August 1, 2017 Chad Richards

Social Media Contests: 40 Rules That Will Make Or Break Your Promotion

social media contests

Running social media contests or sweepstakes can be a great way to generate excitement around your brand, but there are some dos and don’ts you must consider before you begin.

Social Media Contests: Channel Rules

Every social media channel has guidelines when it comes to running contests. Keep these rules in mind to make sure everyone has a good time—you’re doing this to have some fun with your customers and followers, after all— and that your campaign falls within each channel’s promotion guidelines.

Scroll through the entire post to check out each of the channel’s contest rules or jump directly to your channel of choice using the links below:

Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest
Snapchat
Twitter


Facebook Contests

facebook contests

Dos

1. Do understand that you are responsible for the lawful operation of the promotion.
2. Do provide a link to official rules.
3. Do offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions)
4. Do make sure you’ve obtained any necessary regulatory or legal approvals.

Don’ts

5. Don’t ask people to share on their Timelines to enter.
6. Don’t tell people to share on their friends’ Timelines to get additional entries.
7. Don’t ask people to tag their friends in a post to enter.
8. Don’t say the contest is sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

To stay up-to-date on Facebook contest rules, always check their Promotion Guidelines before planning and launching your campaign.


RELATED POST: Your Social Media Contest Prize Will Make Or Break Your Promotion


Instagram Contests

instagram contests

Dos

9. Do understand that you are responsible for the lawful operation of the promotion.
10. Do provide a link to official rules.
11. Do offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions)
12. Do make sure you’ve obtained any necessary legal approvals.

Don’ts

13. Don’t inaccurately tag content.
14. Don’t encourage users to tag themselves in photos if they aren’t in the photos.
15. Don’t encourage users to tag their friends in photos if they aren’t in the photos.
16. Don’t say the contest is sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.

To stay up-to-date on Instagram contest rules, always check their Promotion Guidelines before planning and launching your campaign.


Pinterest Contests

pinterest contests

Dos

17. Do encourage creative, authentic, and non-spammy behavior.
18. Do give Pinners the ability to choose Pins based on their tastes and preferences, even if it’s from a selection on a given website.
19. Do review Pinterest’s brand guidelines for general rules about how you can use the brand in your marketing efforts.
20. Do be sure to comply with all relevant laws, rules and regulations.

Don’ts

21. Don’t require participants to save a specific image.
22. Don’t allow more than one entry per participant.
23. Don’t incentivize people to distribute content in large volumes.
24. Don’t suggest that Pinterest sponsors or endorses you or the promotion.

To stay up-to-date on Pinterest contest rules, always check their Community Guidelines before planning and launching your campaign.

Snapchat Contests

snapchat contests

Dos

25. Do make it easy to get involved with clear and simple instructions.
26. Do provide official rules for your promotion.
27. Do state that each participant releases Snapchat from all claims arising from the promotion.
28. Do make clear that it is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Snapchat.

Don’ts

29. Don’t encourage illegal or illicit behavior.
30. Don’t encourage spammy behavior, such as asking participants to send Snaps to friends.
31. Don’t use Snapchat’s name, trademarks, logo or other intellectual property.
32. Don’t violate or encourage others to violate Snapchat’s Terms of Service.

To stay up-to-date on Snapchat contest rules, always check their Promotion Rules before planning and launching your campaign.


RELATED POST: 3 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Social Media Contest’s Success


Twitter Contests

twitter contests

Dos

33. Do ask users to include an @reply to you in their update so you’re notified.
34. Do follow The Twitter Rules to keep your contest entrants in good standing.
35. Do encourage entrants to use a hashtag with their tweet that is relevant to your contest.
36. Do ensure that your contest complies with all applicable laws and regulations.

Don’ts

36. Don’t encourage people to create multiple accounts in order to enter multiple times.
38. Don’t encourage people to post the same Tweet repeatedly.
39. Don’t encourage lots of duplicate updates by saying “whoever retweets this the most wins.”
40. Don’t encourage abusive behavior, spammy behavior or copyright infringement.

To stay up-to-date on Twitter contest rules, always check their Guidelines For Promotions before planning and launching your campaign.


The last thing you want is for your social media contests to get your brand or its fans in trouble. Play by the rules and everybody wins!


Do you need help planning and managing social media contests for your brand? Firebelly is here for you. Call us at 317-557-4460, fill out our contact form, or email us at hello@firebellymarketing.com

Chad Richards

VP, Social Media Services at Firebelly
Fun Fact: Chad was named "Most Influential Up & Comer" at the inaugural Social Media Summit. He's been with Firebelly since 2007.
Chad Richards

About the Author

Chad Richards Fun Fact: Chad was named "Most Influential Up & Comer" at the inaugural Social Media Summit. He's been with Firebelly since 2007.

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