WARNING: Think twice before running that “Like & share” competition.

We have noticed quite a few of these on our news feeds lately. Although they can be great for business, it seems that there are a number of pages that are inadvertently (more than likely) in breach of Facebook’s terms of use. If your post is reported it can land you in some hot water with the Facebook police. Facebook changed their policies surrounding promotions on their platform in a big way a number of years ago, yet it seems like most are not even aware of this and risk losing their page entirely.

Giveaways are a quick,  easy & cost effective way to increase the number of likes & page followers for any business. The strategy is straightforward. Attract those likes & followers through a competition whereby the entrants are first required to either like & share a page, or to comment on the post and tag a friend. Why are they so popular?  Because people like free cra…..stuff. The logic is sound. Instant brand awareness and loads more page followers (and potential audience) for the cost of a freebie.

Many new (and existing) page admins have been drawn to the allure of a ‘quick fix’ for increasing their reach & brand awareness by running ‘like & share’ strategies. But be warned – it can be risky if you don’t ensure you keep up with Facebook’s ever changing guidelines.


Here’s why:

You CAN ask people to enter by:

            • Liking a post
            • Commenting on a post
            • Posting on a page
            • Messaging a page
            • Clicking through to an entry form on your website

You CAN’T ask people to enter by:

            • Sharing a page on their timeline
            • Tag a friend in comment or post
            • “Liking & sharing”
            • Like a page (to automatically enter)
            • Share a page on a friend’s timeline


It’s worth noting that Facebook’s competition rules can change periodically, so take a quick look at their own guidelines.


        • In the Facebook guidelines, it’s made clear that there should be an “Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.”
        • Items that have age restrictions for example alcohol should be shown clearly and be regulated.
        • Be realistic, pages must not contain false, misleading, fraudulent, or deceptive claims or content.
        • Show the terms and conditions which should involve:
        • What the prize is? – Closing date and time? – Restrictions- How to enter? How is the winner decided? – When is the winner told? – Promoter? – Will entries be used or shared by promoters? – Show disclaimer of Facebook
        • ‘Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions.in simple terms, this means you should not promote your audience to share on their timelines or tag a friend in a comment for them to be entered in the competition or giveaway! There should also be no endorsement to like the page to get into the competition.
        • Do not ask the winner to message you in case its a fake account. Instead, message the winner via the same profile they interacted with the competition to ensure the correct winner.


Good luck!

Written by Piérre Maré

Written by Piérre Maré

CEO PortKey Solutions

I am your local digital marketing specialist (geek with uncommon interpersonal skills). I specialise in helping businesses & brands connect with their customers by enhancing their online presence through integrated marketing strategies including their websites, social media, email, mobile, content creation, paid ads & customer relationship management.

With over 12 years of sales & marketing experience built up working with blue chip organisations (whilst I resided in the UK), I love helping businesses & brands grow by leveraging ever-changing online marketing channels.