Promotions are an increasingly popular way for marketers to reach Facebook’s users, however it is important to remember that promotions are legally regulated through the United States and the rest of the world. To avoid fake giveaways and illegal contests, Facebook takes a number of precautions to protect users and itself from improper conduct.
Facebook has developed an official Promotions Guidelines document that all users, developers and advertisers must agree to. These guidelines govern the publicizing and administering of any sweepstakes, contest, competition or other promotion on Facebook and may change at any time without notification. Facebook also makes clear that it can disable the Page and/or account of anyone who violates its terms of service and guidelines.
It is strongly encouraged that all users read Facebook's official Promotions Guidelines before running any kind of promotion or contest on your Page. Below are some key takeaways from the guidelines:
- You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion's registration or entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant.
- You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion.
- Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or an app on a Page Tab.
- Promotions must acknowledge that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
Since users cannot utilize any Facebook functionalities as part of a promotion, it is required for users to use a third-party promotion app within Facebook to run their contests or promotions. Below is a list of possible promotion apps you can use on your Facebook Page:
In early 2012, our office coordinated the Fan of the Year contest for the University. We used the ShortStack app to create and run this promotion over a period of three weeks. This promotion involved user-submitted photos, and then a weeks-long voting process that lasted three rounds of voting. Below is a screenshot of the photo voting portion of the ShortStack app.