‘Win an iPad!’ said every Facebook competition, ever. You’ve seen it – it’s the go-to prize for Facebook competitions. I mean, who doesn’t want an iPad?

Win an iPad

Competitions are a great way to drive engagement as well as boost likes, but there are a few things you need to know before running a competition or you could end up in a sticky legal situation.

1. Read the Facebook page guidelines. Read them – and then read them again. They tell you what you can and can’t do on Facebook. Namely, you cannot ask someone to enter a competition by liking or commenting on a status or sharing something. Update 28/08: Facebook has made a number of changes to the guidelines. Read our summary of them here

2. Use a third-party app. Facebook terms and conditions are the reason why you need to use third-party apps. There are a number of free ones out there and they give you easy ways to create great competitions. Try Rafflecopter, Gleam, Short Stack or Punchtab.

3. Understand your local laws. Believe it or not, your online competition will fall under some form of state or federal law. Be sure to check if you need to register your competition or apply for a licence. For example, in Victoria you will need a permit if the prize is more than $5,000.

4. Terms and conditions. Whatever the Facebook terms and conditions don’t cover, you need to cover yourself. And think of everything! Think of every possible way your competition could go wrong and cover that in your own terms and conditions. In this instance, you should seek professional legal help to make sure your terms and conditions cover you.

It’s simple. Protect yourself and your brand by preparing for a Facebook competition. Oh, and stop giving away iPads. It’s been played, so played.

P.S. We now have a lawyer and can provide you with the legal support your competition may need.