Please Stop with the Like and Share to Win!

This post is part rant, part helpful advice. It’s my way to get the word out that the “Like and Share to Win” contests taking over Facebook News Feeds are not only tacky, they’re also against the Facebook terms of use. Meaning: it could get your page shut down.

What this looks like…

In an attempt to get more page or post LIKES, Facebook Page Owners are using the site as a bulletin board for “LIKE and SHARE to Win!” flyers.

Each time someone clicks the LIKE button on their ‘flyer’, and clicks the LIKE button on their page AND tells all their friends to do the same, they get an imaginary ballot entry into a contest.

At the end of some deadline the page admin then looks at everyone who followed the instructions and chooses a “winner”.

If you haven’t been on Facebook in awhile you might be thinking “huh?” or “wtf?” right about now.

“LIKE and SHARE to Win!” has become the new trend among ill-informed page admins and I’m really sorry to have to be so blunt about this.


The sad fact is – the contests do result in more page LIKES and more post likes…so companies keep doing it.

Here’s why everyone needs to stop…

1. It’s tacky

Imagine if we tried this ‘like and share to win’ technique in the real world. Would you really want to represent your brand by running around with flyers and calling out to people to LIKE you and pass your flyers to their friends?

It’s tacky in the real world, and it’s tacky on Facebook.

Consider that seriously, we’re talking about your brand.


2. The LIKES you’ll get are shallow

When we turn the concept of LIKING a business or brand into nothing more than a ballot to win a free prize we diminish its significance. You start attracting “fans” that aren’t fans at all and just want a chance to win something.

Social media is about sooo much more than accumulating thousands of LIKES, connections and followers. Contact us if your company needs help figuring out what social media is really about, seriously – click here.


3. It’s against the Facebook Terms of Service

Yes folks, the people behind the scenes at Facebook know how counterintuitive this practice is, and they have rules against it: Facebook Page Guidelines (see Section E: Promotions).

You must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your app. For example, you must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall.

You’re at risk of having your page deleted by the powers at be if you don’t comply:

We reserve the right to reject or remove Pages for any reason. These terms are subject to change at any time.

Yes, Facebook has started cracking down. For example, Velvet Burger in New Zealand had 9500+ fans when they were shut down.


4. Your posts will get reported as SPAM

Facebook users can now reports posts they find offensive or spammy. By simply clicking the “Report Story or Spam” on a new feed story, the post will be removed from their view and reported to Facebook.

LIKE and SHARE this photo of a cute kitten to win something awesome!

Facebook keeps track of these reports and claims they may remove your post or prevent you from sharing this type of content in the future.  What Happens After You Click “Report”


5. You’re ruining Facebook

There, I said it.


Here are some options for running contests on Facebook that are safe, and not annoying:


Photo Credit: StefanWagner