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Quick Tips for Running Social Media Contests

Posted by Kate Seat on 7/25/14 4:19 AM
Topics: social media

With summer ending and the school year just around the corner, now may be the perfect time to hold a contest! If you want to guarantee great results without any unnecessary headaches, you'll want to make sure that you follow all of the rules for each platform. The following excerpt is from an article by Gini Dietrich, originally posted on the AMEX Open Forum. Read it over, and then share your upcoming social media contests and events in the comments below!

Michael Lasky, co-chair of the litigation practice and public relations attorney at Davis & Gilbert, offers four things brands should consider when launching a contest on social media, particularly if that platform is Pinterest.

1. Pinning may constitute an endorsement of a product or organization. If there is an endorsement possibility, ask people to disclose why they’re talking about your brand.

2. Entry into a sweepstakes or contest requires disclosure. If nothing else, err on the side of caution and ask contestants to disclose.

3. Understand the terms and services of the social networks—all of them—before launching a contest. Even if the contest was held on Pinterest, it may cross platforms so the company would be responsible for updates made by contestants on any social networks.

4. The FTC is closely scrutinizing the business use of social media. Even if you’re not a big, well-known brand, they could very easily come after you, particularly if your contest gains traction.

The best rule of thumb is to disclose, disclose, disclose. You cannot, of course, dictate what everyone posts on the social networks, nor can you control what every person says, but if your guidelines or rules state contestants must disclose they are participating to win a prize, you will be covered should the FTC come knocking.

Want to get started with your own social media contest? Here are links to promotion rules and guidelines for Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.

Let us know what you have planned in the comments below. We’d love to feature your store in an upcoming College Store Story!

About Kate Seat

Kate Seat is a former copywriter at MBS. When away from work, she’s either creating one-of-a-kind art dolls, reading or watching way too much tv with her husband, daughter and an irritable chinchilla named Klaus.

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