Feb 242014
 
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Things have changed recently (as they always do in Facebook World) and I have been getting a lot of questions about what can and can’t be done when running a Facebook contest since the rules were changed back in August 2013.  You can now run a contest without a third party app on your Page (not personal Profile/Timeline).  You can use Likes and Comments as a means of entry to your contest.  You can even announce the winner on your Page (something you could not do before).  But, one thing you can NOT do that I still see a lot of Page doing is ask users to SHARE in order to be entered to win.

Here’s a handy breakdown of what you can and can’t do to run a contest on your Page:
(from Social Media Examiner)

What You Can Do:

  • Require people to like a post and/or comment on a post to be entered
  • Require that someone post something directly on your timeline to enter (could be a text post or a photo)
  • Use likes as a voting method (either liking a post or photo on your timeline)
  • Require that someone message your page to enter
  • Announce the winner of the contest on your page
  • Require that to win the prize, entrants come back to your page to see who has won the contest
  • Use a Like button plugin on a website as a voting mechanism
  • Use an app plugin to post an entry to your contest directly on your page
  • Run your contest through a Facebook app

What You Can’t Do:

  • Require that people share a post or photo to be entered
  • Require someone to post something on their own personal timeline or a friend’s timeline to enter
  • Require people to tag themselves in a photo to either vote or enter
  • Have anyone who likes your page be entered to win (contest does not take place on the timeline)

To be clear on “sharing” (because this is the most misunderstood part), Page owners can encourage their fans to share the contest but sharing cannot be a form of entering the contest.  You can enter to win by liking or commenting.  You cannot enter by sharing.  Each like/comment can be a way to enter.  Sharing can NOT.  Click HERE for a link to great article by PostPlanner that gives some examples of what is not allowed.

Below are a couple of my favorite resources for running a FREE contest on your Page Timeline EASILY:

Contest Capture is an easy, free tool that lets you keep track of contest entries via Likes and Comments on a Post and export them into a .csv file.  You can then randomly select your winner by entering the total number of lines from your exported file onto a site like random.org.  Easy and free!

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Woobox is another great option for running a contest.  Selecting a winner by way of commenting or liking a post is one of their free tools.  Watch THIS VIDEO to see how to do it.

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Free is always great, but there are some advantages to using a paid app to run your Page promotions. If you are giving something away, you’ll want to capture an email address or some sort of contact information to add your contestants to your marketing list.  Most of the time, collecting emails through a third party Facebook app will mean you have to pay.  However, I will go over some FREE ways to do this (along with many other super tips) on my next free training webinar.  Sign up HERE and get a replay of my last webinar: How to Separate Business and Personal on Facebook.
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For a handy list from the awesome people at ShortStack of 5 ways to legally contact your contest winners, click on the image below:
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And, lastly, make sure your post includes the following information:
  • Your contest rules
  • A disclaimer that your promotion is not endorsed, sponsored, administered by, or associated with Facebook
  • And that anyone who enters agrees to the rules and releases Facebook of any obligation
Here are some additional resources to check out for more information:
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Any questions or comments, please leave them below.
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Monica Ramos

Business Coach, Social Media Trainer, Speaker at MoneliCo Business Solutions
Monica Ramos is a certified Social Media Manager specializing in Facebook for Small Business Owners (Home Business, Direct Sales, Network Marketing). She offers free tips on her Facebook Page and conducts free educational webinars 2 to 3 times per year. To hire Monica for personal business coaching or as a trainer/speaker for your next event, visit her web site by clicking on the link above.

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