Holding a Contest on Facebook? Beware…

Coming as a surprise to most people (including myself), it is in violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service to hold a contest on Facebook.  Now you can still hold a contest or promotion but must be contained within it’s own app, and entries can only be accepted via the canvas page of the app or an application box on a tab on the Facebook page.

Another violation of the Facebook TOS is asking people to post to the page’s Wall, upload photos or change their status update for entrance into a contest.  As well, a promotion can’t require entrants to post a comment to a Wall item, since that would artificially increase the item’s importance and effectively lead to it spamming users’ News Feeds.

When administering a contest or promotion you are not allowed to communicate with entrants via Wall post, chat, message, etc., only through the third party application that is administering the promotion.  Seems a bit much doesn’t it?

Finally, if you do plan to hold a contest you must be approved in writing by Facebook at least seven days before the beginning of the contest.

It seems as if Facebook is trying to protect their trademark and to keep the rampant contesting to a minimum.

My advice?  Before you launch your next contest on Facebook I’d talk to someone knowledgeable on this issue.  The last thing you ever want is to have your page shut down by Facebook, which once you violated their TOS, they can.

To read more on this issue check out:

“Umm Sorry, Your Facebook Contest is Illegal”

The scoop on Facebook contests


6 Tips for Running Promotions Within Facebook’s Guidelines

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