7 Guidelines for Legit Facebook Promotions
FEBRUARY 29, 2012:
Jason Douglas, Interactive Marketing Strategist
Social Media Guest Blogger
There is often an approval process for any content posted on a social media channel, especially for healthcare and financial services marketers. Contests and promotions receive additional scrutiny as there are plenty of guidelines to follow, especially on Facebook.
Recently, I read a post discussing things you may be doing that could get your Facebook page shut down. The post made some good points and highlights many of the Facebook Promotions Guidelines. But the message seemed to be that it’s impossible to have any type of giveaway or promotion. That is not the case. You simply need to understand the guidelines and how to work within them. Let’s walk through them now.
All promotions must be administered through a third party application. This is the most common mistake that companies on Facebook make in running contests. Examples such as ‘like this post to win’ or ‘comment on our status with your top health tip’ are not compliant. Numerous authorized third party applications exist, are affordable and easy to use. Top ones include Wildfire, Offerpop and FreePromos.
Having someone like your page or comment on a status does not count as an automatic entry in a contest or as a voting mechanism. Contests are compliant when someone opts in through a form and the winner is determined by a random drawing.
People cannot vote for winners using the like button. One common type of contest is to submit a photo and have current fans like their favorite photo. This is not allowed. The trick is to drive people off of Facebook to a landing page on your website, where people can then vote on their favorite photo.
People do not have to mention your Facebook page. You can ask fans to mention your page or share the promotion, but it cannot be a requirement to enter a contest.
You cannot ask people to upload a photo entry to your wall. Refer to #1. The third party applications allow contest participants to submit photos, avoiding the wall altogether.
You cannot contact winners through Facebook. You can state who won a contest on Facebook, but that is your only (legal) obligation. Winners will have to see the post and contact you in some form. You can recommend how winners are to contact you (email, call, etc.) but you cannot chat, private message, post on a timeline of the winner.
There must be official rules for each contest. This is something that your legal team can help create. Each state may have different regulations on contests or giveaways which will need to be outlined in the official rules.
These guidelines apply to financial institutions, healthcare organizations and to companies across industries. When creating a strategy for a giveaway or promotion, be mindful of the above guidelines. It will help ensure that you and your compliance and legal teams will be able to sleep better at night.
This blog post was originally published on the Priority Blog at priorityresults.com/blog. Priority Integrated Marketing is now BlueSpire Strategic Marketing.