Facebook competitions

Are you thinking of running a competition on Facebook? If so, please be aware of the rules and regs that Facebook have put in place about this! There’s been a lot of discussion about this recently as people seem to be unclear about the boundaries.

Running a competition on Facebook can be a great way to get more ‘likes’ for your Page so it’s definitely worth doing, but  there are plenty of competitions on Facebook at the moment which violate the rules. The risk here is that Facebook will either disable or shut down your Page with no notice and they may not put it back!

If you run any form of competition on Facebook and choose a winner, it would fall under the terms of Facebook’s Promotions Guidelines.

Facebook says:

“You will not administer a promotion through Facebook, except through an application on the Facebook Platform. Administration includes operation of any element of the promotion, such as collecting entries, conducting a drawing, judging entries, or notifying winners.”

Bottom line: you must not use any of Facebook’s features for your competitions!

If you do want to run a competition linked to your Facebook Page then it must be run using a third-party app.

Some examples of widely-used apps are:  Wildfire,, Fanappz, Offerpop and Promobox

So, to summarise, you can’t:

  • Choose a fan at random to give a prize to as you’re using Facebook to ‘collect entries’.
  • Get people to vote on their favourite post or photo on a Page– you’re using  Facebook to host the process of the competition
  • Get fans to enter a contest by uploading photos directly to Facebook.
  • Use Facebook to notify someone that they’ve won your competition.


You can:

  • Give away an incentive such as a voucher to everyone who likes your Page
  • Advertise a competition on your Facebook Page that you’re running elsewhere on the internet, say your website – just post the link on your Page.
  • ‘Celebrate’ with the winner of your competition by posting about it on Facebook, but only after you’ve told them by a different means first!

The bottom line here is that you can’t use Facebook to run any part of a competition – you have been warned!!