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Facebook is one of the most popular platforms for running a competition, but it’s also one I see so many competition faux pas on because people just aren’t aware of the rules or have tuned into the myths instead of the facts. So to avoid having your page shut down and losing all of your followers, likes, posts and hard work; we’re busting the Facebook myths and replacing them with the facts.


Myth 1: ’Like to win’ competitions aren’t allowed.


 BUSTED. It used to be the case that Facebook did not allow people to enter competitions by liking a page, but this changed in 2013 and it’s now completely OK to ask people to ‘like to win’. In fact, when people like your page, they follow you automatically (unless they elect to unfollow) meaning your posts have more chance of popping up in their news feeds.

Tip: unless you’re specifically aiming to boost your page likes, consider removing ‘like our page’ as a requirement for entry. You’ll find that people who are actually interested in what you sell (and not just what they can win for free) like and follow your page out of choice, therefore building an engaged and active page audience instead of people who like your page just to enter.

Myth 2: It’s totally OK to ask people to “share this post” or “tag a friend” as part of the competition entry process.


 BUSTED. It is totally NOT OK. Please, please do not do this, it’s in direct violation of Facebook’s rules:

Facebook values original, relevant and quality content; if you’re asking your followers to share the exact same post, timelines will fill up with duplicate posts resulting in a poor experience for their users. To counteract this, they have introduced a rule which means you must not, under any circumstances ask people to share or tag in order to enter or get additional entries.

So often I see competitions that go something like this:


It’s competition time! To WIN this amazing prize, all you have to do is:

  1. Like this post
  2. Like our page
  3. Comment on this post
  4. Share this post
  5. Tag a friend

As this is a requirement for entry (the entrant isn’t eligible to win unless they complete all 5 actions), it’s against Facebook’s rules. Sharing means they have to post to their timeline or someone else’s timeline.

Tip: Having said that, I also know that sharing is a great way to reach new (and relevant) audiences, so instead, how about the following:


It’s competition time! To WIN this amazing prize, all you have to do is:

  1. Like this post
  2. Like our page
  3. Comment on this post

If you know someone who would also love to win this prize, feel free to let them know our amazing competition is live!

There are still way too many entry requirements for my liking (I always recommend to stick to one single action such as liking the page) but it’s a post I see time and time again so we’ll leave my bug bears on entry methods for another post…

Myth 3: You have to use a third party app to run your competition.


 BUSTED. This was one of the changes made to the rules in 2013. Whilst you still have the option to run your competition through a third party app such as ShortStack, Gleam or Woobox, it’s no longer compulsory.

This means you can write a simple post telling your audience what they can win and how they can enter and post it right there on your page. Pin the post to the top of the page, add some eye-catching images and pay a few dollars to promote the post and voilà, you’re running your very own competition!

Tip: If you do still like the idea of using an app to help you run and manage your competition, we’ve reviewed 20+ of the most popular competition apps to make your life a little bit easier!

Since we’re on the subject of Facebook competitions…

Here are some Facebook specific tips to help make your competition a huge success:

  • Try and keep the entry process as simple as possible. Do you really need them to like the announcement post in order to enter? Think about what each of the actions you’re asking them to complete actually achieves for you because the more actions you ask them to complete, the less likely they are to enter. Remember KISS: keep it stupidly simple.
  • Following on from this, think about what you want to achieve with your competition, if you’re just starting out, you’ll probably want page likes, if you’re established but want to get people talking, you’ll want people to engage by commenting. Match the entry method to your overall aim.
  • Pin the competition post to the top of your timeline so it’s the first post visitors see.
  • Make sure you put your most important information first as most of your text will be cut off with ‘read more’. People are interested in what they get, so start with the prize, then what they have to do to get it.
  • Don’t forget the images or videos! Not only are they more engaging to your followers but Facebook’s algorithms favour posts with images and videos. That includes updating your cover photo to let people know you’re running a competition.
  • Make sure you have a way to track entries – if you’re asking people to like your page, make sure you can actually access the list of recent page likes so you can pick your winner.


I used to send a friendly message to pages running ‘share to win’ competitions letting them know it’s against the rules, in case they weren’t aware. Unfortunately, more often than not they’d reply with ‘yes I know, but everyone else does it’. They didn’t appreciate my attempt to save them from being made an example of. The risk of having your page shut down is very real and with no phone numbers or emails to contact Facebook, I haven’t yet heard of a case where a page has been reinstated. Don’t let this happen to your page! 

So now you know what’s allowed and what’s going to get you kicked off of Facebook when it comes to competitions, how about running your own competition? Jump into our exclusive, closed Facebook group for Competition Creators to find other like-minded business owners to collaborate with and support to ensure your competition is a great success!

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