Like And Share!
August 12, 2019
How many times have we been on Facebook and seen a company or brand’s Facebook page running a contest? All you have to do is “like and share” their post to be entered into a drawing for a free pizza, a gift card, or a piece of clothing! Or, ‘tag a friend’ in the post to enter. What you may not know is that this type of contest (or as Facebook refers to them as- promotions) goes against the policies set forth by Facebook.
You may be asking yourself “policies”? “Aren’t you free to do what you want with your business on Facebook?” Well, yes – and no.
Like a lot of other business dealings, there are simple rules set up by Facebook for pages, groups, and events to follow when using Facebook. For example, your page, group, or event cannot be misleading, fraudulent, or deceptive. Don’t make false promises of money if people join, don’t take part in scams, and don’t impersonate other brands, entities or public figures. Be honest.
Be real. Okay, got it. So why can’t I ask my followers to like and share?
In short – it goes against Facebook’s policies because they don’t want you spamming other people (IE your friends) with posts that they may not care about or may not even want to see. Plus, who wants a timeline full of ads or promotions from pages you don’t even follow? It goes hand-in-hand with Facebook’s goal to only show you things that it thinks you care about. But this isn’t anything new, as it’s been part of Facebook’s policies for quite some time.
Here’s a screenshot from Facebook’s policies regarding pages, groups, and events:
(Facebook’s Pages, Groups, and Events policy as of 08/12/19)
So what CAN I do?
According to Facebook’s policies, there’s nothing wrong with asking your followers to like a post to enter the contest (they already like and/or follow your page anyway). There also isn’t anything stated about asking your followers to comment a favorite song, activity, etc. As long as you don’t ask people to bother their friends by tagging them or sharing in your feed to enter the contest, then Facebook should be happy.
Here are a few other required guidelines that Facebook asks you to follow when holding a promotion on their social network-
- Make sure the official rules for the contest are posted or easily accessible
- Make clear any terms or eligibility requirements (do I have to buy something or spend money to be eligible for this contest?)
- Follow any applicable rules and regulations regarding the prizes offered (do you need approval, a permit, etc to give away what you’re giving away?)
- Make it clear that each person entering the contest understands and agrees that they are releasing Facebook from any liability that arises
- Also make it clear that Facebook is in no way sponsoring, endorsing, or associated with this promotion
Doesn’t Facebook own Instagram? Does this mean the rules are the same on Instagram?
Yes, Facebook has owned Instagram since 2012, and the rules are very similar. Here’s a look:
(Instagram’s Promotion Guidelines as of 08/12/19)
Similar to Facebook’s policy, when it comes to holding a contest or promotion on Instagram, you are specifically told that:
- You cannot tag others in a photo that they are not in
- You cannot ask others to tag themselves in a photo that they are not in
- Each participant must completely release Instagram of any liability
- It must be known that the promotion is ‘in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with, Instagram’
- By using Instagram to administer your promotion, you’re doing so at your own risk
It sounds like a lot, but as long as you’re honest, clear about the contest and its eligibility, and don’t ask your followers to bother their friends, then you’re on the right track. And don’t forget the small print stuff I mentioned in the bullet points above. Most importantly - have fun!