Will That Contest Cause You to Lose Your Facebook Page?

Do you run contests and giveaways on your Facebook Page? Many direct sellers do. And you may be surprised to know that the majority of them are in direct violation of Facebook’s promotions guidelines. In fact, Facebook could shut your Page down due to your contest.

Facebook’s Promotions guidelines basically state that you can’t use any Facebook feature to promote your contest. It MUST be administered through a 3rd party application. This means your contest/giveaway is in violation if you:

  • Require them to “Like” your Page to enter
  • Require them to comment to enter
  • Have them participate in any Facebook function to enter, including polls, clicking the Like button, questions, etc.

You can read all the Facebook Promotional Guidelines here: http://www.facebook.com/promotions_guidelines.php

So does this mean you can’t run Facebook promotions? No. But it does mean you have to run them in a specific way that’s going to cost you money.

The easiest (and as far as I know, cheapest) way to run a promotion on Facebook is through Wildfire App. This very simple service allows you to set up a campaign that is in compliance with Facebook’s rules. In fact, many of your companies use this same service to run corporate-level campaigns. It is simple and inexpensive. The reason Wildfire complies is because the contest is administered through an application (Wildfire) and not Facebook functionality.

UPDATE 3/25/13: These days my favorite no-cost way to admin a contest is through a blog and Rafflecopter. You can talk about your contest on Facebook, but the actual administration of that contest happens on your blog. Thus, you stay within Facebook’s rules.

If you’ve been running contests or giveaways through Facebook without using a 3rd party app, I advise you to stop immediately. This behavior could cause you to lose everything you’ve worked for on your Facebook Page.

If the contest is important to you, fork over the bucks and use Wildfire. And in the meantime, read these articles to find more ways to drive traffic to, and engage, your Facebook Page community, in ways that don’t involve contests:

Your thoughts?

12 Responses to Will That Contest Cause You to Lose Your Facebook Page?
  1. Brenda Norberg
    March 25, 2013 | 12:13 pm

    I am curious if you give away for Sharing, not liking if that is OK.. I have recently offered to give away a free pair of jeans on March 31st to one person that has shared my page, I click on the photo I asked them to share & collect thier names for the entry.. I don’t want to be breaking any rules, I was under the impression as long as I wasn’t doing a LIKE contest it was within the Peramiters..

    • Jennifer Fong
      March 25, 2013 | 12:41 pm

      Brenda, sharing as an entry mechanism is in violation. You must administer your content, including the entry mechanism, via a 3rd party app. Facebook’s rules are quite clear on this.

  2. Melissa Hancock
    March 25, 2013 | 12:11 pm

    Is this the same for CLOSED Facebook groups as well?

    • Jennifer Fong
      March 25, 2013 | 12:41 pm

      You shouldn’t be using any Facebook features as an entry mechanism.

  3. Danielle McGaw
    November 21, 2012 | 1:05 am

    Rafflecopter is free and is Facebook compliant. You can put the widget on your blog or on your Facebook page or both. Actually, multiple people can run the same contest. It’s pretty handy.
    Danielle McGaw recently posted..YOU Can Make Money Online and Work From Home

  4. Donna Lee Matchett
    November 20, 2012 | 8:42 am

    I am just getting started…and this was very helpful thanks

  5. Patricia
    February 7, 2012 | 5:14 pm

    is there another 3rd party promotion app that is free?

  6. Patricia
    February 7, 2012 | 4:45 pm

    Is there another app we can use that is free instead of wildfire?

  7. Melody
    February 3, 2012 | 12:27 am

    Thanks for posting this Jennifer, this isn’t new, but a lot of people were not aware that contests and such were not allowed on facebook unless you used a third party app.

  8. AVONLadyNJ
    May 13, 2011 | 11:05 am

    Thanks for the information. Seems like many are doing it wrong. I agree with Susie, it is hard to keep up with this digital world.

  9. Donna L. Johnson
    May 13, 2011 | 10:32 am

    Thanks for sharing this, Jennifer. I ran a contest just yesterday and well…based on what you said, I was in violation. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but I’d like to see how Facebook goes about policing these new guidelines. Just about every major brand on FB runs some kind of a contest/prmotion regularly. Will be interesting to see if they go after the “big guys” or us little people.
    Donna L. Johnson recently posted..Relationship Status with My Dentist – Its Complicated

  10. Susie
    May 13, 2011 | 10:09 am

    Thanks so much for this post! Without it I wouldn’t of known Facebook ‘updated’ these guidelines on May 11. Boy is it hard to keep up with facebook changes!

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