A contest is a great way to promote a special offer, product, or just your brand in general… as long as you don’t violate Facebook’s rules.

Promoting a contest can get you a lot of engagement, because people love any chance they can to win something. I often see contests on smaller accounts that are new or small businesses, and more times than not, these accounts aren’t aware that Facebook doesn’t actually allow you to run certain types of contests.

There are three specific types of contests that Facebook does not allow you to use. They are:

1. Change your cover photo
These are few and far between, but every now and then you will see someone with a cover photo that clearly displays a contest promotion. If the page that is promoting the contest has asked fans to change their cover photos to gain entry, this clearly goes against Facebook rules. And more importantly, there really isn’t a way to track your success with this method anyways so how would you even choose a winner?

2. Photo tagging
You cannot ask your Facebook fans to tag themselves in your contest photos. This also goes for any photos that you have on your page unless they otherwise depict the person that is being tagged.

3. Photo sharing
Probably one of the more common contests you will find on Facebook, this is definitely not allowed. A lot of times you will see a contest say something like “ Like, comment, and share for your chance to win.” You cannot ask your fans to share your photo or video in order to gain an entry into your contest, however should they choose to do so on their own, that is perfectly fine.

Facebook also mandates that you be sure to include in your post that the contest is in no way associated, sponsored, endorsed, or administered by Facebook.

If this is news to you, odds are you might not be aware of all the other rules Facebook has in place for pages. Follow this link to check them out: Facebook Page Guidelines.  

With all this said. there are other acceptable forms of contests to run on Facebook that are ALLOWED. Just to name a few examples:

  • You could ask fans to comment on your contest with a name for a product, or by guessing a trivia question
  • Simply liking the photo
  • Sending the page a private message

Now that we’ve given you a brief overview of what not to do with contests on Facebook, we hope this will help you stay out of trouble and run a successful promotion.

Written by Haley Bogan
Haley Bio Photo
Haley Bogan is a social media enthusiast and graphic design lover based out of Atlanta, Georgia. She recently attained a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication, concentrating in Journalism and Advertising, with a minor in Marketing from Georgia College & State University. When she’s not managing social media accounts or designing, she loves watching movies, spending time with the people she cares about, and hanging out with her dog child, Emi Lou.