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Facebook & Blog Giveaways | What is Allowed?

There’s been some confusion around Facebook and blog giveaways and what you can and can’t do. I figured I would do some digging around and see what I could find out. I am asked quite often to use Facebook as a entry option for my giveaways so it’s important to make sure no rules are being broken.

I looked under Terms on Facebook and found the Facebook Promotion Guidelines where it lays it out for you…in legalese of course!

Here’s a few key points I found out that would be applicable to giveaways:

  • If you are using the Facebook platform for your giveaway, you are not allowed for people who fit the following criteria to enter: under 18 years old, from a country embargoed by the USA, from Norway, Sweden, India or Belgium, can’t have a prize that is considered a dairy product, giveaways where you have to purchase a product or complete a lengthy task to enter.
  • You must get written approval from Facebook before running a promotion through Facebook. If you do get the written approval through Facebook, then people can only enter on the canvas page of an application OR on an application box on your Facebook page.  I’ve seen these before run by Wildfire.
  • You do not need to get written approval from Facebook if you are doing a giveaway that is administered completely off Facebook. This would apply to the typical blog giveaway where you have people leave comments on your blog for entries and you select the winner from the comments on your blog and NOT from your Facebook fans! Facebook WILL DISABLE your page if you break these rules!
  • You can’t condition the entry to the giveaway by asking the reader to take any action on Facebook like updating their status, posting on a profile or wall, or uploading a photo. So this would mean you can’t tell them to “Like” your page and write something on your wall. I see this quite a bit and  it’s a no-no.
  • You CAN ask the reader to “like” your Facebook page for an entry. This is allowed!

Facebook has laid out a few examples of how to apply their rules and I’d like to share them with you:

You cannot: Condition entry in the promotion upon a user providing content on Facebook, such as making a post on a profile or Page, status comment or photo upload.

You can: Use a third party application to condition entry to the promotion upon a user providing content. For example, you may administer a photo contest whereby a user uploads a photo through a third-party application to enter the contest. My note: This was my Wildfire example from above.

You cannot: Administer a promotion that users automatically enter by becoming a fan of your Page. My note- this to me applies to those referral contests we see so often. Get an entry just by liking my page. There’s no third-party involved here and they would be picking the winner directly from these Facebook fans. With a blog giveaway, it’s off Facebook and it’s selected from the comments received.

You can: Only allow fans of your Page to access the tab that contains the third-party application for the promotion.

You cannot: Notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles or Pages.

You can: Collect an address or email through the third-party application for the promotion in order to contact the winner by email or standard mail.

You cannot: Instruct people (in the rules or elsewhere) to sign up for a Facebook account before they enter the promotion.

You can: Instruct users to visit the third-party application to enter the promotion (as described in Section 3.4(i)). Since users must have a Facebook account in order to access an application on the Facebook Platform, if you give this instruction, they will be prompted to sign up for a Facebook account if they do not already have one.

Stacie Vaughan

Stacie is the mom of two girls and lives in Ontario, Canada. She enjoys cooking/baking, photography, reading, DIY and is fueled by lots of coffee!

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