Please, stop the shares!

Dear Big Brand*

Several of my readers have contacted me, disappointed that you insist on asking people to share a Facebook post on their personal profile to enter your prize draws.

As a big professional company, I presume you know it’s against Facebook’s terms of use to ask an entrant to share (“clients must not administer promotions on personal timelines”). But of course Facebook don’t enforce these ‘rules’, so why should you care?

What you should care about is treating all entrants fairly.

If you ask people to share a Facebook post, you’ve just messed up any chance of your prize draw being fairly administered, or CAP Code compliant. Never heard of the CAP Code? It’s the rulebook for all UK prize promotions – if you don’t comply, you could soon have the Advertising Standards Authority calling you up asking why not, and publishing a ruling against your brand. Which can be a real pain in the arse!

Why isn’t it fair to ask people to share?

Because of privacy settings, a Facebook page owner can’t see all shares of their post. Most Facebook users will have privacy enabled on their account so their share will be set by default to ‘Friends’. A page can only see shares set to ‘Public’, as my YouTube guide demonstrates.

Compers know they need to share to ‘Public’, and that’s why they pick up most of the prizes in ‘Like & Share’ promotions. But most of your non-comping fans won’t have a clue that their shared entry is only visible to their Facebook friends and not to you. So all those fans are excluded from the draw, even though they followed the instructions to ‘share’ – it’s not very fair is it?

What’s the solution?

Simply ask for a Like & Comment on the post. You can choose a random winner easily using Fanpage Karma or Woobox, and reply directly to the winner or message under their comment. Most of your lovely Facebook fans will share your competition post anyway, so you’ll still get tons of exposure. We’re just asking for a tiny change – you could add ‘We’d love it if you shared this great prize draw with your friends!’ to your post. All we ask is that you please don’t make the share a condition of entry.

Kind regards,

Di Coke (and lots of other frustrated Facebook users)



(*I’m talking to you Benefit, Cafe Rouge, Smyths Toys Superstores, Halfords, Intu, Red Letter Days, Shloer, Go Ahead, The Range, Fragrance Direct, L’Oreal, Londis, Viners,  Poundworld, Jones Bootmaker, Toby Toymaster, Dirt Devil, Candis, Costa, and hundreds more!)

Found this useful? Read my posts on running fair prize promotions on Twitter and Facebook.


12 Responses

  1. Andrea Goodheart says:

    Hi Di,

    Is it just the big brands that have to adhere to this? I presumed it was all companies on FB but got this reply when I messaged a small company who are asking you to ‘like, share & comment’ to enter their comp –

    Hi Andrea

    I’m glad you like the hats and suits, they seem to be really popular at the minute.

    With regard to the Facebook policy, as of Jan this year, Independent/Small businesses (which we are) are not allowed to make compulsory any engagement on Facebook in the context of a Sale/Purchase. But, as this is not a Sale or Purchase, it is a Giveaway Prize Draw, we are allowed to make compulsory the act of a ‘Like’ or a ‘Share’ in order to be entered.

    I understand your point, and Multinational/Franchise businesses are not allowed to do this, but smaller businesses play by a different set of rules now.

    However, I relate to your discomfort with sharing content, so I’ve entered your name into the draw anyway.

    Hope this helps, and good luck!


    • Di says:

      Tyler appears to be making things up as he goes along! All Facebook pages – whether it’s a blogger like me, a small local biz or a big company like Coca Cola, should abide by the same terms of use published on Facebook. Maybe you could ask him for a link to the ‘different set of rules’?!

      • Andrea Goodheart says:

        Haha! I think I just might! 😉

        • Andrea Goodheart says:

          Grrrrr! Now he’s posting this!!!

          The157store Wow huge response! Don’t forget you can share multiple times for a bigger chance of winning! Winner picked March 4th

  2. Janine Learner says:

    It was frustrating to see how many of the 2017 advent comps still insisted on sharing and tagging. I posted on one of their threads about it and got abuse from other people entering that I was trying to spoil the fun. I have been entering and sharing with “just me” but didnt realise that didn’t actually count and they needed to be able to see my share for it to count. It puts me off wanting to enter, even if I want the prize.

  3. Louise Lumsden says:

    I’m not bothered so much about the shares but the tagging lots of friends does annoy me because you can get banned for it. The other thing I get annoyed about is when they ask you to post “why you think you should win” because it encourages people to roll out the sob stories, I’m sure some of them are made up, but in any case I wish they’d leave it out, comping should be fun!

  4. dawn says:

    Does it count in these comps if you only share on your own fb page? I often share “only me* on games, that always gives me the bonus without having to annoy my friends.

  5. Rachelle Morgan says:

    Yes when I share a competition post my pats are only shared with friends. I don’t have any of my fb profile public because I enjoy my privacy as do many others x

  6. Nikki Hayes says:

    Well said – I don’t enter many like and share comps these days but it does still annoy me how many large and reputable companies ask people to share as a condition of entry.

  7. Sarah Evans says:

    I don’t mind the shares, why should a company give you something for nothing without any advertisement that is after all why they do it.

  8. I avoid share comps like the plague unless it’s something I really really want like local tickets. Another bug bear of mine is repost comps on Instagram they make your timeline look awful since I’ve stopped doing them I’ve actually won more on Instagram.

  9. Amy McLellan says:

    Yes! I don’t understand why companies insist on shares when ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ show up in your friend’s Facebook timelines anyway.

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