What you need to know about Social Media Competitions in South Africa.

Let’s be honest, these days everyone and their dog is a Social Media Marketing Expert. People tend to think that social media marketing is about posting pictures, sharing on every group you are on and doing “Like & Share Competitions” to get followers and page likes.

Why? Because that is what everyone else is doing. And why change something if it works right?

But. Here’s the thing. Social media isn’t just a pretend land where we share memes and argue with strangers. It has terms and conditions, but more importantly, anything that happens on social media is still bound to the laws of the country you are in.

Requirements for Competitions

In South Africa, competitions fall under the regulation of the Consumer Protection Act.

Competitions are required only to be transparent about subscriptions, purchases or entry qualifications. You must have a mechanic for entry and a set of rules or terms and conditions for the competition, which must be made available to the competition applicant.

You can read a more in-depth explanation here.

If you are planning on using the competition as a means of gathering people’s information, i.e. contact numbers or email addresses – be sure to familiarize yourself with POPI as well as making sure you have a privacy policy displayed on your website.

Facebook Terms & Conditions

Promotions may be administered on Pages, groups, events or within apps on Facebook. Personal timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (e.g. “share on your timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s timeline to get additional entries” and “tag your friends in this post to enter” are not permitted).

https://www.facebook.com/policies/pages_groups_events/

Wait, if this is true, why are so many people running so-called “Like & Share” Competitions then? And why can’t I?

Well, you totally can! But consider the following:

  • Using words such as like, share, tag and competition in the same posts may cause the Facebook algorithm to show fewer of your posts and deprioritize your content.
  • If you try to promote your competition through paid promotions, there is a good chance that your ads won’t be approved.
  • More and more groups are not allowing advertising and competition posts due to the volume of spam posts that they get, so posting your competition to groups or worse, asking others to share to groups in order to qualify for entry to your competition can get you or your followers banned from the group.
  • If you run too many competitions your followers can experience fatigue. Competitions or giveaways should be something that they can be excited about. If you have one every week, people quickly lose interest, because they can just catch the next one or six.
  • Your account or page can be temporarily or permanently suspended. Chances are slim, but it happens more often than people realize.

If you do want to run a competition on social media – here are some fun alternatives to consider:

Ask your followers to answer a question. This is a great option if you want to get more info from your audience. You could ask them what their favourite product is or what they would like to see from your business in the future.

Do a photo competition. This is a great way to drive engagement and the bonus is that you will get some great user-generated content!

Ask your followers to subscribe to your email list. This is a great way to grow your email list for your email marketing, but it also enables you to create target ads to similar audiences. Don’t worry if you don’t understand any of this – just show up with an email list to your social media manager and you will quickly become their favourite client!

Ask your followers to vote in a poll or for their favourite product of yours. This will drive engagement and be honest, who doesn’t love a good poll?

Ask them to nominate a friend or family member to win the giveaway and motivate the reason they feel they should win. This is nice to do, especially because you know that someone who truly needs or wants this will enjoy the prize. Do make it clear that the winner will be chosen at your discretion and any and all decisions are final.

Do a sweepstake. These are low maintenance as there are many apps that can run these for you and will select a winner randomly, thus alleviating the pressure off of you.

TL;DR TAKEAWAY:

  1. Make sure that your competition has rules and make the terms and conditions clear and available to the consumer.
  2. Assess whether or not you are willing to risk violating the platform’s regulations regarding competitions and entry criteria.
  3. Make the competition fun and interesting or the prize desirable to attract attention.
  4. Don’t ask your followers to spam others to gain entry to the giveaway, because that’s just annoying.

Have you had success with online competitions?

Did you learn anything from this post? Let me know in the comments!

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