I just finished watching an intriguing and illuminating documentary on The ABC Four Corners programme about the power of ‘Liking’, ‘Commenting’, ‘Re-tweeting’, ‘Sharing’ and ‘Following’ on social media. Who could have thought, even five years ago how such a small idea and some quick movements of the finger could evolve into the influential and massive power of the social media movement of today.
Suddenly, almost overnight it seems, all kinds of people, organisations, community groups and businesses are offering free samples or the chance to win large and small prizes (or all of these) through their Facebook pages: all with the ultimate goal of increasing their followers and building their presence or their brand on the internet and in the community.
I have seen small, relatively insignificant Facebook pages grow from a few followers to over 100,000 in a couple of months. It is truly an amazing phenomenon. But back to competitions… What does this mean for us happy, busy compers? Well, mostly good news tempered with a little bad.
The good news is the increasingly large number of competitions now on offer every day with some great prizes. Some are really creative and fun to enter as well others are simply a random draw. My favourite ones from the last few months have been WOL competition run by Amayzim; a series of caption competitions through IGA; and the Rams photo-bombing competition. At the moment Divinity Hot Chocolate are offering free samples of their delicious hot chocolate as well as the chance to win a Chocolate Expresso Machine with a selfie. Betadine are also giving away 1000 soft squishy toys by giving them a name. Diary of a Comp Queen runs regular small competitions with some great prizes by ‘liking’ and ‘commenting’ on their page. And there are heaps and heaps more…
Facebook used to have very strict rules regarding the running of competitions and promotions through timelines and pages but these were relaxed late last year so that now almost anyone can put one together as long as they stick to a few simple guidelines. There are still some very important rules and if you find a competition that does not adhere to them, I suggest you don’t support it on principle.
So, what can a Facebook competition sponsor do now? They can:
- Run a competition through a page, timeline post or an application
- Allow people to enter by ‘liking’ or ‘commenting’ or messaging the page
- Use ‘likes’ for people to vote for their favourite entry (a comment or photo)
What they can’t do is;
- Run a competition on a personal timeline
- Require people to ‘tag’ themselves on content they are not in
- Require people to ‘share’ to their personal timeline (although they can suggest or encourage people to ‘share’ but not as a requirement to enter)
Herewith we find our first bit of bad news. If there is a little (or a lot) of ‘sharing’ your chances of winning any of the prizes is reduced.
Added to all that there are rules that also must be adhered to including a link to a full set of terms and conditions (required by the particular state laws) and a disclaimer of liability for Facebook. The other ‘tricky’ thing about many Facebook competitions is chasing up a prize you might have won. Some don’t announce the winners automatically but expect people to check it and then message them with their contact details in order to claim the prize by a certain date. So always check out any fine print first.
Enough said. I still think – get out there and enter them because…‘you gotta….’
You can always ‘unlike’ them later on. That’s what I do!