Facebook is global, which means that you must stipulate in your terms and conditions who is an eligible person to enter. You may need to ensure you have covered laws right around the world, and that can get quite complex. One of the ways to avert some of the legalities is to make your promotion a game of skill, rather than chance. There is a slight distinction between a promotion and a competition (in the eyes of the law) and that is that a competition tends to be considered a game of skill, rather than chance. If a promotion contains both chance and skill, it will still be considered a promotion. A game of skill requires one to complete something such as a set of questions, answer a question or provide a response. The difference is that the final entry is judged formally against the others. In our example, although there is a judge for the name, there is no skill in providing a name as there is still an element of chance. In this case it would most likely still be considered a promotion and as such, may or may not need a permit depending on which State/Country the promotion is open to. I hope that does help to clarify it for you. It is vitally important that you research and find out the relevant laws which are applicable to you and your particular promotion.
You should also consider any statements you make and make sure they are not misleading or can be misconstrued as you don’t want to find you have breached any Consumer Law or Trade Practice Act
I hope you have enjoyed this post. The full infographic is posted here. Feel free to share this post and/or the infographic but we would appreciate you acknowledging the original source here at iRespectOnline.
Fiona Lucas is the founder of iRespectOnline. She is passionate about helping small businesses to grow, thrive and build reputation online. Fiona is an ethical marketer providing bespoke online marketing strategies to enable businesses to leverage social media for growth. Underpinning everything she does, as Australia’s first online reputation evangelist she is passionate about driving social change towards a more respectful online environment.
She was named in Mamamia’s Top 50 women to watch online 2013, Finalist Geelong Small Business Awards 2017 – Social Media Influencer and is a virtual community manager for Social Media Marketing World. Fiona presents on digital futures, cybersafety and digital marketing.
Fiona is the author of Futureproof Your Kids – a parents guide to the social media playground.