Social media has become an indispensable part of everyone's life. Social media platforms are used by corporate firms, small businesses, solopreneurs, digital artists, freelancers, and many more to interact and engage with their audience, clients, and followers. It's safe to argue that social media has become a "second life" for anyone looking to connect with like-minded people, attract clients, or share experiences.
However, regardless of what you use social media for, you must provide something valuable besides your content to attract your target audience, whether loyalists, potential customers, or followers. Giveaways are among the most effective and widely used methods of reaching the right audience on social media.
Hosting social media giveaways is a common marketing approach both large and small businesses use to reward existing customers or attract fresh prospects. However, like with any public activity, standards are in place to ensure that these offers are fair and honest.
These rules are set by local or national governments and are intended to protect those organizing and participating in the giveaway. In this post, we'll look closely at these rules to understand what's allowed and not when doing a giveaway on social media.
Are Social Media Giveaways Legal?
Yes, social media giveaways are legal, but they must adhere to specific guidelines established by municipal or national legislation. These guidelines ensure the giveaway is fair and honest and does not defraud anyone. To avoid legal issues, whoever is hosting the giveaway and the participants should be informed of and observe these regulations.
For social media giveaways to be legal, they must not require asking participants to pay or buy anything to get the reward. If this is present in any way, it may be regarded as an illegal lottery. When hosting these events, it's also critical to follow both local and platform-specific requirements.
To stay on the legal side of the law, organizers should be honest about the rules, make sure there is no purchase required to win and disclose that the social media platform is not promoting, endorsing, or involved with the giveaway.
Key Points on the Legal Guidelines for Social Media Giveaways
FTC Mandates Usage of #Contest or #Sweepstakes Hashtags
This is an important rule that applies to all social media platforms mandated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). For transparency, if your giveaway requires participants to create a post for entry, that post must include either a "#contest" or "#sweepstakes" hashtag.
A tweet or Instagram story using a generic hashtag like #LoveThisBrand could be misinterpreted as a simple endorsement if the user does not specify that they are participating in a giveaway with a potential prize.
The FTC issued a warning letter to Cole Haan for failing to observe this requirement. They ran a contest where individuals created Pinterest boards with dream trip destinations and five Cole Haan shoe pairs and tagged them with #WanderingSole. The problem was that viewers couldn't tell these were contest entries, which caused confusion.
If you don't want to request a disclosure hashtag, you might make the giveaway a "Comment to Win." Entrants in this scenario only need to comment on a specific post from your business to be eligible for the contest, eliminating the requirement to create individual posts.
TikTok Doesn't Allow Copyrighted Music in Entries
When encouraging users to create videos for your offer, clarify that they shouldn't use copyrighted items like music or photos. This copyrighted music rule will influence how you set up your promotion and the type of content you want participants to provide. Your brand is also responsible for checking submissions to ensure they follow these criteria, especially the winning entry.
Collaboration with influencers to create videos promoting the giveaway is a popular strategy. Participants can then comment on those videos to enter the contest. This "Comment to Win" approach is a popular and easiest way to host contests and giveaways across any platform.
Facebook Puts Restrictions on Entry Methods
According to Facebook's policies, "you cannot run promotions on personal timelines or friend connections." Techniques such as having participants post on their page, share the promotional post, or tag a friend are prohibited.
To engage their audience, several businesses use the "Comment to Win" strategy, which Facebook permits.
Users Should Be Within Two Clicks of the Official Rules
Users should be able to get official regulations with two clicks, even on social media; understanding the terms of your competition should not be difficult.
A realistic method would be to create a separate landing page for the event, which would serve as the primary link on social media networks. You can include the official requirements, entry methods, prize details, and other important company or promotional information here.
How Do I Legally Run a Social Media Giveaway?
Understand the Platform's Promotion Guidelines
Each social media network has its own set of promotion regulations. For example, Facebook does not allow participants to enter via sharing a post or tagging a friend. To ensure compliance, carefully read and understand the platform's standards before launching your contest.
Use Clear Entry Methods
Make certain that your entry methods are clear and simple. Whether "Comment to Win" or "Like and Share," clarify what steps participants must take. This avoids misconceptions and keeps the process running well for everyone.
Include Disclosure Hashtags
If participants are obliged to post, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that their posts contain hashtags such as #contest or #sweepstakes. This makes it clear to users that the post relates to a promotion rather than a genuine endorsement.
Avoid Copyright Infringements
If your giveaway asks participants to create content, such as videos on TikTok, ensure they know they cannot use copyrighted elements, such as music, images, or graphics. Always check entries for compliance with copyright regulations, especially the winning content.
Specify Eligibility and Terms
Indicate who is eligible to participate. This could be determined by age, location, or other factors. Outline the giveaway's terms and conditions, including the reward, how the winner will be selected, and when and how the prize will be delivered.
Use Giveaway Automation Sites
Consider using giveaway automation tools such as Giveaway.com. Giveaway.com can help you manage entries, select winners randomly and fairly, and guarantee that all participants follow your rules. Automating may ensure a more efficient procedure and reduce human error likelihood.
Here's a Template of a Simple Entry Giveaway for Twitter on Giveaway.com
Giveaway campaigns on Giveaway.com are legal and meet the FTC guidelines for contest transparency.
Here's an example of how r7kye used Giveaway.com to host a simple social media giveaway on Twitter.
r7kye is a social media gaming creator who wants to use Twitter to promote a crypto-related TV show. He started a giveaway campaign on Giveaway.com using the Lucky Giveaway option to accomplish this.
The only task to participate and win the prize is to retweet a tweet promoting the crypto-related TV show, and the reward will be automatically distributed once the timed-draw mode has been achieved.
Simple, yeah? You can use these steps to run a legal social media giveaway campaign for personal or business use. Here's an easy procedure to follow:
Log in to Giveaway.com to select a giveaway mode. Click on Create Lucky Giveaway, fill in the basic info such as title, description, cover image, and draw method.
Pro tip: You can generate giveaway titles and descriptions automatically using the AI feature on the platform. With AI-generated titles and descriptions, your giveaway campaign stands out in the competitive market. Click here to learn more about AI-generated titles and descriptions.
Afterward, set up tasks for participants that specify how they enter and win the giveaway. For social media giveaways, you can create simple tasks like:
- Comment to Win: Ask participants to comment on your post.
- Retweet to Win: Ask participants to retweet a post you want to promote to win
- Like, share, and follow: Ask participants to interact with your social media account to win the prize
This simple approach can get as many viewers on your stream as you desire.
Social media giveaways can be thrilling and engaging, but it's important to understand the rules. These regulations ensure everyone gets a fair shot and no one is cheated. Being aware of these guidelines is critical as we use social media more in our daily lives. Following the guidelines is the best way to ensure everyone has a good and honest giveaway experience, whether you're a company looking to host a contest or a person trying to win a gift.