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Sweepstakes and Social Media

By Zachary Mathie

July 10, 2018

    Almost everyone in this day and age has some form of online social media account, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to name a few. These social media accounts allow individuals to connect with friends and family. Social media also provides an avenue for businesses, whether large or small, to connect with their customers.
   Many businesses use social media platforms to run advertisements, promotions and sweepstakes for their latest and newest product.  However, most businesses running these sweepstakes are unaware that each social media platform has their own rules and regulations that each sweepstakes with which they must comply. For instance, let’s say you’re a local hardware store and have a Facebook page for your store. You would like to run a sweepstakes to give away a free item. In order to run that sweepstakes through Facebook, you must have a set of official rules and guidelines linked to that sweepstakes post in order to allow participants access. The official rules and guidelines must also be in compliance with state and federal law regarding sweepstakes.
   Many sweepstakes require that participants share the promotion on the participant’s personal timeline or with their Facebook friends as a means of entry. This, too, is prohibited by Facebook’s guidelines. Any kind of action that involves a participant’s personal timeline or friend connection as a means of entry is prohibited. Furthermore, each sweepstakes must contain an acknowledgement that Facebook is in no way sponsoring, endorsing, or administering the sweepstakes and that each participant agrees to a complete release of Facebook by their entry into the sweepstakes.
   This is just a snapshot of the vast guidelines and requirements from Facebook alone. Each social media platform has its own guidelines such that the sweepstakes would have to comply with each social media platform if you were to run the sweepstakes on multiple platforms. Furthermore, once your sweepstakes crosses state lines, the sweepstakes would have to comply with each state’s laws regarding sweepstakes. If you would like to run a sweepstakes through your business social media account, contact our office and we will aid you in navigating the vast rules and guidelines to ensure that your sweepstakes are in compliance with State and Federal law and guidelines for each social media platform.
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