Start a contest, give away cool stuff, grow your business. Simple!
The problem is when your contest breaks the rules!
Breaking the rules gets you shadowbanned, page restrictions, blocks, and the dreaded Facebook Jail!
This article is right where you need to be if you’re looking to understand Instagram ‘n’ Facebook Competition or Contest Rules and Policies
Breaking Facebook Competition rules is running ‘Like, Comment, Share, and Tag a friend’ competitions.
It’s the Monopoly equivalent of the GO TO Jail, do not pass go, and do not collect $200 Community Chest card. But, worse.
If your Facebook news-feed looks in anything like my feed, it resembles a bin outside a chipper on a Friday night! Stinking and overflowing with these illegal comps.
Don’t worry, this is Urban Renström, there is always science and research involved in everything I talk about
This Instagram / Facebook Competition Rules post is part III. Part I is how to run the best Facebook Competitions for your business. Part II is using Email Marketing as your killer follow up app!
Know Facebook Competition Rules, Regulations, and Policies
Here is what you cannot and can do as entry into your competition.
Monitor both this group, pages, and events policy URL for, and this Instagram Promotions guidelines page for changes to the rules. Naturally, read, understand and implement before you launch your next contest!
The Biggest Facebook and Instagram ‘Don’t dos’ when Running Competitions
Facebook Competition rules
“Personal timelines and friends’ connections must not be used to administer promotions” see screen shot below.
On Facebook you cannot ask people to “share (this competition) on your timeline to enter” or “share (this competition) on your friend’s timeline to get extra entries”, or “tag your friends in this post to enter”.
The sharing and tagging on Facebook is verboten! It’s the Monopoly GO TO Jail card.
Yet, on Instagram sharing and tagging is allowed.
But, Wait Here Are A Few More Rules
You are responsible for running a legal contest on both Facebook and Instagram. This means you must:
- Informing people of your official rules of your competition (easiest on a page on your website)
- Inform people of your terms and eligibility requirements, if any (e.g. age, country)
- Follow country rules and regulations on the contest and prize (any local/country laws?)
Communicating a Facebook and Instagram promotion
Release means you state your contest is not endorsed, sponsored, associated, or administered by Facebook or Instagram. In addition, you must state Facebook / Instagram is not responsible to entrants or participants.
UGC (User Generated Content) as Entry to Win
If your contest is judged, e.g. people submit a photo, poem, then you must get permission to collect and use their information.
What is a “Promotion or Contest”
Specifically, a contest or promotion includes
- (a form of) Entry or registration
- (there exists an) Element of chance
- (and there is something to win) a prize
Should I run a Sweepstakes, Contest or Lottery? What’s the Difference?
Which contest type is up to you. Sweepstakes and giveaways are the easiest – pick a random winner. Contest requires judging.
- Sweepstakes / Giveaway: Every person gets an equal chance to win. No skill, purchase, payment or any other consideration required. Simply throw your hat into the ring for a chance to win.
- Contest: To enter a person must do something, e.g. show skill, give effort to enter. E.g. photo or video contest, or answer series of questions. Winner is picked at random, votes or by judges.
- Lottery: requires purchase of a ticket, payment or other consideration. ‘Buy ticket for chance to win a car‘.
Check your local rules and regulations and laws if lotteries are legal.
Follow Instagram and Facebook Competition Rules and Avoid Going to Facebook Jail
The rules you must follow when running contest and competitions are simple to follow and clearly defined. Yet, plenty of people break the rules. In summary the ‘Don’t’ do and ‘Can’ do.
Facebook Competition Rules:
Don’t ask people to ‘share on your timeline‘ to enter your competition.
Don’t ask people to ‘tag a friend to enter‘ to enter your competition.
Don’t ask people to ‘share on a friend’s timeline to enter’ your competition.
Don’t ask people for ‘post a review to enter‘ to enter your competition.
Don’t ask people to ‘like and share the competition‘ to enter your competition.
We are smart enough that if you say – wink, wink, nudge, nudge – ‘it-would-be-nice-if-you-could’ share this competition, then people will oblige and share.
You Can ask people to like your page to enter your competition.
You Can ask people to comment on your post (using a photo, GIF, emoji, text answers) to enter your competition.
You Can ask people to message your business page to enter your competition.
You Can ask people to ‘like comments’ as a vote mechanism to enter your competition (the rules are not clear if this is up vote a comment or the number of likes you give equals one entry).
Instagram Competition Rules:
You Can ask people to like your page
You Can ask people to like your post
You Can ask people to comment on your post
You Can ask people to share your photo
You Can ask people to share a specific competition #hashtag
Instagram and Facebook Competition (s) Help your Business Grow
You get big post reach. New people see your brand, exposure, and PR. All good.
Just know and follow the rules and give away cool stuff for people to win.
Have a Facebook competition rules question? Ask in the comments.
Picture credit: Pie Eating Contest Photo by Abigail Miller
Three Part Instagram / Facebook Competitions Part I – 6 step framework, Part II Email as the killer followup app, Part III the Rules
- Instagram / Facebook Competition Rules and Regulations to Stay out of Facebook Jail
- Email Marketing - The Killer Follow-Up App to Build Relationships, Foster Trust, and Get Sales in 2019
- Facebook Competition (s): The Savvy ‘n’ Simple 6 Step Framework to Run Win-Win Facebook Competitions to Avoid the Shadow Ban, Build Relationships, Foster Community, and Get 10-20 clients in a Fortnight