Once upon a time you could run a contest on Facebook and pretty much do whatever you wanted. Then Facebook got irritated and said no contest, yet people still ran them. One of the most popular contests was the “Share to Win” contest. They were everywhere despite Facebook shutting down pages and warnings that they were completely against Facebook’s TOS. I even wrote about it once upon a time over at Louisiana Blogger’s Network.
Then, surprisingly, Facebook lifted the ban on contests. Everyone rejoiced! However Facebook still had rules for contests in place. One of these being that you cannot use personal timelines to promote contests. It was a little vague, and people kept doing what they were always going to do. So Facebook made the rules clearer and said
Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries”, and “tag your friends in this post to enter” are not permitted).
I think it’s clear enough, Facebook does not allow Share to Win and Tag to Win contests. Yet, everyday I can go through my timeline and see multiple businesses doing just that. I have to wonder who is running their pages, is it a professional company like Kickify? Is it the owner? Have they not read the rules? Do they think they are above the rules?
What I do know is these types of contests are annoying. As a manager of multiple pages that play by the rules, it’s annoying to see other pages skirt them to gain popularity and traction. As an avid Facebook user, nothing will make me unfollow your business quicker than one of these contests on your page. Also, I don’t want to be tagged 50 times so a friend can win one of your products.
They are also unfair. Wait, what? Unfair you say? Yes, they are unfair. Due to Facebook’s privacy settings you will never see everyone that has shared your status or picture. This doesn’t give everyone an equal opportunity to win.
We all work hard to build our pages. They are the lifeblood of our businesses. I would hate to see that hard work be shut down by Facebook over making a contest mistake. I would also hate to see any page lose fans when there is a simple fix to the problem. It’s easy: play by rules so we can all enjoy Facebook and life happily ever after!