If you’re familiar with social media, you know the algorithms are ever changing. Facebook in particular makes changes quite frequently!
Luckily, their rules and requirements for running a giveaway or other promotion using their platform have stayed fairly consistent over the years. In light of that, we’ve thrown together a few rules every marketer should know when planning their next Facebook giveaway.
Since Facebook isn’t adverse to abrupt changes in policy, we recommend running your final structure by a sweepstakes administrator before you hit the “go” button.
1. Know the Types of Promotions Facebook Allows
Before you begin planning your promotion, you’ll need to know the types of promotions Facebook typically allows on their platform. The most common types of promotions users run on Facebook are giveaways or other games of chance.
For a giveaway or game of chance, entries are provided to entrants for completing a task (i.e. filling out an entry form or commenting on a particular post) and winners are selected via random drawing or another “chance” method. There is no purchase, payment or other consideration (such as putting forth too much effort or skill) allowed in a game of chance.
Giveaways may be administered on Pages, Groups, Events or within apps on Facebook.
2. Know What Facebook Doesn’t Allow
While you can administer your giveaway on Pages, Groups, Events or within custom apps on Facebook, you may not use a personal timeline or friend connections to administer your giveaway.
This means, you cannot ask entrants to share something on your timeline or a friend’s timeline to earn entries or bonus entries. You also can’t ask them to tag their friends to enter.
Most brands who wish to afford bonus entries for social sharing, opt for a micro site that builds this functionality into the programming. With a micro site, brands can collect the entrants contact information (convenient for shipping prizes at a later date) and email addresses (perfect for future marketing efforts).
3. Official Rules are a Must
If you’re using Facebook to communicate or administer your giveaway to your audience, you need to make sure you’re doing it right. That means, you are solely responsible for the origination of the official rules (including the legality of the terms set forth therein).
Under general promotion law, you need to disclose the material terms of the promotion, including dates, eligibility (i.e. age, residency and other requirements or limitations of entry), how to enter, how prizes will be awarded, prize descriptions and sponsorship.
You also want to make sure your promotion complies with the applicable rules and regulations specific to your structure. So, for example, if you are an alcoholic beverage company, you’ll need to make sure your promotion is first vetted with the states that require approvals. If your Facebook giveaway requires bonding and registration in New York, Florida or Rhode Island, you’ll need to make sure you comply.
These are just a few examples of external rules you must adhere to when running a giveaway on Facebook. You’ll want to ensure you enlist a professional to make sure you’ve structured and worded things correctly in the official rules.
4. They Won’t administer it for You
Facebook makes it very clear that they will not administer your promotion for you, meaning while they will offer you their platform for use, they will not help you plan it out. They don’t make it easy to ask questions and get answers, so, if you need help with developing the structure, ensuring legal compliance, bonding, registration, prize fulfillment or anything else, you’ll need to hire a professional.
5. Facebook Requires a Release
Unless you are working directly with Facebook as a co-sponsor of your promotion, you’ll need to make sure it is very clear that they are not sponsoring or endorsing it. You’re merely offering it to your users via their platform, but they have no relationship with you otherwise.
Facebook requires a complete release by each entrant and your specific acknowledgement that they are not sponsoring, endorsing, administering or associated with the promotion in any way.
We can provide you the appropriate language, font size and requirements for placement within advertising on and off Facebook and in other creative formats.
Giveaways on Facebook come with a few challenges, but they are most certainly not unattainable! If you know the rules while you’re in the planning stages, you’ll save lots of headaches when you’re ready to start collecting entries.
Feel free to contact us to talk through your ideas! We’re happy to provide solutions that work best for your brand and all consultations are free.