How to Run a Facebook Competition (Legally)


Have you ever had the great idea to run a Facebook competition, asked good ol’ Google how you should get started and found a page long list of rules and regulations?

Well…you can finally rejoice!

Facebook has revised their newsfeed competition law to no longer require 3rd party apps. Here’s the rundown.


  • Use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion on a business page, group or event
  • Use the comment section to pick a winner at random
  • Ask followers to like or comment on newsfeed posts


  • Ask entrants to ‘Share to enter’ or ‘tag a friend in this post’ – competitions cannot be administrated through timelines (this rule is different for Instagram)
  • Ask Facebook to assist you in the administration of your promotion, and you agree that if you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk


  • Offer a complete release of Facebook by each entrant. For example, ‘I acknowledge that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administrated by or associated with Facebook’.
  • Offer official competition rules, terms and conditions and dates for competition close and date of the announcement on your website or landing page

Ok, now that we’ve got the boring stuff out the way let’s talk about what this means for retailers. 

The Good News 

  • Facebook promos are a great way to get your followers re-engaged with your brand and who knows someone may just want the prize so much they go out and buy it themselves
  • Removing third-party apps for the equation makes things so much easier. The fewer steps you have, the more entries you’ll get!
  • People aren’t always comfortable handing their email over, even when an awesome prize is up for grabs. A competition administrated through Facebook allows them to enter a competition without handing over any personal data!

The Drawbacks

  • If you had list building on your mind then a Facebook sweepstake might let you down. Unless you are using Facebook to redirect to an external landing page you won’t be collecting any valuable leads. So Facebook comps for brand promotion = yay! But…Facebook comps for gaining new subscribers = meh!
  • You need to sort through your entries and pick a winner manually. Depending on the nature of your competition this could be easy, however, it could also be a very long process
  • Don’t confuse Facebook loosening their regulations for them completely dismissing you of any legal obligations. You still need to follow local, state or national competition laws based on the size and prize value of your competition

You can read our blog What Permit Do I Need To Run A Promo In Australia? for more information about competition law. 

What Do the Experts Think?

Postplanner recently interviewed 18 Facebook experts about the changes and their opinions were mostly positive.

“I think this is great for small businesses because they can now quickly get engagement from their fans, no hoops to jump through.” – Jim Belosic, CEO, ShortStack

“We’re excited to see Facebook make these changes as it makes the lives of small and medium-sized business owners easier. This is our mission at Heyo and its good to see that Facebook’s mission is aligned.” – Nathan Latka, CEO, Heyo

“We are not surprised by the changes. Facebook wants to help small businesses, and they don’t hide that they encourage paid advertising of these wall contests. However, we can’t see a long-lasting effect of Timeline contests.” – Zsuzsi Szabo, Co-Founder, Antavo

How You Can Run a Facebook Competition

  • Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post
  • Collect entries by having users message the Page
  • Utilise likes as a voting mechanism

Facebook comps are a great way to get your brand out there, show off some swanky new products and just get the conversation going with your audience. We hope this has inspired you to give it a go!

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