Imagine running a giveaway, growing your social media channels with thousands of followers, getting more brand awareness than you have ever dreamed. Then suddenly, you get banned because you broke Facebook’s or Instagram’s giveaway rules.
That would be absolutely terrible, right?
This is why you should read this article and learn the main social media contest rules.
Before I start, “This is not legal advice. it’s only my opinion and if you would like to organize a contest or sweepstakes, use your own best judgment and professional assistance.”
The rules I’m going to cover apply only if you are using the social media itself to administer the contest. External software such as UpViral will enable you to run a giveaway without worries about these rules.
Facebook Giveaway Rules
The official statement by Facebook is that “Promotions may be administered on Pages, groups, events or within apps on Facebook but personal timelines and friend connections must not be involved”.
- This means you are not allowed to ask participants to tag their friends under your post, you are also not allowed to ask people share your post on their timeline to enter.
- It gets even worse, you are not allowed to ask users to give you reviews in order to participate.
Now you might be asking yourself “If I am not allowed to these things, does it even make sense to run a Facebook contest?” Yes, there is because if you use an external contest software such as UpViral, you are allowed to do all those things. You will be able to encourage to share Facebook posts, to leave reviews, etc.
- You must disclose the official rules for your contest. Don’t be vague and state clearly how people can enter, what they need to do, how and when the winner is going to be chosen.
- You must mention if there are any age and residency restrictions. For example, if your giveaway is only for people over 18, you should mention those below are not allowed to participate.
- You must mention that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.
- The last one might be a little obvious but if you are collecting participant data, you must first get people’s consent before obtaining that information.
Instagram Giveaway Rules
Since Instagram and Facebook are under one ownership, the rules are similar on both platforms.
- You must disclose the official rules. For the purpose, it’s advisable to use an external page but you can also disclose them in Instagram.
- You must also mention that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Instagram.
- Many people use Influencers in order to promote their contest or sweepstakes.
- Sponsors and Influencers should be tagged in every contest-related post.
- You are allowed offer people prizes for tweeting, for following an account, or for posting updates with a specific hashtag.
- You should include a rule stating that anyone found to use multiple accounts to enter will be disqualified.
- Ask people to mention you in their updates. Otherwise, you won’t know who participated and who not.
- Make use the word “contest” or “sweepstakes” in their descriptions or images when they save Pins for the event.
- Don’t require participants to save a specific image. You must allow to pin what they like so give them a selection of things.
- Don’t allow more than 1 entry per participant.
- Don’t suggest that Pinterest sponsors your promotions.
If you would like to find out more, here are the links to the official sources:
- Facebook contest rules – http://bit.ly/facebook-giveaway-rules
- Instagram contest rules – http://bit.ly/instagram-giveaway-rules
- Twitter contest rules – http://bit.ly/twitter-giveaway-rules
- Pinterest contest rules – http://bit.ly/pinterest-giveaway-rules