Official Rules? Do we need them? Short answer: yes.
This comes up more often than you'd think. "But we're only giving away a T-shirt on Facebook, what's the big deal?!" The big deal is this: Rules protect your brand and your business. They also protect the consumer. They act as a contract. Do X, you could win Y. Otherwise, there are loopholes, and unclear promotions, and at the end of the day, a confused follower could become an upset follower. These days, the old mantra of "a happy customer will tell 1 person about your business and an unhappy one will tell 5 people about your business" still rings true -- but add some zeroes to that number. When you're simply trying to have some fun and give some things away - do it right. Don't open your brand up to potentially upsetting a customer. You certainly didn't mean to - but the whole issue could have been avoided with clear expectations for both parties, and that's where rules come into play.
Not to mention, rules are required by the FTC for any and all promotions. For exactly the reasons above, but mostly for the protection of the consumer. So, not only is it a best practice - it's the law.
We'll spare the gory details for now - but there are different laws for different states (that's why rules tend to be PAGES long - to satisfy ALL of those requirements in 1 document for a national or North American promotion). We've dealt with all sorts of promotions, and they are all different - and the laws are too. Based on the industry, the location of the promotion, the prize, the value of the prize, the type of business you have, etc.
Sounds scary, but really, as long as your "t's" are crossed, your brand will be protected. Still scared? Give us a call - we're here to help!
A great article from Marketing Profs - discussing the same: To support that blog we posted last week :)
In this edition of Sweeps vs Contest, let's cover the appropriate times to run either promotion.
Let's start with the Sweepstakes. Again, a sweepstakes is a simple random draw. Entrants provide their contact information in exchange for a chance to win. As you can imagine, this is a really great time to add an opt-in box to that entry form. Because sweepstakes are typically very easy to enter, you can expect volume participation, and this is a GREAT tactic to use when you're looking to simply build your fan base, email list, Facebook following -- you name it. Providing an easy way to interact with potential new customers is a quick way to build that base.
On the flip side, Contests require a bit more effort. Here, you want to leverage your existing fan base (so, it would make sense to run a few sweeps first to build that up). You are encouraging your audience to interact with your brand -- posting pictures, recipes, videos, design boards, you name it. While you're engaging your audience, you're also collecting user generated content, or new product ideas, or other valuable insights. Here, since you are asking more from the entrant, you can (typically) expect less volume than a sweeps - but the quality of interaction is higher. You're spending more time with your audience than a simple entry form. The results can be pretty spectacular.
So, which to choose - a sweeps or a contest? That's really up to you! If you need help making that decision, give us a call!