Facebook Timeline Comps: what's allowed?

Submitted by SuperluckyDi on Mon, 2013-09-16 15:25

It's been a few weeks since Facebook updated their Promotion Guidelines and Terms of Use for Pages. Apps are no longer required, and companies can now run competitions and prize draws directly on their Facebook page, or 'timeline'. We all know that most pages did that anyway (as Facebook didn't enforce their own rules!) but the difference is that now it's perfectly acceptable to do so, and there's no risk of a page being removed.

However, one important point which many promoters seem to have missed is that SHARING TO ENTER IS STILL NOT ALLOWED. The new Facebook terms prohibit Like and Share competitions - to quote from their Page Terms of Use:

Personal Timelines 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" is not permitted).

Facebook actually explains one of the reasons for this in their Promotion Guidelines:

...because people can choose to limit the visibility of the content they put on Facebook to only themselves, friends, or to a custom group of people, Pages won't have the ability to access all of the entries that people post on their own Timelines unless these entries are public.

With a sharing competition, there's no easy way to choose a winner fairly. Some entrants might not be aware that in order for the promoter to see their entry on the Shares list, it needs to be set to 'Public' rather than 'Friends' - they may have shared with their 2000 friends, but if the promoter can't see that share, they won't even be in the draw!

Here at The PrizeFinder we don't list competitions that ask people to share in order for the entry to be valid. We would like to see pages running Like, Comment or Photo competitions on their timelines - by all means, promoters should ask entrants to share with their friends but they SHOULDN'T make this an entry requirement. All they're doing is encouraging people to spam their own timeline and friends' newsfeeds.

If you're a promoter reading this and are running 'Like/Comment' prize draws on a Timeline, we recommend using the handy free tool at www.fanpagekarma.com/facebook-promotion to choose a winner at random. If you paste in the URL of your Facebook competition post, it will give four options for winners:

• A winner from all those who liked the post
• A winner from all those who liked the post and commented
• A winner from all those who commented
• The most liked post (not recommended!)

There's no option here to choose from shares, because due to varied privacy settings it's impossible to see all the people that shared the post. If running a timeline comp, we suggest you stick to choosing a winner from Likes and Comments - and let people share only if they want to (you'll soon see that most compers will happily share anyway!).

Finally, a little advice for promoters on notifying winners. The old Facebook guidelines stated that promoters MUST contact winners via email. Now though, it's fine to contact a winner via a message or a timeline announcement. We'd like to request that promoters always send a message - announcements can easily be missed. And NEVER announce a winner and leave a contact email address, as an unscrupulous cheat may email and try to claim the prize! Ideally, you should message your winner AND announce it on your page. If possible, tag your winner in a reply to their comment. Ask your winner to check their 'Other' inbox at www.facebook.com/messages/other for details of how to claim their prize - many people don't even know they HAVE an 'Other' inbox.

Timeline comps should prove a great success, as Facebook mobile users will finally be able to get involved. But we'd like to see them organised well, with a clear closing date and a link to T&Cs. If promoters can manage that - then we'll be delighted to list them here at www.theprizefinder.com!


Submitted by SuperluckyDi on Mon, 2013-09-23 09:49


It definitely limits your comping Jenny - but if you just want to stick to web-based competitions, in addition to PrizeFinder you should also be using Google Search to find low-entry competitions and prizes that you want to win (try looking on your local websites and radio station websites too). Unfortunately, because of the viral nature of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc, more and more companies are asking us to share as part of (or an extra) entry.

With Rafflecopter comps, you can usually enter just by leaving a blog comment or answer and can ignore all the other tasks. You'll have less entries in the draw, but will still be able to win!

Submitted by betsy on Sun, 2013-10-13 02:23


hi jenny, i wouldnt say that you havnt had wins because of not having facebook etc.

i think its just luck of the draw.

i have been comping for years and have still yet to win anything and i have facebook etc. (i enter over 100-150 a day)