Internet Marketing Tips, Suggestions, & Ramblings

Creating a Worldwide Facebook Contest: What You Need to Know

Getting started on a Facebook contest can be a pretty gratifying experience. The creative aspect of, “How’s my contest going to look like?” to “What’s my contest going to be about?” can entice even the most straight-and-narrow of employees to start thinking outside of the box. But recently it seems as though anytime someone tries to implement an inspired contest onto their Facebook site, they are quickly re-directed to this Facebook list of no-nos. The list isn’t anything specifically long, but when you take into consideration that most of the enumerated rules cover things you cannot do, suddenly the list sprouts little daggers and rips apart even the most original of contest ideas.

Facebook Blog

The problem, of course, is that Facebook wants to monitor everything that companies add to their Facebook profiles. To easily regulate and oversee what companies are doing, Facebook has limited the creation of contests to third party sites. These third party sites have accommodated Facebook’s rules on contests at the expense of contest ingenuity.

Okay, maybe you disagree, after all these third party sites offer customization in the form of: sweepstakes vs. contests, jury voting vs. fan voting, and the ability to upload customized banners and feeds. But, other than that, the formula for Facebook promotions is generally speaking: homogenous.

To create a Facebook contest, you must find a third party to host the promotion. SEO Inc. can recommend reliable, platform sites to host these viral campaigns. Once the promotion is fully developed, you must get clearance from a Facebook representative. When these two requirements are met, you’re finished! You can upload your promotion and advertise it on all of your social media sites.

Simple enough, but when applying what I have just stated to worldwide Facebook contests, it adds another layer of ‘things to think about’ when developing a promotion. The difference between worldwide versus domestic contests/sweepstakes is that certain countries are not eligible to participate in Facebook promotions.

Section 2.4 of the Facebook Promotion Guidelines lets you know that residents of Belgium, Norway, Sweden, or India are not eligible to participate in sweepstakes. I’m not even going to pretend to know why that is. Furthermore, residents in countries embargoed by the United States cannot participate in any type of Facebook promotion.

While creating a worldwide Facebook contest is pretty straight-forward in theory, it can get pretty tricky when dealing with grand prizes that include international travel. Taking into consideration visa and passport issues can turn into a headache, especially if you actually want the winner to make it to their destination prize. If this is the case, I would limit participants to countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program. However, if this is not the case, and if it makes no difference whether the winner actually does participate in the grand prize he/she just won, then open the promotion to everyone. Companies, after all, are not held responsible for winners finding a means of transportation and/or getting to their destination on time… you should make sure to include this stipulation in your “Terms and Conditions.”

Feel free to comment below and let us know what you think about the Facebook Guidelines.

About Garry Grant

Garry Grant is a veteran expert in search engine optimization and the digital marketing industry. With nearly 20 years of experience, Garry has successfully built a multi-service operation at SEO, Inc., developing proprietary technologies through complex strategic solutions. He has extensive experience in key initiatives and operational responsibilities grounded in information technology and performance management.

Garry’s expertise and esteemed reputation, coupled with SEO Inc.’s impressive client success record has earned him such accolades as Entrepreneur Magazine's 2005 Hot List for the Hottest Internet Property, Inc. 500 2007 Honorary award for Fastest Growing Private Company in America, an Inc. 500 top 50 Company in San Diego, and interviews with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, WIRED, Entrepreneur and The Huffington Post.

Garry Grant began his online career in 1993 creating strategic Web and e-business solutions for, The Rush Limbaugh Show, Premiere Radio Networks, Clear Channel Communications, EarthLink and Artisan Motion Pictures. Today, Garry and SEO Inc.’s highly skilled digital strategists develop proprietary technology and strategic digital marketing direction for Fortune 500 companies including, SC Johnson, McAfee,, Inc Magazine, IGN, Tacorri, LPL Financial, National Kidney Foundation, G4 TV, Fuel TV and Sony, just to name a few.