Looking for how to write your brand’s social media giveaway rules? You’ve come to the right place! A social media giveaway, like a contest or a sweepstakes, is a reliable way to boost brand awareness, online engagement, and, of course, delight your loyal fans.
Giveaways, or promotional campaigns, come in all shapes and sizes. Executed by large and small businesses alike, sweepstakes accomplish any number of marketing objectives. Developing a sweepstakes campaign is no small task with so many options and variations.
A social media giveaway can expand your brand’s online presence, increase engagement, and connect with new and existing customers. Who wouldn’t want to execute a campaign with such great potential results? However, when developing a social media campaign, do not forget the importance of your brand’s social media giveaway official rules.
Experts in writing sweepstakes official rules and regulations for nearly 30 years, our team of consultants has the experience you need to write secure social media giveaway official rules. No matter where you are in the process of developing your brand’s social media giveaway, follow our advice and tips below to ensure your rules are clear and effective!
What Makes a Social Media Giveaway Different?
Social media giveaways, while simple to outsiders, are anything but to the brands who execute them.
Like all types of promotional campaigns, a social media giveaway must abide by any applicable state and federal guidelines. Social media-based promotional campaigns take things a step further and must also pay special attention to the Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines as well. The FTC regulates social media advertisements and promotions very closely. Their primary concern is that the official rules are presented fairly, all mandatory information is present, and consumers have a fair shot.
In short, the FTC mandates that all “endorsements must be honest and not misleading.” This means that your brand must clearly state that your social media giveaway is, well, a giveaway. Usually, brands accomplish this by using an appropriate hashtag, like #sweepstakes or #contest, but keep in mind, shorthand like #sweeps won’t cut it.
Facebook Strictly Monitors Social Media Giveaways
If your brand is interested in executing a social media giveaway via Facebook, pay special attention to their specific rules. Facebook’s team (of lawyers and policy experts) took the effort to include an entire section titled “Promotions on Pages, Groups, and Events” in their terms and policies. Needless to say, they take social media giveaway rules pretty seriously.
In their terms and policies, they state valid ways to share or enter a social media promotion. A common favorite that Facebook no longer allows: promoting your social media giveaway on a personal timeline or feed.
Basically, Facebook doesn’t permit users to share a sweepstakes or contest page as a means of entry. They also cannot tag friends or post on their timelines, either. Instead, Facebook leaves the “promotion” part of a promotional campaign to brands.
Not only that, but you must also “release” Facebook of any responsibilities associated with your social media giveaway rules. In essence, Facebook requires brands to include an “acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.”
Your Social Media Giveaway Rules Must State That It’s a Promotional Campaign
If you take only one piece of information from this blog, make sure it’s this. Whenever you run a social media giveaway that requires entrants to make a post, they must include either “#sweepstakes” or “#contest.” The FTC regulates social media giveaway rules and requires all brands and individuals to abide by the above.
Any post must contain the appropriate hashtag declaring it an entry to your brand’s promotional campaign. Failure to include either #sweepstakes or #contest, results in an invalid entry.
The FTC requires this so any other users who see the post on their social feeds understand that it’s part of a promotional campaign. Otherwise, users who see a social post raving about a brand might take it as positive word-of-mouth, not realizing the post was made in an effort to win something.
Your Social Media Giveaway Rules Must Use The Right Vocabulary
Between “sweepstakes,” “contest,” and “giveaway,” alone, there are enough terms to keep track of when writing your brand’s social media giveaway rules. Keeping these straight and using them correctly is crucial to executing a valid campaign and avoiding any fines or fees. For more information on the difference between a sweepstakes and a contest, visit our blog here.
The one word your brand must absolutely avoid using at all costs: lottery. We break down exactly why brands can’t use the word “lottery” when executing a promotional campaign in our guide, Sweepstakes 101.
Just like with any other promotional campaign, your social media giveaway must strictly adhere to the laws, both federal and state.
Include a Disclosure About Copyrighted Content
The hottest trends on social media lately oftentimes tend to revolve around “trending sounds.” In many cases, these sounds are copyrighted. These have a giant “OFF LIMITS” sign on them for brands.
Any regular brand post on TikTok or Reels (Instagram’s nearly identical competitor) cannot have any copyrighted or licensed content. Luckily, they won’t even let you access their libraries of copyrighted content or upload a version of your own (for example, if you record copyrighted content or use a screenshot), so you don’t need to worry too much. This is a relatively hard rule for brands to break, and even if you do upload content you shouldn’t, it’ll most likely just be removed.
However, the important thing to note is that when asking entrants to create their own content (a Reel or TikTok, for example) they cannot use copyrighted content either. The tricky part? Individuals can access and post content with copyrighted materials, even if they want to enter your contest or sweepstakes.
Because of this, it’s imperative that you include a disclosure about not using any copyrighted content whatsoever in your brand’s social media giveaway rules. Not only that, but your brand must also undertake the tedious task of scraping through each entry and eliminating any that do contain copyrighted content. Or, skip this task and delegate it to a team of promotional marketing experts to scrape your social media entries for you.
Your Brand’s Social Media Giveaway
Social media giveaways make for engaging and unique brand experiences. An effective way to connect with your consumers, meeting both their needs and yours, more and more brands turn to promotional marketing.
To ensure your brand gets the most out of your social media giveaway, partner with a trusted promotional marketing expert with almost 30 years of experience. Whether you’re ready to launch your campaign or need some help developing your strategy, contact one of our consultants today.