legal facebook competition

The LEGAL way to run Facebook Competition

Have you ever entered a Facebook competition?

Perhaps you’ve seen how much engagement the host has been getting … and you’re wondering if you should run a competition for your own massage business page!

Why not? Running a competition on Facebook has a lot of benefits! You can attract a new batch of potential clients and connect with the ones you already have.

And because Facebook is all about engagement, your page may reach more people in areas it has not reached before.

BUT… there are rules that you need to follow when you run a Facebook competition, or you risk having it shut down by Facebook, or even being fined.

Aside from the government competition rules for trade where rules differ per state, you also need to familiarise yourself with the competition standards set by Facebook for their users.

Let’s break it down to make it easy!

Different regulations for different locations

There are two common types of competition: The Lottery type and the Skills type.

The Lottery type of competition is social media version of a “Game of Chance” or Sweepstakes where the winner is chosen at random from among the entries.

For example, you want to give away a detox package to anyone who follows your page by choosing from among those who liked your giveaway post.

The Skills type would be asking those who join to answer a question or submit photos according to a theme.

For example, giving away a free full body treatment to a loyal customer who shared the best photo with the best caption of their experience in your clinic.

It’s important to note that both types of competitions fall under different regulations depending on your location. Some states will require you to apply for a license to run a lottery type competition, such as in ACT where you need to secure a permit for prizes that cost over $3,000, and for over $5,000 worth in other states like Victoria and Tasmania.

If you want to know what the regulations are in your state, see the following links:

Terms and Conditions apply

You are required to publish your competition’s terms and conditions and declare Facebook as a non-participant in your competition in all states.

Users who join your giveaways must also sign a waiver that releases Facebook from any form of liability to whatever costs, expenses or consequences the entrant may acquire from joining.

You may also be required to publish the names of the winners in a newspaper.

All these rules are applicable only for businesses with Australian Business Numbers (ABN) and not for international businesses targeting audiences based in Australia.

Facebook guidelines, however, do apply for all.

And some of the common types of competitions actually go against the official Facebook rules.

For example, Facebook does not allow competitions that call for the entrants to like and share the post to win, or to tag others to it as part of the mechanics. Failure to comply with Facebook rules may cause your competition to be pulled or even get your page shut down.

Facebook competitions are useful tools for promotion and hosting one can be an effective way to increase engagement for your page.  But they must follow the rules.

All it takes is just one person to report you, or for Facebook to randomly investigate, and all your hard work could be wasted.

See more on the Facebook rules in the “Promotions” section of their policy here:

And also read this great article by Blaze Digital that goes into more detail.


Whichever type of competition you run, you should be beneath your State’s regulations unless your prize is with thousands of dollars.

So it’s more often the Facebook regulations that throw people.

Stay calm and run a competition that works within the guidelines and it can be an excellent way to promote yourself. Winner!

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