Why Can’t I Run Contests On Facebook?

Contests On FacebookUpdate: You are now able to run contests on facebook- right on the newsfeed- no software necessary

I’m not sure a day goes by that I don’t see a fanpage running a contest or giveaway on their fanpage. For sure I can see why they want to, and if they don’t know why they shouldn’t, I can even see why they do. But for many, I send them a quick note to point them in the right direction.

Regardless of the terms of service on Facebook saying not to run fanpage contests, people still ask: Why Can’t I Run Contests on Facebook?

For starters, there is a legal reason. When you run a contest on Facebook, it puts them at risk if there is an issue with the contest, therefore, to protect themselves, they don’t want you running the contests.

In reality, you can run a contest on your fanpage, it just has to be through an application. Yes, I completely understand what a pain this is, because:

1- People don’t always click the link to the contest, they click the photo, or they click like or comment or share right on the actual post

2- Tabs are somewhat hidden, and you’d have to constantly run updates sending traffic to the tab

3- Based on Edgerank, not all of your followers are going to see the updates about the contest, when you update about it

The Best Options for Contests On Facebook

Truly, the best option I have seen so far is to use an app and then use the Promote option to send traffic to your contest. For $5 you really can’t beat how many people will be seeing your post, and it stays live for a few days at a time, so you could repost it, and run it again, or increase the reach by spending a little more money.

Here are some tips for using Promoted Posts for your Contest or Giveaway:

  • Set up the app and get a short link to the tab for your contest.
  • Have an image made for the advertisement with less than 20% text, to show off the contest.
  • Include text in your post, similar to this: Win a Free Cozy Cup, Join our Giveaway by Clicking This Link NOW! www.facebook.com/yourfanpage
  • Tell other related fanpages about your giveaway, so that they can notify their fans. It’s best to message them first via the message option or on their website, no self promoting on their fanpage.
  • Give your fans a good week or two to enter the contest, then pick a winner and announce it.
  • If you can afford to run another ad, announce the winner in the ad image, and tell people to like your fanpage to get notification about the next giveaway.

Just like you I would love to run a contest or giveaway by simply writing an update and letting people share it, etc, but until someone comes up with the perfect application to do this, the terms of use on Facebook call for a third party app. If you don’t use a third party app you are risking losing your entire fanpage, it really isn’t worth it, so for now, play by the rules.

If you need suggestions for third party apps, just leave a comment below.


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1 Comment

  1. Currently reviewing third party apps to run contests for our clients now. Please send me your suggestions, Mary. Thanks in advance.


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