Do you set rules for your Facebook competitions? Rules are a crucial part of your contest. Let me tell you a story.
Many years ago before Facebook had any competition guidelines in place a friend of mine ran a photo contest on his Facebook page. He got some amazing entries and the winner was picked by public vote.
There were some great prizes. An amazing phone, a yoga holiday somewhere warm and a few other bits and pieces.
When the votes were counted the winner was informed and took the phone as a prize. Second place chose the holiday and that’s where the problem arose. The competition rules stated that flights were not included in the prize. Unfortunately even though this clause was displayed prominently on the competition page the winner had not seen it. He was very upset but at least the page owner had the terms and conditions to refer to.
If you don’t want a disgruntled winner on your hands it’s important to make it clear what the rules are.
In this post we will look at:
- The required Facebook disclaimer that needs to be included in your rules.
- What you need to include in your rules
- Examples of Facebook competition rules
- Where to publish your rules
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It is important to include terms and conditions for your Facebook competition. If you are running a timeline competition you should link to these from the posts you are using to promote it. If you are running a competition via an application you can include your rules within the app.
The Facebook Disclaimer
Facebook requires that you add a disclaimer to all competitions that you run. Here it is, fill in the blanks:
“This Competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to ________________ and not to Facebook. The information you provide will be used for ____________________”
And here’s an example of it with the blanks filled:
“This Competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy Abuja, Nigeria and not to Facebook. The information you provide will be used for this competition only and will not be shared with any other party outside the U.S Mission and will not used for other purposes in future dealings with the Mission”
What Should You Include In Your Facebook Competition Rules?
There are some basic questions you need to ask yourself when writing Facebook competition rules:
- Who is running the competition
- Who is eligible to enter the contest
- How often can an individual enter
- What is the closing date and time for the contest
- How you are going to pick and inform the winners
- If entrants are creating content for you (photos, videos, stories etc) how do you intend to use this content?
If that list looks intimidating to you don’t panic. I found this really useful Facebook competition rules template that covers most of these areas and more.
2 Facebook Competition Terms & Conditions Examples
1. Chester Zoo: This is a good example of guidelines for competitions that require user generated content. Take a look at the clause that specifies how the photos will be used. I also like the clause that says they have no obligation to publish photos from entrants.
2. Camden Court Hotel: What I love about these is how simple they are to read and understand. Terms & Conditions are often a big turn off full of legalese and baffling language.
Where Should You Display Your Facebook Competition Rules?
If you are running an app based contest you will be able to add your terms and conditions to the app itself. This can look a bit clunky though and many businesses prefer to host their rules on their website and link to it from the app,
If you are running a Timeline style contest. The type that requires people to comment or like a post on your page you are still required to add a link to your rules to the posts. You have a few options:
- Create a page on your website for your rules and link to it from the post
- Create a note on your Facebook page and link to it from your post. To find notes click on ‘Settings’ at the top of your Facebook page and ‘Apps’ on the left hand side bar. (See below)
- Include your rules as part of your competition post.
Do you include rules in your Facebook contests? Have you had any issues with entrants in the past? Have you won a competition only to find out that the prize wasn’t what was expected. I’d love to hear your thoughts.