Ask Auntie Social: How do I run a competition on Facebook within their rules?

Facebook competitions are a fantastic method for activating engagement and increasing brand exposure.  However there are some rules that business owners need to adhere to when creating a competition on Facebook.

Facebook want to make it easy for businesses of all sizes to benefit but sharing, inviting or asking someone to post something on their personal timeline is a no go for a Facebook competition as set out by the Facebook Promotion Guidelines.  

The rationale behind this decision is a technical one, as Facebook users can limit the visibility of the content they post to only friends or groups. Business pages won’t therefore have the ability to access all the entries that people post on their own timeline unless the entries are public.

Facebook are considering changing this for the future but in the meantime they want to ensure a great experience for those running the competition and those taking part.  

In regards to collecting entries, Facebook have allowed those running competitions to collect them in a few ways by having users:

  • post on the page  
  • comment on the page        
  • like a page post          
  • messaging the page.

Equally you can use likes as your voting mechanism in a Facebook competition if you so wish.

Furthermore, it is acceptable to ask people to submit names of a new product to be in for a chance to win a prize. It’s not, however, permissible to ask people to tag themselves in pictures of a new product in exchange for a chance to win.

It is worth noting that businesses always have the option of using either an app or their ownpage in creating a competition. In using the app on Facebook, it will allow a page to create more of a customised experience that is in line with your brand message.

Additionally, in relation to content, apps offer more flexibility and space than a page post. With apps, businesses can collect data in a structured and secure way which, in turn, provides beneficial insights.

Creating a competition on a page is on the other hand easier and quicker to do. Similar to page posts, it will appear on the news feed of people who like the page and can subsequently be promoted to a wider audience.

Facebook competitions will ultimately adapt to the audience you wish to target, and below are some best practices that might help to maximise the competition:

- Ensure your competition is tied to your business objective, be it building awareness for anew product or the opening of new premises for example, as long as it promotes yourbusiness.

- Having compelling images and text which aligns with your brands message will achieve better engagement rates.

- Lastly, and often most importantly for the entrants … the prize. Creating an attractive incentive tends to create more of a buzz on Facebook. We all love the chance to win!

Have your digital and social media marketing questions answered each week by Auntie Social. To submit a question pop over to our Facebook page here: http://woobox.com/y2m2nv.

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