09 September 2013 by Web Bureau
Facebook competitions are a great way for brands and businesses to increase their audience and reward loyal fans. Yet up until very recently ‘Like and Share’ competitions were frowned upon as they did not meet Facebook regulations. In August, Facebook changed it's competition rules to permit businesses to use ‘Like and Share’ competitions as a free an alternative to third-party Facebook competitions Apps.
Whether it's 'Like and Share' or a third-party App, in order to stay on the right side of the most popular social network, you need to make sure that all competitions comply with Facebook’s strict terms and conditions. We’ve analysed the update to the terms and conditions to give you a handy guide of the “Dos” and “Don’ts” and how to use Facebook competitions to add value to your social media marketing strategy.
We see them all the time in our newsfeed; ‘Like and Share’ competitions are rife on Facebook. Yet you might be surprised to hear until recently, any page running one of these competitions was in violation of the Facebook Page terms and conditions.
However that all changed last month when realising that there was no point in trying to police the innumerable pages that were running these types of competitions, Facebook announced that they had decided to relax their official guidelines, removing the requirement for a Facebook competition to be administered on a third party app. Some of the previous restrictions do still apply, so click here to see a full overview of the updated guidelines.
So now you know that ‘Like and Share’ competitions are now a-OK in Facebook’s books, you might be wondering why on earth you would still bother shelling out a small fee to set-up and manage a third-party competition app. We weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of each option so you don’t have to!
• Increase in Page Likes – for a business page wanting a numbers boost, the ‘Like and Share’ competition seems like an easy way to get fast results. However, while the easy part is the initial post, the management of your ‘Like and Share’ competition is less so. As most people restrict viewership of their profile to family and friends, a brand page cannot even validate if the entrant has shared their competition post or not.
• Cheap – ‘Like and Share’ competitions are technically free to run in that there are no set-up fees and will only cost you in man-hours. Note, however, that we say “cheap” not “cost-effective” – Facebook competitions should not be seen as a quick fix to attract an audience to your Facebook page, but rather as a complementary aspect of a wider social media marketing strategy.
• Open to scrutiny – Given that ‘Like and Share’ competitions are not merit-based, running one on your Facebook page can lead to disgruntled users questioning the methods you use to select your winner(s). Without the option to add terms and conditions, you may leave yourself vulnerable when unforeseen circumstances mean you have to extend or reduce closing dates or remove the competition entirely.
• Increased management time – With the absence of a method of data capture, one of the page managers will have to first decide which post people have to like in order to enter the competition and then pull the names of all “likers” into a spreadsheet. If your competition draws the attention of hundreds of entrants, noting down each individual name can prove to be extremely time-consuming.
• Data Capture – By using a third-party app to administer your competition, you will have the opportunity to capture important data about your page fans, such as names and email addresses, which can then be used for future marketing activity.
• Easy set-up and management – App plaforms allow you to easily set-up and manage your competition with minimal time required. They also allow you manage and approve entries and customise the competition form fields, terms and conditions and visuals, giving you the opportunity to make your competition stand out. These platforms also charge according to the amount of fans your page has and some even offer a free option to pages with less than 2,000 fans.
• Not mobile-friendly – Most third-party competition apps are not accessible on mobiles and tablets, however most platforms are taking the necessary steps to amend this drawback.
Whatever option you choose to use, your competition will still need to adhere with Facebook’s directive. These are the main rules you need to ensure your competition complies with:
1. Competitions must only be conducted either on a Facebook Page or third party app. You must not encourage people to enter by sharing a post on their personal timeline or offer them extra entries if they share a post on their friends’ timelines
2. You must explicitly state that Facebook does not, in any way, endorse, sponsor or administer the competition. Facebook make it clear that they are in no way responsible for or involved with the promotion, content or legalities of a competition and that it is on the onus of the page manager(s) to ensure that the competition complies with the official guidelines.
3. You can’t notify them as a winner solely by a status update – This means you need to contact them directly (outside of Facebook), ideally with a telephone number or email address that you’ve collected with your competition entry. Once you have established initial communication with the winner or winners, you can then make the announcement on your page.
That’s it in a nutshell. Our advice? Enlist the experts!
We’d love to hear your views, leave your comments below. If you would like any further guidance on Social Media Marketing, feel free to get in touch.