Facebook ‘Like & Share’ Competitions: Are they worth the risk? - Social Songbird


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Facebook ‘Like & Share’ Competitions: Are they worth the risk?

We see them all the time in our newsfeed, the ‘Like and Share’ competitions posted by numerous Brands on Facebook.  Yet ‘Like and Share’ competitions breach the terms and conditions of use set down by the platform.  Even so, Brands continue to choose this quick-fix spike my Fans option knowing full well they run the risk of their page being pulled down.


If by any chance you’re a Business Page administrator and not aware of the T&Cs of use, then it’s in your interest to be informed.  See: Facebook T&Cs

What prompted me to write about a topic that frankly has been written and discussed ad nauseum is a recent flurry of emails and phone calls I got asking me the following questions:

Q:“Is there a way of downloading the list of people who entered my Like & Share competition?”

Q:“We’re getting a lot of ’Likes & Shares’ on our page.  I’m worried, what if Facebook sees it?”

Q:“We’ve been playing by the rules but our competitor isn’t, how do we report them to Facebook?”

So why is it that ‘Like & Share’ competitions even with the risks seem so attractive to Brands? Well, for the business page wanting a numbers boost, the ‘Like and Share’ competition seems like an easy way to get fast results.  However, while the easy bit is the initial post, the management of your ‘Like and Share’ competition is less so.  Here’s what happens when you host one of these competitions:

1. As most people restrict viewership of their profile to family and friends, a Brand page cannot validate if the entrant has shared their competition post or not.
2. You cannot download to an excel file the names of those who have liked and shared your competition – so picking a winner requires you to be creative -if you know what I mean.
3. When profile privacy settings are locked down, a Page has no way of contacting the winner other than sticking a post on their page congratulating them and hoping they’ll see it and get in touch (another breach of Facebook rules). This has landed some Pages in hot water and led to public complaints.

So the nice easy ‘Like and ‘Share’ competition means not only are you breaking Facebook rules, but it’s also impossible for you to be entirely ethical when picking out your winner.   Think about the impact to your Brand if an ‘entrant’ discovers this, takes issue with it and decides to vent about it online and/or report you to Facebook.

When talking to clients, I tell them about the rules and warn them that pleading a lack of knowledge often doesn’t cut it with Facebook.  Some still choose to go ahead anyway with ‘Like and Share’ competitions and to my mind that’s up to them as ultimately they are responsible for the decisions they make for their business.   For the record, there are other ways to boost your Facebook Fan numbers without breaking the rules.

So I ask again, is a quick spike in Fan numbers (who may be there for nothing other than the prize) really worth the risk?

I’d love to hear your thoughts particularly if you have a different perspective.

To your online success!

Carole Smith of SynNeo, (www.synneo.ie) is a Social Media consultant, Keynote Speaker, Business Coach and Blogger who helps SMEs use social media to boost their brand online, attract new customers, and increase revenue

 You can contact Carole via email on carolesmith@synneo.ie  follow her on Twitter @CaroleSmith_ or  say ‘hello’ on Facebook
Facebook ‘Like & Share’ Competitions: Are they worth the risk? Reviewed by Anonymous on Monday, February 04, 2013 Rating: 5
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