On Friday, August 27th, Facebook revised their Pages Terms in order for businesses to be able to run contests without an app and directly through liking or commenting on a post or via posting on a page.
This means those who were using likes as a voting process, posting pictures to timelines or comments as sweepstakes entries can continue on without worry about getting caught by Facebook.
Although Facebook and others are sharing this news as though it was the best thing Facebook could do for small businesses, I believe apps are still the best way to host any contest. Also, users are still liable for posting proper rules, eligibility requirements, compliance with law and a release of Facebook from any liability in case your contest goes wrong.
Perhaps there is something to be excited about, but below are my three reasons you should consider not using likes and comments to run contests on Facebook.
- Apps save you time by organizing entry data. Using likes or comments as an entry for contests will require the business to manually complete data entry to save the information of the contestants for tax and regulation purposes. Wait. Does your state have any regulations on entry forms? What about advertising the contest?
- Apps allow you to be able to easily market to those who participated in the contest at a later date. By having a way to market to them in the future through apps, you increase the chances of converting them to leads. However, if you’re just looking for a way to leer people over to your Facebook page, which you really have no proprietary control over, then using likes for popularity contests can still work. But do popularity contests help with long-term gain or short-term notice.
- What happens if you’re locked out of your Facebook account, a user is reported for their comment in your contest, a user is locked out of their account or has no way for you to inbox them to inform them they’re the winner. With privacy settings how will you know the user is in the same country and can qualify to enter? Again, you do realize each state and even each country has various rules for contests. Contest Apps allow you to access data outside of Facebook and provide generic rules to help keep you out of trouble.
So before getting excited about being permitted to the run contests via likes and comments on Facebook, determine your short and long-term goals, how you can prove the legitimacy of the contest and the entrants to your state’s regulatory board. If after looking over these items and/or discussing with your experienced marketing consultant or attorney and you still desire to use these practices, brace yourself for the best results of the contest or the worst results legally.
If you still have any questions on running contests or ensuring you’re complying with FTC and other regulatory boards, please contact our office to schedule a consultation session.
What do you think of these three reasons? Leave your comment below and you may be featured in a future post.
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