In this episode BlueBird Podcast, I talk to my colleague Dawn Swick-Renshaw. We are talking about one of my Facebook pet-peeves, “like and share contests” and why it is important to follow Facebook’s rules even if you don’t want to.
Dawn started Stoney Creek Social Media 9 years ago and her big passion is helping small business owners to use social media for their business.
The reason we connected for this call was a post by Dawn warning people to stop using “like and share” as ways to qualify for winning a Facebook contest. Despite the fact that “everyone” is doing it, it is clearly against Facebook’s own Terms of Service (TOS).
“Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “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.com/page_guidelines.php
Aside from violating Facebook’s TOS you also can’t really use the shares to determine a winner because, depending on your fan’s privacy settings, you may not be able to even see their share.
There are very good reasons for these rules in the TOS – without them, Facebook would be a very spammy place and would lose users. In the end, the rules are there to protect all of us Facebook users.
One common misconception is that we can contact Facebook to rectify or explain individual cases and have decisions reviewed. Even social media professionals like Dawn and I don’t have a way to “call up Facebook”.
Facebook contests are a great way to engage and grow your audience. But you have to follow the rules to avoid losing the community you built over a long time.