When to comes to competitions and promotions, it’s always better to play by the rules.
Failure to comply with Facebook’s guidelines for promotions and your State or Territory Government regulations for trade promotions, is the guaranteed quickest way to derail your Facebook competition or promotion.
Some things to consider to ensure you run a competition that plays by the rules:
Decide what kind of competition you are running and familiarise yourself with the associated rules.
- “Game of Chance”: winner drawn at random, like a lottery or sweepstake.
- “Game of Skill”: winner is judged by a select skill, for example a caption contest or “25 words or less”-style question.
No “Share To Win”/“Like and Share to Win”/”Tag a Friend to Win” Competitions
Facebook Terms state personal timelines and friend connections cannot be used for promotions. Competition posts can be shared by users, but you sharing (or liking or tagging) cannot form part of the entry requirement. Alternatively, use a third party app with in-built sharing for each completed entry.
Familiarise yourself with your State or Territory’s Trade Promotions
Each State has rules regarding trade promotions that covers: disclosure, notification and awarding of prizes. All rules exist to ensure competitions are run fairly and are not rigged.
Some jurisdictions, for example, require a permit when running a sweepstake or lottery; some require you to publish the winner(s) names in a newspaper. It’s to ensure winners are selected fairly and the contest is not rigged. More often than not, Games of Skill attract fewer State/Territory based rules than Games of Chance.
All it takes is one disgruntled entrant to report your competition to have you in trouble with your local government authority, so it pays to be across the rules!
You can find the Western Australian State Government Guidelines here.
Always include Terms and Conditions
All States and Territories require you to include a link to a full set of terms and conditions. Facebook also requires you to include a release of liability for entrants to complete. Simply Google some suggested wording if you require some help with this.
You must also include the following wording: “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.”
Third Party Apps
Since 27 August 2013 users have the flexibility of choosing between using a third party app to run a competition, or running it directly from the Timeline. (Prior to August 2013 you had to use a third party app.)
There are a number of benefits of using a third party app, but largely: they are simple to use and you don’t need any special, technical skills to get up and running.