Facebook giveaways are a great and easy way to increase Facebook engagement, Page Likes and generate new leads and customers. But the legal rules and guidelines governing such giveaways can be confusing – especially when Facebook throws in and updates its own guidelines all the time.
In this post, I’ll break down everything you need to know about creating rules and regulations for your next Facebook giveaway:
- Facebook’s Promotions Guidelines (and what they mean)
- Best Practices for Facebook Giveaway Rules
- Fill-in-the-blank Facebook Giveaway Rules template for download
*Please note: *
The following is just an overview of some of the Facebook contest rules and guidelines. This is not legal advice. Please obtain legal guidance from an experienced attorney before publishing your Facebook giveaway rules and regulations.
Let’s get started!
Best Practices for Facebook Giveaway Rules & Regulations
Let’s start with a quick breakdown of the most frequently asked about Facebook Giveaway rules:
Where can you host a giveaway on Facebook?
You can host a giveaway on a Facebook Page’s Timeline, on a Facebook Page Tab, and on a Facebook App page. You can’t host a giveaway on the Timeline of a Personal Profile
What Facebook Giveaways Must Include
- Your Facebook Giveaway’s Official Rules (or a link to it on another page)
- Who is eligible to enter your giveaway (based on age, location, etc.)
- Acknowledgment that the giveaway is not (at all) sponsored by, run by, or associated with, Facebook
Acceptable Entry Methods:
You can ask people to do any of the following actions to enter your Facebook Giveaway:
- Like a Post
- Comment on a Post
- Post on a Page
- Message a Page
- Submit personal information in an entry form
- User-generated content like a photo, video, or text
- Vote in a competition
Unacceptable Entry Methods:
You aren’t allowed to ask people to do any of the following actions to enter a Facebook Giveaway:
- Share a Page
- Tag themselves in a photo that they aren’t in
- Post on their own Timeline
- Share on a friend’s Timeline
One thing we get asked a lot about is Like-gating: Requiring a person to Like a Page to enter.
You used to be able to do this using a Facebook Contest App like Wishpond, but Facebook no longer tells us who has Liked a Facebook Page, so we can’t use it as a required entry method.
However, you can add an optional ‘Like’ overlay…
This utilizes the same principles as the old method of Like-Gating, which restricted access to the giveaway with an overlay on the giveaway page which only went away if you Liked the Facebook Page. The newer, optional ‘Like’ overlay covers the giveaway page and asks you to Like the Facebook Page, but also provides an option to say ‘No, thank you’ and skip it. This still does a great job of getting people to like your page though, as it’s the most prominent action to take on the page.
Here’s an example of the Optional Like Overlay:
You can run a Facebook giveaway with an Optional Like Overlay like this using Wishpond’s Facebook Sweepstakes App.
How to Legally Contact a Giveaway Winner:
Facebook used to be very strict about how you could contact winners of your Facebook Giveaway. Initially, they didn’t want you using things like Facebook posts and messages, as they thought it would lead to spamming, but they’ve since lifted those restrictions.
Here are a few ways you can legally contact your Facebook giveaway winners:
- Email (recommended)
- Facebook message
- Comment on a Post on your Page’s Timeline
- Facebook message
- Facebook Post on your Page’s Timeline.
Email is recommended as it’s the most reliable way we’ve found to reach someone.
Facebook Page Terms for Promotions (and what they mean)
Facebook has strict guidelines of its own for running giveaways, contests, or promotions on Facebook Pages. As of now, Facebook doesn’t allow you to run a giveaway on a personal profile/timeline, so you need to do it through a Facebook Page.
If you want to change a personal Profile to a Facebook Page you can do it really easily here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/migrate. It allows you to keep all of your friends (they will be converted to Likes) and keep your profile and cover photos, but it won’t transfer your posts to the new page.
Now, let’s look at Facebook’s Page Promotion Guidelines (Date of Last Revision: June 01, 2021) as quoted directly from their Facebook Page Terms:
3. Promotions on Pages, groups and events
Communicating a promotion
If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (e.g. a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:
the official rules;
offer terms and eligibility requirements (e.g. age and residency restrictions); and
Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (e.g. registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals).
Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant; and
Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.
