Facebook rules

Facebook Contests- We Explain the Rules and Tips

Facebook rules


Rules for social networks change often.  If you do not follow social media news but use Facebook for contests, promotions or even advertising your services or products, you need to know those rules, man.

Plenty of contests have been shut down because people did not follow these and other rules:

  1. Pages can’t post a message on their Facebook wall and call it a contest.
  2. Pages cannot tell fans that liking a page counts as an automatic entry for a contest.
  3. Pages cannot ask fans to “share” a contest with friends in order to be entered its timeline contests — only likes and comments can be used as entries.

There is much to learn, so if you are not working with a marketing agency that knows all the rules, your next best bet is to use a third party app that meets Facebook’s guidelines.  We use Heyo for our Facebook contests: “Our clients are valuing our services and wanting to pay us more each month due to the success Heyo is helping us create,” said Patrick Eckstrom, CEO of MySMN.  Whether you decide to work with the talented team at MySMN or run a contest or promotion on your own, let’s help you focus on the current rules for Facebook Promotions.  Listed below are the most up-to-date rules and they can be seen anytime by accessing this link: https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php

1. If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:

a.   The official rules;

b.   Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and

c.   Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals)

2. Promotions on Facebook must include the following:

a.   A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.

b.   Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

3. Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines 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” is not permitted).

4. We will not assist you in the administration of your promotion, and you agree that if you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk.


So, what can your business do with this info?  Stick to the rules when starting up your next Facebook promotion or contest on your timeline (not on a personal timeline) and try some of these ideas:

  • Think first about your objective.  If you want more engagement, go with a Timeline contest.  If you want to collect more user data, use a third party app like Heyo!
  • Utilize likes on a post as a voting mechanism.  You can also ask fans to comment and like in order to win a prize.
  • Collect entries by having users message the page
  • Launching a new product?  Post a photo of the product you are developing and ask fans to comment and share their feedback.  Those comments can count as entries.
  • Giveaway overstocked items or distribute coupons
  • Grow your fans with a like-gated quiz.  Only those who answer the quiz correctly win.
  • As it gets closer to the holidays, run a contest and use a third party app to help collect emails to grow your holiday e-newsletter lists.
  • Give away an item that is related to your business so people do not suspect it as spam (ex: a bakery should giveaway cupcakes or cookies, not iPads)
  • Keep the length of the contest up to a week at most.


  • Make sure you understand local, state, national and international laws.  Some states or regions require that prizes worth over a certain dollar amount need to be bonded.
  • Do not “sell” entries to a contest; this is considered a “lotto.”  For every dollar spent, users cannot receive additional entries.
  • If at all possible, after you have set up rules and regulations, have an attorney review your verbiage.
  • You cannot notify winners of your contest that they’ve won only via a status update.  Use a third party app to collect their names, email addresses and phone numbers and send the winners a “winner notification” email and then post a status update announcement.

Heyo is a drag and drop platform that allows businesses to market on Facebook.

We like this platform because it helps to easily create Facebook contests, sweepstakes & mobile-optimized landing pages to help get more fans, leads and sales.  Sign up for free right here: https://heyo.com/


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