Help Me Launch! – A Great Way to Get New Fans on Your Facebook Page

BUT: What You Should Know About Contests and Promotions on Facebook
(Note: you will need to be logged in to your facebook account for many of the links to work)

This ‘Help Me Launch!” Contest came through my email on Monday — I was intrigued. Here I am thinking – what a great way to get more ‘fans’ to a facebook page. I love it! Not having time to deal with it when it arrived, I finally got to it yesterday. After reading all the rules and entry requirements, I thought – what the heck, I might as well enter. So I set out to create the photo that was asked for, submitted it and now I’m waiting for the votes (please vote for my entry daily). Oh and a little disturbed that a photo was asked for, and many are graphic creations, but that’s another article I think.

My second thought when I saw this contest was, but is it legal according to facebook?

Third thought – great blog idea…

Anyway, so instead of relaxing with a glass of wine and my crocheting last night, I was researching and writing. Oh heck, what else is new – I’m always working. At least this little project proved to be on the fun side.

Before I get into the nitty-gritty of facebook rules – please check out this article “How To Run A Successful Social Media Contest” found on the SocialMedia Examiner site. It gives a good basis for do’s and don’ts and contest planning. Do make sure you come back here to find out what you can and can’t do as far as promotions go.

I’m sure many of you are not aware of the pages of rules and regulations produced by the powers at be at Facebook, but believe me there are many. And the worst part – they change often. Their rules are on my weekly read list – how boring!

Here is facebook’s current regulations for contests, sweepstakes and promotions — did I mention, that I’m behind on my reading – this page changed yet again on May 11, 2011. I haven’t quite figured out what the changes are, but I do recall the words ‘sole means of entry’ is no longer there — or at least words to that effect.  Anyway – here are the current rules governing promotions, contests and sweepstakes : Note rules 1 and 3 – these are the most important, most frequently overlooked and most frequently changed by facebook.

Promotions Guidelines
Date of Last Revision: May 11, 2011

These Promotion Guidelines, along with the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, the Ad Guidelines, the Platform Policies and all other applicable Facebook policies, govern your communication about or administration of any contest, competition, sweepstakes or other similar offering (each, a “promotion”) using Facebook.

If you use Facebook to communicate about or administer a promotion, you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including the official rules, offer terms and eligibility requirements (e.g., age and residency restrictions), and compliance with regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered in connection with the promotion (e.g., registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals).  Please note that compliance with these Guidelines does not constitute the lawfulness of a promotion.  Promotions are subject to many regulations and if you are not certain that your promotion complies with applicable law, please consult with an expert.

  1. Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on, either on a Canvas Page or an app on a Page Tab. 
  1. Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
    a. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
    b. Acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
    c. Disclosure that the participant is providing information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook.
  2. You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism.  For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant. 
  3. You must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your app.  For example, you must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall.
  1. You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion.
  2. You must not notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles or Pages.
  3. You may not use Facebook’s name, trademarks, trade names, copyrights, or any other intellectual property in connection with a promotion or mention Facebook in the rules or materials relating to the promotion, except as needed to fulfill your obligations under Section 2.
  1. Definitions:
    a. By “administration” we mean the operation of any element of the promotion, such as collecting entries, conducting a drawing, judging entries, or notifying winners.
    b. By “communication” we mean promoting, advertising or referencing a promotion in any way on Facebook, e.g., in ads, on a Page, or in a Wall post.
    c. By “contest” or “competition” we mean a promotion that includes a prize of monetary value and a winner determined on the basis of skill (i.e., through judging based on specific criteria).
    d. By “sweepstakes” we mean a promotion that includes a prize of monetary value and a winner selected on the basis of chance

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So as you can see, the rules are detailed, governed and monitored for adherence. It is wise to have a knowledgeable person working with you if thinking about a promotion on facebook. It is better to know the rules and pay the professionals to help, rather than lose the right to your page or access to facebook. Facebook has become too powerful of a marketing tool to lose access to it for your business.

As for the contest I entered – Help Me Launch!

  1. Yes it is administered within an app on facebook
  2. Yes it has full disclosure and release of facebook
  3. While you do have to ‘Like’ the page to enter the contest, it does not constitute entry into the contest
  4. There are no conditions as in the examples applied to this contest
  5. The app has its own voting mechanism
  6. Notification will be by email to the address given on the entry form
  7. I couldn’t find any reference to facebook in the promotion of this contest, even though the contest is clearly geared to getting new fans for a page.

I guess this one passes! But then again – I’m not a facebook employee.

PS – don’t forget to vote for my entry

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