- Regional laws want to avoid you running a lottery
- Facebook does not want you to use its features as an entry mechanism
- Twitter is fine with pretty much anything so long as there isn’t a fraud or multiple accounts
- Google+ does not allow brands to promote their contests, but you can have a link to an
Contest rules suck! Where do you begin? Want to know how to run a contest? The first thing you need to learn is about contest rules. From the confusing Facebook contest rules, to worrying about the legality of your online contest or giveaway is enough of a challenge to cause migraines and gray hair. Let’s not forget that every country, state, and province can have different rules and regulations.
Don’t worry though. Below, not only will you find a quick summary of all the rules, but also how Incentivibe can draft the legal documentation for $24.99 within 45 seconds … that also includes a $500 prize for your contest. Yes, you read that right. More on that later or click here to see video.
Now, on to the rules that will help you understand how to run a contest and how you can avoid spending so much time and money creating them.
Basic Rules – Avoid Being Labelled As A Lottery
The primary rule to be able to run a contest or sweepstakes and not be classified as running a private lottery, is that your contest SHOULD NOT do one of the following…
1) A prize is awarded; OR
2) Is a game of chance / odds; OR
3) Costs money to be part of the contest
The element that Incentivibe does not use is #3. No purchase is necessary to be part of our contests.
An article by About.com talks about this in greater detail.
Basic Rules To Follow When Creating Contest Rules
No matter where you are; you should discuss the following elements in your contest rules to avoid confusion, liability issues, and simply – be ethical. Also, as mentioned before, don’t let these get to you. We’ll tell you how we can take care of all of these for you within seconds.
- Terms & Conditions – Explicitly state what you want the individual to do to be considered as a valid participant within the contest. State anything that would nullify their entry
- Eligibility – State the age requirement and the ability to answer any particular prize mathematical question for them to be considered as a participant or a winner
- Contact Person – Should an individual wish to inquire about the contest rules – they should be able to contact a specific person with the right information
- Visibility – Contest rules should always be present in near sight, and not hidden and tucked away from people who are entering the contest.
- Odds of winning – You must state what the odds of winning are for your contest (based on eligible entries, date/time, etc) during the contest period.
For a list of more detailed rules, visit the article posted by Social Media Examiner.
Running Contests on Social Media
Dealing with government and country regulations around contests is one thing, but when it comes to some of the rules created by some social media platforms…that is another story. Every social media platform has unique conditions and rules when it comes to running contests or promotions on their websites. Below we have summarized some of the top ones that get used.
Facebook is a powerful social networking tool, and with a member base of almost more than 1 billion it is almost treated as a separate country on its own. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that Facebook contest rules are very stringent.
- You cannot announce the winner of your contest on Facebook
- Facebook “Like” or “share” actions cannot be used for entry requirement
(You can however do “Like” my Facebook page to see the contest entry page)
- You cannot say “share” my Facebook page to get additional entries
(You can say, if you “share” and if somebody “Likes” it, you can be entered)
For more information on the “Dos and Don’ts” when it comes to Facebook contest rules, visit the Facebook terms page
Twitter is very flexible when it comes to promoting your contests/sweepstakes. They do have guidelines which you can check out here. However for the most part, the rules are very understandable. Some of them are:
- Do not post the same Tweet repeatedly
- Discourage the creation of multiple accounts
- Ask users to include @reply to you in their update so you can see all their entries
- Do not publish any private information such as street address, etc
For businesses that have brands, products, or groups pages that are referred to as “brand pages” present on the social networking site, Google does not allow brand page owners to host contests or promotions directly on the site.
You are however allowed to post a link on your Google + page that takes the user to an external site where the contest is hosted. For more information on this, visit the TechCrunch article.
Again, nothing to worry about here. We’ll tell you below how to host a contest on your website within seconds and then drive traffic to it.
We hope that you found this article useful in understanding the basic fundamentals required to running a contest. Contest rules are tedious and aren’t really meant to be fun, but the law requires it. Not only to these rules protect your participants but it protects you as well.
Don’t want to do all that work? Wish someone else could run your contest from beginning to end?
For $24.99, you can use Incentivibe’s service, where we provide you with all the support: creating the contest rules, contest tool for your website/social media sites, and prize delivery. Best part is, no matter where you are located; we take full responsibility and liability of running YOUR contest.
Not to mention we include the $500 prize of your choice. You can start all this in a matter of seconds. Click here to sign up today, and get 20% OFF.
How is this possible?
Incentivibe groups businesses together so they can offer big contest prizes (e.g. $500 visa) while sharing a fraction of the prize cost (e.g. $24.99) with other businesses. With Incentivibe you contribute $24.99 to the prize pool and Incentivibe has other member businesses that contribute the rest to make up for the cost.