Best practices for successful Facebook contests

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Many companies choose to organize contests on Facebook or Instagram as part of social media marketing. It seems so easy to organize a contest on social media, but there are a few things to take into account. Facebook itself, for example, has drawn up different rules and you also have to take certain things into account within the framework of the GDPR. We have made a list of what is and is not allowed when you host a contest.

Facebook contest: this is allowed

As a company, you can simply organize a win action via Facebook or Instagram. However, you are not allowed to use all available features for contests. What is allowed is the following:

  • Asking participants to comment on posts or photos
  • Post something on the page of your company
  • Send an e-mail to your e-mail address with, for example, a motivation or a certain sentence, such as ‘I would like to win’.

Especially when you have a huge number of followers, it can be useful to give participants an extra assignment, such as sending an email. People who aren’t interested are already dropping out at the moment and you can be sure that someone who is a real fan of your brand or company will win the prize.

What are you not allowed to ask participants?

You may not ask participants to share your post. It is not allowed to use the personal timeline for promotion. You see this happening on a large scale, but it is not allowed. Nor can you ask your followers to tag themselves or friends in a photo when they are not on it.

The same goes for a post from your company. You see this happen a lot in practice, but in theory you might have problems with it. In addition, it is of course not neat not to comply with the applicable regulations.

Finally, you cannot force people who participate in a win contest to like your page. You can encourage them to share a post or follow the page, but this should not be a requirement to compete for the prize.

Don’t forget the Belgian law

Do you have any Belgian followers on your page? Then there is an additional condition. According to Belgian law, it is not allowed to randomly raffle a prize among participants of the contest, for example in the form of a lottery. It is therefore forbidden to pick a random winner. You must select them on the basis of a skill, such as a creative reaction.

Examples of allowed contests

Like, share and win is not allowed, but what kind of contests are you allowed to set up? There are still plenty of possibilities where you adhere to the applicable rules. Think for example of coming up with the most original slogan, asking your followers to post a creative photo using your product or a contest question that needs to be answered correctly.

What’s also fun is asking for input from your followers. Maybe you have a restaurant and would like your followers to come up with a new name for the pizza of the month. By asking people for suggestions or ideas, they feel directly involved in your company. This can be combined with a contest such as a free pizza in the example above.

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