Monthly Archives: December 2011

Avoid Facebook’s Bad Side… Use an App – Facebook Sweepstakes: Part 2

Everywhere you look, businesses are advertising a new Facebook promotion.  We offered up a variety of contest ideas in our last webinar, Keep the Holidays Jolly with Social Media Marketing

These promotions are a Win Win.  Fans get the opportunity to vie for prizes and interact with their favorite brands, while businesses grow their fan base and engage in a fun way with their customers. 

What most people don’t realize is that there are very strict Facebook Promotions Guidelines. Ignoring these rules can turn an opportunity into a nightmare if Facebook suspends or deletes your account for violating Facebook Terms of Use.  Facebook apps have been designed to make your promotions look polished, while keeping you out of trouble. AppBistro lists promotion apps from several different creators at different price points.  Shortstack offers a free account option to get you started.  A good app and a basic understanding of Facebook’s Promotions Guidelines will keep you out of hot water.

This is NOT a Facebook promotion!

All of Facebook’s Rules come back to a single idea:  They do not want to be associated with your promotion!  In other words, make it abundantly clear to your entrants that Facebook does not sponsor or endorse your promotion.  Find an app that takes care of the fine print, like clearly stating that the info being provided is for you, not Facebook.

Your Wall is not the place for a promotion

You can’t simply post a promotion on your Wall or ask Fans to post photos or comments to your Wall as a condition of your contest.  Facebook considers this as using “Facebook features or functionality” to participate in your promotion.  Apps can create a special tab for entrants to do things like vote or upload photos so that it’s not directly on your Wall.

No “Liking” Allowed… or is there?

Let’s face it, the primary goals of a Facebook promotion are both to grow and engage your fan base.  Facebook says you CANNOT ask Fans to Like your Page in order to enter your promotion.  However, you CAN ask people to Like your Page in order to view more information about your sweepstakes.  Apps with a fan gate will require entrants to Like your Page in order to view the content on the promotion tab and then enter.  This way, you still get those new Likes without breaking any rules.

Don’t let certain words get you in trouble

Most apps give you the option of customizing text to explain your promotion.  Think very carefully about the wording of your promotion.  Facebook even differentiates between “contest” and “sweepstakes.”  If your winner is chosen entirely by chance, like a random drawing, then you’re holding a “sweepstakes.”  If your promotion requires any kind of skill, like playing a game or submitting photos, then you’re holding a “contest.”

Did you know that the word “Wall” falls under Facebook’s copyrights and trademarks?  When advertising your promotion, or writing the text for your contest app, play it safe and avoid using words like “Wall” and “Like” in association with your contest.

Collect Email Addresses!

When Facebook says they don’t want you to use “Facebook features or functionality” in association with your promotion, they are referring to more than just Likes!  You cannot notify your winners by posting on your Wall, their Wall, or even messaging them through Facebook.  You have to find an alternative way to announce the winner, like sending an email or calling them.

The rules surrounding Facebook promotions can be intimidating, but don’t let them dissuade you from coming up with your own promotions!  Contests and sweepstakes are an incredible way to attract new Fans, interact with your customers and make your Page a little more fun!  A simple app will help you avoid any pitfalls and remove a lot of the guesswork.   If you’re STILL unsure about what’s right or wrong, send us an email and we’ll point you in the right direction.  

Don’t miss out on Part 1: Nothing Says “Happy Holidays” like Free Stuff!  Facebook Sweepstakes


Nothing Says “Happy Holidays” like Free Stuff! Facebook Sweepstakes: Part 1

Nothing makes the holidays merrier than free stuff!  With the madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us, businesses are looking for inventive ways to catch your attention.  Facebook sweepstakes and contests are a Win Win.  Not only do you get a chance to win prizes just in time for the holidays, but businesses can get your attention during the busiest shopping season of the year. 

Here are 5 Facebook sweepstakes and contests to cover everyone on your shopping list and even spread some holiday cheer with others.  Don’t delay!  With the holiday’s just around the corner, some of these sweepstakes end very soon!


 Sweepstakes ends December 6th

Amazon has something for everyone and they’re hoping that their sweepstakes is too good to keep to yourself.  The Win With Friends Sweepstakes will not only award winners with incredible prizes (like the Kindle Fire), but let’s your friends share in your winnings.  When you enter the sweepstakes, you’re given the option to name 3 friends who will also win prizes if you win.  This is a Facebook sweepstakes done right because they offer their fans a sought after prize and a huge incentive to spread the word.


Sweepstake ends December 25th

Ghiradelli designed the ultimate chocolate lovers sweepstakes – a chance to win a year’s worth of chocolate.  Not only does a grand winner walk away with $500 worth of cocoa goodness, but they give you a chance to win prizes daily in a countdown to Christmas.  Ghiradelli made my list because not only did they find the perfect prize for their customers, but they offered an incentive to check their Page daily for a new opportunity to win.

Black & Decker

Sweepstakes ends December 18th

Here’s your chance to win any of the items from this year’s Black & Decker Holiday Gift Guide with the Match-and-Win Game.  Every day until Christmas, visit their page and attempt to uncover 2 matching squares and win some primo tools!  Black & Decker also came up with a smart way of encouraging you to tell your friends about them throughout the holidays.  Normally, you can play the game for one chance to win daily… but if you share the game with a friend, you’ll get two shots at winning.


Sweepstakes ends December 24th

You don’t have to be a pet owner to appreciate $10,000!  Petsmart’s Holiday Gift Grab is less about chance and more about skill.  They place 3 presents on your screen and point out one that you should keep an eye on.  With the speed that those presents start spinning and swapping you’ll lose the right box in a blink of an eye, so pay close attention.  If you pick the right box at the end, you win!  The Grand Prize is $10,000, but there are tons of other pet giveaways.  They give you 10,000 reasons to check back and play daily.

Home Depot

Voting ends December 14th

Home Depot’s contest is a special one because it truly personifies the holiday spirit of giving.  Their Gift of Good tab features photos of 9 military families who could use a little help.  One very lucky family will win $20,000 of much needed home services.  Click on the photos to read the family’s story and cast your vote for the family you’d most like to receive the prize.  Home Depot did a wonderful job of letting us know where their priorities are.  This is my favorite Facebook contest I’ve seen in a long time because just one click lets you do something very kind for a deserving family.

When it comes to the holidays, Facebook contests and sweepstakes are a fun way for customers to snag some incredible prizes and even spread good cheer.  They can help businesses interact with their fans during the most important shopping season of the year while building their fan base for the year to come. 

When it comes to setting up your own Facebook sweepstake or contest, be sure to follow Facebook’s strict rules or you could risk having your Page suspended.  If you’re thinking about creating your own Facebook sweepstakes, read tomorrow’s blog,  Facebook Sweepstakes: Part 2, for some guidelines to keep yourself out of hot water.