I’ve just seen another illegal Facebook contest on my newsfeed, and I’m starting to get really peeved off about this technical theft!
Before I explain why, let me say that I do realise that not everybody is totally au-fait with the rules. I get that some business owners might not know any better, and that all they are trying to do is grow their page… to build their fanbase.
I know it’s all about education, and through my work, I mentor and teach hundreds of small business owners every year to market their business on social media profitably and legally.
Not knowing the rules doesn’t make you a bad person in my eyes.
However, I’m angry because the person running the illegal Facebook contest that I saw today does know the rules. I know this because they asked for my help to understand the promotion guidelines, and I gave it to them. Just as I would help anyone who comes to me and asks.
But… they have chosen to ignore what they learned, and go down the illegal route instead.
And just as a bank robber will make more money in a day than law abiding folk, people who CHOOSE to breach Facebook’s Terms of Service, and promote an illegal Facebook contest will get more likes and shares than those of us who adhere to the rules.
But, in the same way a bank robber doesn’t only steal from the bank, but also society as a whole, people who promote their contest illegally on Facebook are stealing from those of us who abide by the rules.
3 ways that illegal Facebook contest promoters are stealing from you;
#1: They steal entrants
You see, people are more than happy to like and share the illegal contest posts that a friend has posted in their newsfeed. To enter an illegal contest, you are often only asked to like and share the post to be in with a chance of winning a prize. Simples.
Yet when we promote our contest legally, we have to request email addresses. So our contest gets seen as “too much effort to enter” or we’re seen as the enemy for trying to “get all their personal details”. We don’t write the rules, Facebook do!
So if we all took action to report the illegal contest, the Facebook population would be less disdainful of the legal promoters.
#2: They steal respect
I have never seen an illegal contest get hate comments. Yet, when we PAY to promote a post or advertise a contest, almost always there will be comments such as “stop spamming my newsfeed”.
You might even be ‘fortunate’ enough to attract the vile members of society who feel it is acceptable to post comments like “eff off and die in a fire” as I did when I had the ‘audacity’ to promote a post that appeared in this person’s newsfeed!
#3: They steal confidence
I have met many business owners who have encountered nasty comments on their first attempt at promoting a contest or post legally. They’ve been put off doing so again in fear of being reported to Facebook and flagged up as a spammer.
And that’s really not fair. Because it’s the illegal contest promoters who give Facebook users the impression that they can be successful without the need to follow the rules.
It’s those of us who pay for Facebook advertising that keep the platform free for the general population. And every time someone disregards the rules, they are sticking two fingers up at you and I.
Illegal Facebook contest promoters are squatters.
They are using a service that the “law” says we must pay for (either by paying the contest app providers to use their service, or buying Facebook advertising, or both), for free.
Would you consider a business that is squatting in their business premises worthy of respect and/or your custom?
Next time you see an illegal Facebook contest in your newsfeed, direct the page owner to this post so they can have a chance to learn and make it right.
If you see the same person promoting another contest illegally, you can go here to report them to Facebook!
Are you a Facebook advertiser hacked off with the flagrant abuse of the rules by a small minority too? Share your thoughts in the comments below.