A Warning About Facebook Contests – What You Need to Know

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facebook [Update:  On August 27, 2013, Facebook now allows you to run contests on your wall without using the app. Yay!  See details.]

After reaching 10,000 likes on my Facebook page, I decided to run a contest to celebrate the milestone and draw in even more fans.

So I did some research on the best way to approach it and learned that Facebook has very strict guidelines for contests.

And if you aren’t careful, you can get your page disabled permanently.

Yes, it has happened to a handful of people over the years so be sure to read their terms.

In a nutshell, Facebook wants to remove the potential for any liabilities, and quite honestly, I don’t blame them.

So that means you are not allowed to run a contest from your wall (i.e. comment to enter or “Like” to win, etc).

If you want to host the contest from your page, you have to use one of the Facebook-approved applications like ShortStack or WildFire.  However, these apps can come with a hefty price tag if you have a large number of fans.

Here’s What You CAN Do

Now, you are allowed to promote a contest on your wall that is hosted elsewhere, as long as you make it clear that it has no affiliation with Facebook and the winner is not announced on your wall.

You also cannot use the word “Facebook” in the contest name.

The other good news is, you can require people to “like” your page to view/enter the contest.  You can set it up so non-fans will see one page, and once they “like” your page, they are given a link/access to the contest.

That’s what I did with a contest I ran on this blog.  I easily set this all up using the Static HTML iFrame tab application.

So when I promoted the contest on YouTube, this blog and other places outside of Facebook, people were required to “Like” my page before gaining access to the contest page.

Enter My 10K Fan Contest

My Facebook fans suggested that the winner of my contest should get to have a one-on-one Skype call/Google Hangout or some kind of live brain-picking or question/answer session with me.

I thought it would be fun, so the contest is officially live and will run through the end of the month.

If you want to enter, [contest closed].

In Summary

Running a Facebook contest can be a great way to gain more likes/fans, just make sure you play by the rules to protect your account.

So what about you?  Ever run a Facebook contest?  Did you use one of the pre-approved apps?  Share your experience!

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  1. says

    I reached 30K after the change. But it’s important to remember that the change did not affect your ability to get “Likes”. It only affects how visible your content is to people who have ALREADY liked your page. So gaining the Likes is not the issue — ensuring your posts are SEEN is an entirely different one.

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