Administration of a promotion
Promotions may be administered on Pages, groups, events or within apps on Facebook. Personal timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (e.g. “share on your timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s timeline to get additional entries” and “tag your friends in this post to enter” are not permitted).
Facebook will not assist you in the administration of your promotion, and if you use our service, you agree to administer your promotion at your own risk.
What These Guidelines Means and How to Comply with them:
Let’s cut through the lawyer-speak and get to what Facebook is telling us we can and cannot do if you run a Facebook contest:
- You and your giveaway entrants cannot sue Facebook or hold them liable if anything goes wrong with your giveaway. This means they are not liable if something goes wrong with the * Facebook Platform that causes your giveaway any harm. It also means that a giveaway entrant can’t hold Facebook liable if a business runs a fraudulent Facebook contest.
- The official rules must be accessible from the giveaway page. Generally, Facebook giveaway rules are quite long, so you will want to have a link on the giveaway page that takes entrants to a separate page to read them.
- In your Facebook giveaway rules, specify who exactly is eligible to enter the giveaway, based on their age (such as 18+) and location (such as United States)
- You must follow all giveaway/lottery laws pertaining to your country/state/province. Remember, just because you’re on the internet doesn’t mean you are outside of your government’s jurisdiction
- You must acknowledge on the giveaway page that the giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or associated with Facebook. Most Facebook sweepstakes giveaway apps, like Wishpond’s, include this by default in the giveaway page template, like this:
- Giveaways must be run on a Facebook Page Tab or Timeline. It can’t be run through a personal Profile
- You can’t use the following actions as giveaway entry methods:
- Share on an entrant’s timeline
- Share on a friend’s timeline
- Tag yourself (or your friend) in a photo that you’re not in
- Facebook won’t help you with your giveaway. Even if they make a change that breaks your giveaway they won’t help you.
There are also a few Facebook Page Guidelines (outside of the Promotions section) that pertain to running giveaways on Facebook. Here’s a breakdown of the one’s to comply with:
Collection of Data:
Collecting data from users
If you collect content and information directly from users, your Page, Group or Event must make it clear that you (and not Facebook) are collecting it, and must provide notice about and obtain user consent for your use of the content and information that you collect. Regardless of how you obtain content and information from users, you are responsible for securing all necessary permissions to reuse their content and information.
What this means and how to comply:
If you ask people to submit their personal information, such as email address, phone number, etc., or any images, videos, or text, you must make it obvious on your giveaway page that you are collecting it, and not Facebook. To comply with this regulation, you just need to use your own branding, company name, and imagery on the giveaway page and not say that Facebook is in any way a part of it.
Unless you’re trying to scam people by pretending you’re Facebook, then this isn’t something to worry about.
If you ask people to submit any personal information or content, including video, photos, and text, you must get each entrant’s permission to reuse it in subsequent marketing campaigns. This is applicable if, for example, you want to create a cover photo showing all of the pictures of people who entered your giveaway.
The easiest way to get their permission is to add an opt-in checkbox to your giveaway’s entry form, that allows entrants to choose to give you this permission.
4. Inaccurately tagged content
Pages, groups and events must not inaccurately tag content or encourage users to inaccurately tag content.
What this means and how to comply:
Basically, this means that you can’t ask people to tag themselves in your company’s Facebook photo (that they aren’t in) as an entry method. This is to stop unsavory people from spamming people’s Newsfeeds with pictures of their products by getting their friends to tag themselves in the photo.
Facebook Giveaway Rules Template
We’ve created a simple fill-in-the-blank template for quickly creating Facebook contest rules. Keep in mind that this is just a guide, and you must have an experienced attorney sign-off on any giveaway rules, regulations, and legalities.
This template is based on a number of past Facebook contests un by large brands and small companies – mostly in North America. There may be regional laws that this template does not cover, but it’s a good starting point…
- How to Run a Facebook Contest or Facebook Sweepstakes
- 25 Creative Facebook Contest Ideas You Can Use Today
- 30 Amazing Examples of Branded Facebook Contests Done Right
- 24 Amazing, Real-World Facebook Giveaway Examples
- 21 Facebook Contest Best Practices
Wrapping it Up
Hopefully, this article has helped you to understand what’s required before you start your Facebook contest. Rules and regulations aren’t fun, but they’re an essential part of a successful campaign.