Or commenting on a picture. Or liking a page. Or even changing your profile picture. We’re asking and answering because of a recent spate of “share to win competitions” that have become extremely popular across Facebook, such as ones offering various Apple goodies such as Ipods, Ipads and Iphones.
These apparent competitions simply request Facebook users like or share a photo or post to enter the competition and the winner will be picked out of all the users who shared or liked.
However, how many of these competitions are actually genuine? And more importantly how do you know which ones are genuine or which ones are faked?
The idea of getting Facebook users to like or share a photo to win a prize could be considered a sound marketing tip, since Facebook users would be exposed to a company’s Facebook fan page and thus more likely to “Like” the page. It’s not been as effective since 2011 when Facebook changed a little meaning a Facebook user doesn’t have to “Like” a Fan Page in order to like or share a picture posted in it. Before 2011, in order for a Facebook user to like one of these “like/share to win” photos they would have to first Like the Fan Page. Not anymore. However it still remains an effective way of getting fans.
BUT [and this is a big but] most companies do not run these types of competition for one simple reason – it is totally 100% against the terms and conditions of Facebook, who are very strict indeed as to what kind of competitions and promotions can be run within their platform. Just take a look at their promotions guidelines, specifically the third clause –
You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant.
So essentially this says that someone cannot be entered into a competition merely by performing an action on Facebook, such as Liking a Page, or Liking a photo, or Sharing a photo or even commenting on a photo. In fact, if a Fan Page is caught breaching that condition, they could lose their page – something that could be quite daunting for a company or business that has accumulated a large fan base over time.
That being said some companies do run these competitions since despite Facebook’s strict guidelines, they are curiously lacklustre at enforcing them. Well, at least for the moment anyway.
So what does this mean for a Facebook user who sees a “share/like to win competition” on their newsfeed? It’s probably fake. Not many companies still run legitimate offers like this for fear of the wrath of Facebook, and also because notifying winners could prove a difficult task since many Facebook users do not allow messages to be sent to them from people they are not friends with.
Fan Pages that do start these kinds of competitions are usually looking for fans for them to spam, so it’s best not to get involved at all. All of the “competitions” that we see on a daily basis are fake. In reality you’re more likely going to win the lottery three times in a row than actually finding a legitimate “share/like to win competition” and actually win it. If you do see one and are thinking of entering, take a look at the fan page that uploaded the photo. Do they appear legitimate? Take a look at their newsfeed history. Do they have a history of spamming?
Companies and businesses can still run competitions on Facebook, but have to do it via Facebook Apps which are accessed using the left hand tabs on their Facebook page. As for the “share/like to win competitions” – best avoid them, because it is almost certainly fake.
Oh and by the way, as we’ve already reported already, your even less likely going to win a prize for being amongst the first X amount of people to like a page or attend an event.