Why your ‘Like and Share’ promotion isn’t fair
Your Facebook ‘Like and Share’ promotions are driving people crazy. They are SPAM and UNFAIR and let’s be honest here, you really should know better!
Do you realise that:
- asking entrants to share is against Facebook rules?
- you can’t access a list of all the sharers, so you can’t choose a winner fairly?
- incentivised page likes and shares are resulting in users getting Facebook warnings and bans?
People are getting annoyed with constant requests to ‘like and share to enter’, ‘show your friends’ or reminders that ‘sharing is caring’.
Facebook is a place to share relevant photos, news and chat with our friends. Many of us are connected to older (and younger) family members and to workmates on Facebook. If I want to enter a ‘Like & Share’ promotion, I have to share it on the public setting, so the whole world can see your competition post sitting there on my personal timeline. And that sucks!
Some people tell me it’s OK to share just to my friends, or to a list of comping friends. Except it’s not. As a page owner, I know that you can’t see shares that aren’t public – and if I enter a comp, I want to ensure my entry is valid. Watch my video on YouTube showing what type of shares are visible and how it’s impossible to choose a winner fairly from sharers:
Here’s a reminder of what you can and can’t do when it comes to hosting prize draws or competitions on Facebook:
What promoters aren’t allowed to do on Facebook
You can’t ask an entrant to tag their friends in a comment, or ask an entrant to share a post
You can’t ask an entrant to like a page in order to enter a prize draw or competition
Facebook updated their platform policy in November 2014, stating that page owners “must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page”. What that means is that a promoter cannot ask people to Like a page in order to enter a prize draw or competition. That’s because Facebook want people to like pages because they’re actually interested in what they have to say – not simply because they want to win a prize or get a freebie.
OK, so what should promoters be doing?
Ask entrants to like the post and/or comment on the post
It’s absolutely fine to ask us to like a post or comment on a post in order to enter a prize promotion. If I do either of these, it will result in your giveaway photo appearing on my friends’ newsfeeds, so it achieves exactly the same results as a share does – but without your post clogging up my personal profile page!
Asking for a relevant comment is a great way of getting fans interacting with a page – but try to think of something that will result in unique and interesting answers, rather than asking a question with a single correct answer (which will be copied).
It’s easier to notify the winner if entrants have to comment rather than like the post – you can reply to the winner’s comment, tagging their name and asking them to get in contact (note: people don’t always get notifications when tagged by a page, so send a message too).
Make an effort to contact the winner
CAP state that “Promoters must take adequate steps to alert winners to the fact they have won” but in many cases, all we see is a single Facebook post or comment. Facebook reach is low, and the chance of the winner spotting a particular post in their feed is slim. Ideally, you should reply to a winning comment (tagging the winner’s name), post a new status announcing the winner – and send a message to the winner’s inbox.
Be careful – posting “Congratulations Dave Smith, you’re our winner! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org” as a status is a bad idea – if Dave Smith misses that status, a cheeky chancer could email and claim the prize as ‘Dave’ (yes, it happens!).
Many promoters aren’t happy about sending winning messages as they need to be sent from one of the page admin’s personal accounts. Of course, there’s also the problem of that message going into the Filtered Messages folder on Facebook – which lots of people don’t know exists. So unfortunately messages remain unseen and prizes remain unclaimed – especially if it’s a non-comper that wins, as they don’t have comping friends to tag them. If you use an app for your promotion, that’s much better as you’ll have access to the winner’s email address!
Link to a full set of T&Cs
CAP published guidance on social media prize draws last year, stating that the entrant “must be able to access the full terms and conditions before they enter the promotion” – but how often do we see that with a ‘Like & Share’ promotion? We’re lucky if there’s even a closing date – but it’s essential to include both the closing date and time, as it’s not fair that people continue to enter when the winner has been drawn. Ideally, edit in **CLOSED** at the top of the post when it’s ended – you could even add the winner’s name!
Choose a random winner for a prize draw
Using a free online tool like Fanpage Karma’s Good Luck Fairy, you can choose a winner randomly from Likes or Comments by pasting in the URL of the Facebook post. This is the fair way to conduct a random prize draw – and is better than scrolling through a list choosing a name, photo or comment that you like!
Use judging criteria and an independent judge for a competition
If you’re choosing the winning comment or photo on merit, it’s a competition rather than a prize draw, and you need to explain the judging criteria (eg. most original, funniest, etc.). The CAP Code states you should also use at least one independent judge to help choose the winning entry or entries.
Focus on fan engagement
You can’t collect email addresses from promotions hosted on Facebook timelines, and can’t ask for page likes. Instead, focus on creating engaging content that resonates with fans. Share photos, recipes and ideas that will make people smile – and ask fans to do the same.
Most compers will share your promotion anyway, just because they like to share! Suggesting ‘it would be great if you shared this with your friends’ is fine – and ‘Like our page if you don’t want to miss out on future promotions!’ works too. But please – don’t make it a condition of entry!
A note to compers
If you’re fed up of share comps, why not send a polite message to the page pointing out that their giveaway is breaking Facebook rules and send them a link to this post?
Do you run prize promotions on your website or blog? Check out my book Blog Giveaways: How to run successful competitions, contests and prize draws on your blog, available for download from Amazon.