How NOT to Run a Facebook Giveaway


We see them all the time on Facebook, and they are lots of fun: referral contests, photo competitions and wall giveaways. But are they compliant with Facebook guidelines? Usually not.

If you have a Facebook fan page for your business or blog, and want to add some interaction with a giveaway, you’ll definitely want to work within their guidelines to avoid having your page removed.

In the official guidelines, Facebook prohibits individuals and businesses from engaging in certain types of promotions. The document says “You must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page.” That means:

  • DON’T ask people to “like” anything on your Facebook page, wall or photo album as a type of voting mechanism in a promotion. For example, running a giveaway where a fan with the most “likes” on his or her photo wins, would be against Facebook guidelines.
  • DON’T ask people to “share” a Facebook status, photo or album for extra entries in your giveaway.
  • DON’T ask people to upload photos to your wall as a condition for entering your giveaway.
  • DON’T ask people to leave a comment or a recommendation (for your business) on your wall or one of your posts (or someone else’s wall or post) as a giveaway entry.
  • DON’T use Facebook to notify a winner. You can email them directly, or even send a Tweet. But don’t use Facebook chat, messaging or timelines to send someone a winning notification. However, it is perfectly acceptable to announce a confirmed winner on Facebook after they have replied to your initial notification.

Now you might be wondering why so many people are breaking the rules on Facebook. The main reason is probably that they don’t know the guidelines exist and are just following what they see on other pages. And I’m sure that Facebook doesn’t have time to police them all. Add to this the fact that fans will seldom blow the whistle on their favorite brand or blogger. Most of us are just are just eager to win stuff!

So what’s the easiest and most equitable way to run a Facebook giveaway? The third-party application, Rafflecopter, makes it a breeze! After logging in and creating your giveaway on Rafflecopter, simply click the Embed button and it will give you the option to add the giveaway onto your Facebook page. Here’s a quick and easy tutorial for adding the Facebook giveaway app to your fan page.


  1. Melissa Moreno
    • Anne Sweden
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    • Anne Sweden
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    • Anne Sweden
  4. Jenn
    • Anne Sweden
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    • Anne Sweden
  6. Jimmy Arcade
    • Anne Sweden
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