When running a social media contest or giveaway, you have a lot of freedom when it comes to creating and setting rules for users. Although there are many brands that do whatever they want, there are certain guidelines and standards that must be met.

Social media contest limits

Restrictions on a social media contest are one of the recurring topics that we get asked about in our support channel. To answer all of these questions, we have prepared this post.

If you’ve been thinking about what kind of dynamics to formulate in your giveaways, then you’re in the right place. Next, we’ll tell you about what you can and cannot ask the participants of a contest or giveaway on your social networks.

Difference Between a Social Media Contest and a Giveaway on Social Media

The first thing you need to do is understand the difference between a contest and a giveaway. Looking to La Fundéu BBVA for help, we found:

  • Giveaway or sweepstake: refers to the action of a raffle.
  • Contest: refers to a competition or test to win a prize.

Therefore, when we talk about a giveaway:

The winner or winners are chosen at random from all those who have participated and have followed the conditions for doing so.

However, when we talk about contests:

  • The winner or winners are determined based on factors such as points, votes or the choice of a jury.
  • Contests have a higher level of involvement and requirements.
  • For these reasons, it’s not appropriate to use both words interchangeably.

Likewise, there are also actions that don’t come with a reward. That is, gamification actions that are not necessarily subject to a reward. Examples of these types of actions include interactive content campaigns such as quizzes, personality tests or trivia, which can include a prize or not.

Now that you’re clear on the difference, we invite you to take a look at our catalog of applications. In it, you’ll find all the campaigns and giveaways that you can create with Cool Tabs. You’ll also be able to get inspiration from our demos before carrying out the actions you’re envisioning.

Restrictions on a Social Media Contest or Giveaway

Just like how not all social networks have the same type of use, they also don’t share the same policies and you can’t ask for the same thing on all of them. In the Use Policies for the different social platforms, you’ll find detailed restrictions of use, which affect any social media contest or giveaway on social networks.

Facebook’s Use Policy

In section 3 of Facebook’s policy regarding giveaways and promotions, it says:

  • The only person responsible for the promotion will be the person who administers it.
  • Promotions must include (almost always in the terms and conditions) a complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant; and acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.
  • Promotions cannot be administered from personal timelines.
  • Friend connections must not be used to administer promotions. For example, using phrases like: “share on your Timeline” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to enter”, or “tag your friends in this post to enter”. You can recommend it, but you can’t use it as a condition.
  • Facebook will not provide help when administering the promotion.
  • Having users follow a page cannot be made a requirement. Just like with the friend connections, you can recommend it (a tactic that usually yields very good results), but you can’t impose it as a mandatory condition.
  • You can only ask that users like or comment on the contest’s post.

Instagram’s Use Policy

The photography social network outlines the following restrictions when it comes to administering a promotion:

  • You will be solely responsible for administering and guaranteeing the promotion’s operation.
  • You will not be able to encourage users to tag themselves in photos they don’t appear in.
  • Promotions must include a complete release of Instagram by each entrant or participant.
  • There must be an acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way sponsored by the platform.
  • It will not assist you in the administration of the promotion.
  • You can ask for users to follow a certain page, but you can only check it manually (not automatically).
  • One of the requirements cannot be for users to ask for likes (although you can recommend it).
  • You are allowed to ask users to comment on a certain post and use a specific hashtag to participate.

Twitter’s Use Policy

Twitter, the social network with the bird logo, has the following restrictions when it comes to promotions:

  • The creation of several accounts should not be encouraged. This must be specified in the terms and conditions.
  • Posting the same tweet repeatedly should not be encouraged. In this regard, you cannot set rules that favor the person with the most retweets.
  • Promotions must conform to Twitter’s rules and best practices.
  • Sweepstakes can only be done with retweets or followers, not with likes or comments.

What should a social media contest or sweepstake contain?

All promotions on social networks should include:

  • Terms and Conditions: all campaigns and giveaways must be accompanied by this document, which establishes the conditions of the giveaway or contest that is going to be carried out. An important point that you should include is the selection of the winner.
  • You must be able to identify the participants in order to verify that their profiles are not fraudulent and there is someone’s real identity behind each one and they’re not a fake profile.
  • If the winner is to be chosen randomly, you must have a system that can do this.
  • The substitution of the winner must be guaranteed in the event that the first winner rejects the prize or does not comply with the stipulated requirements.
  • The list of winners must be made public.
  • A certificate of validity must be presented for the winner.

Don’t worry, because when creating your sweepstake with Cool Tabs, we will provide you with all the means to ensure you comply with these policies. You will be able to create the terms and conditions for your giveaway. You will obtain a certificate of validity and a URL to the page of winners, so that you can make it public. You will also have the option to select alternates. You can even activate the anti-fraud system to check that the participants are valid.

Choose the Right Social Network

Not all social networks are used to communicate the same thing and the same goes for a social media contest or giveaway.

In this regard, Facebook is perfect if you want to reach a wider audience in a simple way, since it is the social network with the largest number of registered users. And we can’t forget that no matter what sector you’re in, this social network is very well received.

If, on the other hand, your brand is focused on the beauty, fashion or travel sector, or if it is very powerful visually, then we recommend opting for Instagram. One of the characteristics that make it perfect for launching campaigns is that it’s the fastest growing social network. In addition, it is one of the platforms with the greatest presence of influencers. A fact to take into account if you decide to connect your actions to them, with the goal of achieving a greater reach.

On the other hand, if your brand is focused on the marketing and communication sector, Twitter is perfect for launching these types of actions.

If you’re going to launch a hashtags contest, then go for these last two social networks, since they favor searches using this tool, something that Facebook doesn’t do.

As you can see, there aren’t very many restrictions but it is important to make sure our promotions and actions conform to the rules of the game. This way we’ll make sure we avoid any unwanted surprises.

What did you think of this post? Leave us your questions and thoughts in the comments.

Launch your social media contest with Cool Tabs! >>