Planning a contest on Facebook?

Sorry its a NO-GO.
If you work with social media you probably already know this but SO many people do not seem to know this. 
"Lets set up a contest, a photo voting contest on our wall and its FREE?! Yay! 

NOT Yay people. Illegal.

One or two years ago Facebook dramatically changed the rules. No more using their platforms and having angry customers claiming their Bananahat or free download from them. Enough is enough.

The promotion guidelines are a bit tricky to understand since obviously a lawyer wrote them on FB´s Help page. So, lets try to clear this out once and for all shall we?

Facebook requires you to run your promotion via a third party application, usually on a Page tab. (WildfireApp or FanzApp being 2 of them)
This, along with clear verbiage about Facebook’s non-involvement in the promotion, allows Facebook to avoid any liabilities associated with an unhappy Fan who never got their free download (for example).
Linking off-site to a promotion on your company website or third party site does not require Facebook approval (here is when the microsite could become useful!)
Facebook requires you to complete the checklist tasks below, prior to promotion launch:

Designate an individual to act as a primary contact to address any communications from Facebook with respect to the promotion
Include the following provisions within your official promotion rules: Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
Complete release for Facebook from each entrant or participant.Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the promotion will be directed to you, not Facebook.


Condition entry in the promotion upon a user providing content on Facebook, such as making a post on a profile or Page, status comment, like, or photo/video upload. This means all contests similar toFirst 50 people to comment on our status will be entered to win a free pickle” are a no-go.
Administer a promotion that users automatically enter by becoming a Fan of your Page
Notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles or Pages. This means you need to use email or SMS to communicate with a promotion winner. Notifying the winner via Facebook comments, messages, updates, or wall posts is prohibited.
Instruct people (in the rules or elsewhere) to sign up for a Facebook account before they enter the promotion
Market to individuals who are under the age of 18.
Market to individuals who reside in a country
If a sweepstakes, cannot be open to individuals residing in Belgium, Norway, Sweden, or India. Cannot promote any of the following product categories: gambling, tobacco, firearms, prescription drugs, or gasoline.

There are more rules and things to understand people so read up well on this before you start your Promo campaigns!

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