A guide to running successful and compliant social media promotions in 2018

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With 2018 close on the marketing horizon, it is essential for brands and marketers to be aware of the Dos and Don’ts of running compliant social media promotions. And, with GDPR being enforced in May 2018, there certainly is no room for mistakes when running promotions, so we take a look at some of the rules to be aware of.


Facebook allows the running of promotions by pages, however any behaviour viewed as ‘spammy’ is discouraged and the use of friend connections to enter is not allowed.

This means asking people to share a post or tag a friend to enter is not permitted and could result in Facebook removing the post, or your page.

In essence; just because a person has chosen to follow your brand doesn’t mean their friends want to be exposed to that content.

You cannot: You can:
Ask people to share a post (on their own timeline or a friend’s) Ask people to comment a word/phrase/answer/anecdote etc. under a promotional post
Ask people to tag their friend(s) in a comment, photo or other post Ask people to upload a photo/video in the comments
Ask people to post/repost something on their own timeline to enter a promotion that has your branding etc. Ask people to post to a page (photo, video, writing)
Ask people to use a hashtag either in the comments or elsewhere as a sole form of entry Ask people to react to a promotional post (likes, reactions) but the promotion can only end during hours so an Ops team member can extract (likes cannot be time stamped), or the client needs an extraction tool that time stamps.


Instagram allows promotions to be run on their platform, however again ‘spammy’ behaviour is not permitted. You must not inaccurately tag content, or encourage users to inaccurately tag content. For example, asking someone to tag themselves or a friend in a brand’s photo in which they do not appear is not permitted and will put your account at risk. However, the use of hashtags is allowed (and necessary), and can create country/worldwide trends.

You cannot: You can:
Ask people to tag themselves in a photo in which they are not Ask people to comment a hashtag under a post
Ask people to tag their friend(s) in a photo they are not in Ask people to post their own photo with a hashtag
Ask people to like a photo to enter
Ask people to comment under a post (limited to 120-150 at a time) – David looking into options


Twitter permits the running of promotions unless it encourages users to spam their feeds.  This includes things such as ‘whoever retweets the most wins’, as well as anything that encourages the creation of multiple accounts for multiple entries as the user is likely to then have all of their accounts suspended. Twitter requests a clause stating that anyone found to be making multiple accounts will be ineligible to enter, and asks that entries are limited to 1 per day per person.

You cannot: You can:
‘retweet the most to win’ (whichever entrant gets the most retweets, wins) Ask people to use a hashtag
Ask people to post duplicate or near duplicate tweets Ask people to retweet to enter (or quote tweet to enter, with a hashtag)
allow multiple entries per day Ask people to @ you (but entry requires a #)
Ask people to like a tweet to enter

Other social media you need to be aware of like Snapchat, Pinterest and YouTube also have their own rules, and new technology and platforms emerge every day it is hard to keep up.

For help and advice on running safe and successful promotions contact info@promoveritas.com or call +44 203 325 6000.

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