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Do You Know the Rules of Social Media Contests?

Honored Contributor

Do You Know the Rules of Social Media Contests?



4 Things to Know When Planning a Social Media Contest

By: Gonzalo E. Mon



I don't know about you, but I never would have thought in order to run a contest or sweepstakes on my Social Media sites that there would be laws involved.  Ok, maybe I had a little bit of knowledge on that, but not that much.  Thanks to Mashable and Gonzalo E. Mon, I know have a better understanding at what the rules are for Social Media Contests.


Read them below to make sure you are doing the right things for yourself and your followers, fans, circles.


1.  Know Your Terminology


What is a contest:  A contest awards prizes based on skill


What is a sweepstakes:  A sweepstakes refers to a promotion in which prizes are awarded based on chance


Many people get confused as to the difference between the two and may not use the correct wording.  They are each subject to different sets of laws.


2.  Know the Laws


The number one rule to remember is that you can not require people to make a purchase or payment in order to enter a sweepstakes.  You can create a method that has a payment option, but you will also have to have a free option as well. 


As for contests, you do have more flexibility, but it's not easy.  Different states define skill differently and will have different rules all together.  So ensure that you know the rules for the states that you're running your Social Media contest in.  You may have to exclude some states all together.


3.  Know the Platform Rules



Facebook Promotions Guidelines


Google+ Pages Contest and Promotion Policies


Twitter Guidelines


4.  Know the Risks


Make sure that you do not give all control to your consumers.  Also be aware of cheating and also possible lawsuits.


To read the article in its entirety, please click here.