As you probably already know, over the past couple of weeks, I have been spending time working on my own cake business as a case study to help all of you guys. Last week, I delved into the scary world of tunning a Facebook competition in my cake business and boy is it a minefield!! I’d received some really great lessons from my business coach before I did it, and yet it still managed to make a mistake! 

If you didn’t see the competition that I ran, you’re welcome to take a look here: Pumpkin Cake Competition

So first of all, let’s take a look at all of the official stuff! 

What are The Rules of Running A Facebook Competition in Your Cake Business 

So, if you didn’t already know, Facebook have mega strict rules when it comes to using their platform to run a competition. 

I see Pages and Groups all the time running competitions that aren’t within the rules, and there seems to be a common feeling that “well no one else is doing it so why should I”. However, just because others aren’t following the rules, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t either. The penalties for failing to follow the rules are just too high, you risk having your Page shut down completely and for businesses such as yours that rely so heavily on social media platforms, you cannot afford to risk this. 

As the time of writing this article in November 2020, the current rules are: 

1. You can run a competition on a Page, in a Group, or in an Event but you cannot use your personal timeline.

2. You cannot make it a requirement of entry to a competition that an entrant: 

a) Share a post on a friends timeline;

b) Tag a friend in comments;

c) Share a post on their own timeline;

If entrants do any of the above off their own back, that is fine but you cannot make it a requirement of entry

4. You must state publically in your terms and conditions of entry that Facebook is released from responsibility and you must acknowledge that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook. 

These are the rules at the time of writing, however, you should always make sure that you check the most up to date rules before launching your competition. You can find them here: Facebook Competition Rules

So, What Should your Terms of Entry Be? 

I thought long and hard about this before I launched my pumpkin cake competition. 

I decided not to make it a requirement that entrants had to like my page – if I did this then how would I know who liked the page the enter the competition and who just coincidentally liked the page? 

I decided that I wanted entrants to comment on my post in order to enter. However…and this is what I found really hard! My business coach had warned me that Facebook doesn’t like forced interaction (generally, not just when it comes to competitions). So, Facebook will show your post to less people if you use the words: like/comment/share/tag. I knew that I needed to avoid using these words in order for my post to get seen. 

So instead I said “shout up and let me know you want to be in the draw and who will be eating this with you if you win“. I thought I had absolutely nailed it! Until….a few hours after the launch of the competition, I was out on a walk and it dawned on my that I then went on to say “Full T&Cs can be found in the first comment!” 🙄🤦🏻‍♀️ I’d tried so hard! That said, my competition still did incredibly well, just under 3,500 people were reached, just under 650 people engaged with the post and 101 people entered! However, people do try to avoid using the above words if you can! 

Would You Like My Top Tips For Running A Facebook Competition In Your Cake Business? 

1. Make the cake before to competition so entrants can see what they are getting

2. Build excitement

3. Use a great photo or video showing the cake to be won

4. Keep the competition short and sweet – I launched mine at 8am Thuraday morning, it closed 12pm Friday lunchtime, and the winner collected at 3pm the same day 

5. Follow the rules! 

6. Avoid the forbidden words so you get great reach on your competition 

7. Enter you put your terms and conditions of entry in the first comment as soon as you launch the competition so that they are there to be seen 

8. Choose a winner impartially – I used on the advice of my business coach and it worked a treat – it chose a winner with zero responsibility on my part, and zero opportunity for complaints. You will need the URL of the Facebook Post to do this, and you can get this by clicking on the date and time of your post and then copying the URL. 

9. Draw the winner live or by recording your screen and then post the video so people can see the actual draw 

I hope that this helps you navigate the minefield of running a facebook competition in your cake business – just remember, stay within the rules and you will be fine!

Good luck!