The Ins and Outs of Running Sweepstakes on Facebook
The ease of social sharing allows brands to use this cost effective form of marketing to reach entirely new customer bases, create awareness for their product or service, and to collect photos, videos, and essays about a brand's product or services, which can then be used as advertising materials.
However, Facebook has its own set of sweepstakes and promotion guidelines, so you need to be careful when using the social network to run a sweepstakes. Here's what you should know about managing sweepstakes on Facebook, along with an overview of how we can help:
- You're Responsible for the Lawful Operation of the Promotion. If you plan to use Facebook to administer a promotion, you, as the Sponsor, are responsible for its lawful operation. This means (among other things) you need to make the official rules of the sweepstakes available to the public, disclose the material terms and eligibility requirements like age or location, and comply with the applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and its prizes, such as obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals. NSC will advise on the applicable laws based upon your sweepstakes structure, which includes writing the official rules, managing, and obtaining the required approvals when applicable.
- There Are Specific Things Promotions Need to Include. Promotions on Facebook need to include a complete release of Facebook by each of the sweepstakes participants, and an acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way, shape, or form sponsored, endorsed, or administered by Facebook. In other words, you need to make sure participants understand that Facebook is simply the platform being used to run the sweepstakes. NSC will ensure the correct disclosures are included in your official rules, legal disclaimers and at point of entry.
Personal Profiles Can't Be Used to Collect Entries. If you run a sweepstakes on Facebook, you can't use personal profiles to collect entries. For instance, you can't ask users to share their friends' profiles to get additional entries. In other words, you're not allowed to try to get users' personal info. NSC will brainstorm ideas prior to launch to ensure you are maximizing all of the methods in which you can collect and use data.
- Entries Must Be Collected in Certain Ways. In order to collect entries, you can have people like or comment on a certain post on your brand's page, publish the page to their profiles, or send the brand's page a message. For example, you can have people enter by sharing a picture of the user doing something, and include a specific hashtag with the post. NSC will ensure your sweepstakes includes alternate methods of entry (when applicable) and provide examples of hashtags that comply with FTC regulations.
Over the years, we've seen the Facebook Guidelines change quite a few times. So, it's always best to run your ideas by us during the planning stage of your marketing plan to make sure the guidelines haven't changed. Remember although Facebook may have specific guidelines outlining how their platform can be used, it doesn't always mean their guidelines and your sweepstakes structure fully comply with promotional law. Give us a call at 800-894-5461 or send over an email to get started!