January 22, 2014 | Paul Gibson

6 Ways to Keep a Facebook Contest from Looking Like a Scam

Don't Act Like a Facebook Scammer

If you’re like most businesses trying to leverage the power of digital marketing, you've almost certainly thought about running a Facebook contest. You may even have taken the next step of looking into the official guidelines for running your business page and contests.

But there is one important step you should take as you design your new contest page, and it’s one you might not have even though of.

If you want to get engagement with your contest, you need to take steps to ensure that your potential customers don’t mistake your new contest for a Facebook “like-farming” scam. "Like Farmers" create a Facebook page just to build a huge number of likes and then sell the page. The content of the page is then changed and used to market (usually shady) goods or services.

This kind of scam happens all the time on Facebook, and some of them can be pretty convincing. Facebook users are increasingly wary of offers that seem “too good to be true,” so it's worth taking the time to make your offer seem as legitimate as possible.

How to avoid being mistaken for a Facebook scammer:

1) Flesh out the details of your business page. Scammers can get lazy and often don’t populate the details of their fake business pages well. Wary users pick up on that kind of thing, so be sure to correctly populate your location, "About" information, phone number, etc.

2) Link to your website from your Facebook business page and vice-versa. If a user wants to verify that your business page is legitimate, this is an easy step to help reassure them.

3) Follow the rules. If you’re running a contest, be sure to read the official Facebook contest guidelines. Also, we strongly encourage you to use a Facebook app (even though it is no longer required) to run your contest; things are much easier to manage if you do. We wrote a whole blog post about running Facebook contests under the new rules - read it here!

4) Use quality design for your timeline and profile pictures. Don’t let sloppy or poor quality art give your page a “shady” look!

5) Don't create an new Facebook page for your contest. Remember: a contest should be run as part of your business page, preferably through an app. Scammers set up dedicated pages for their scams, which is the first red flag users should look for.

6) Link to the contest's terms and conditions (like a page on your website) and give adequate details about your contests. Contest apps can help a lot with this. Smart users will always check the rules of a contest before participating, and if they don’t find appropriate documentation they could be scared off.

With these tips, you can maintain the reputation of your Facebook business page and run fun contests without causing wary users to become skittish!

Download Our Facebook Business Page Checklist


Paul Gibson

Paul Gibson

As the leader of our design team, VIEO Design principal and founder Paul Gibson oversees our designers and developers as they create marketing-optimized websites, digital graphics, and print materials. Paul also oversees VIEO's 3D printing division. To date, his most impressive project has been a replacement head for an old My Little Pony. He went with Yoda.

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