Tuesday 7 May 2013

Like and Share competitions on Facebook

You must have seen them on Facebook, even if you've only ever visited the site once in your life - all those competition that ask people to "Like and Share" a post or a page in order to enter a competition.

Well, first of all I'm going to go right back to basics and tell you how to do it. And then I'm going to switch direction completely and tell you why you shouldn't!

To like a PAGE 
Either go to the page itself, and click the Like button that appears just below their cover photo,  or if somebody else has shared that page in your timeline, hover over the name of it until a pop up appears with a miniature of the cover photo on it and use the Like button on that.

To share a PAGE
Go to the page, either directly or by following a link in your timeline, and on the far right below the cover photo, you will see the word "Message" with a cogwheel to the right of it. Click on the arrowhead next to the cogwheel and a menu will drop down. The "Share" option here is the one to use if you are asked to share a page, rather than a post.

To like and share POST
I've just been doing some experimenting with this and I was rather surprised by the result. I'd thought that if I saw a post a friend had shared, and clicked "like", that I would be liking the original post. But in the test I did that didn't happen. So all I'd liked was the fact that my friend had shared the post. I'd suspected that was the case with sharing, as when I share something and then other people share it, the notifications come to ME rather than the original poster.
The moral of this is, if  one of your friends Likes and Shares something in order to enter a competition you can't enter by liking and sharing their shared post, you MUST go to the promoter's page and both like and share the original. Otherwise, the promoter won't see you - and you haven't entered!

Should I write "Liked and Shared"?
A lot of us suspect that our likes and shares won't show up if we don't say something, or that the promoter will favour  those who have commented over those who haven't. But just saying "Liked and shared" marks you out straight away as a comper - which some promoters don't like - as well as making it look as if you are too lazy or uninterested to actually interact with the promoter. Why not say a few nice words instead? Praise the promoter, praise the prize, say what a lovely page it is - most people who run like and share comps are small businesses who really value praise and compliments from their Facebook fans - why not them make feel good about running the competition in general and your participation in particular?

So, now you know how to do it, why am I advising you NOT to like and share, if it's all there is to entering a competition?


It's not the act of liking and sharing that is against the rules ; the whole Facebook system would fall flat on its face if there weren't millions of middle aged women like me all over the world sharing photos of cute cats - it's the running of a competition that involves Liking and Sharing that breaks the rules.

Facebook's  rules on promotions say that all competitions must be run through an app, or by email, or following a link  to a non-Facebook website. Running a Like and Share competition is against Facebook rules. One of the reasons for this is the number of fake competitions that  are set up in order to get a huge number of likers to a page, which will then be sold to a business too dodgy to build up a fan base of their own, Running a like and share comp can spread things virally so that tens of thousands of people like the page, lured by the promise of free goods that will never materialise, only to wake up one morning finding themselves following a page selling under-the-counter pharmaceutical products they have no need of! Clamping down on like and share competitions helps to stop the spread of these fake pages, but Facebook has two ways of doing it. Sometimes they remove the page running the competition, and sometimes they penalise the page by removing all the people who have liked and shared it! And being such a huge organisation, Facebook doesn't have time to research whether the page is really a fake one or a genuine small business who simply doesn't know the rules,  so even if you are careful to only enter competitions you are certain are 100% legitimate, you could find yourself with a suspension lasting anything from a few hours to 30 days, or even lose your account completely.

So, how can you protect your account? Well, the most straightforward way is not to enter any Like and Share competitions at all. But that can be difficult. They can be so tempting, and you often feel you want to support small businesses, especially if they are run by personal friends. So here are some tips that might help you to avoid suspension (I can't make any promises, but I've not had a suspension since I started doing things this way)
  • if you can't give them up, cut right down on them. There are plenty other competitions out there to enter, even if you never move away from Facebook.
  • when you DO enter one, don't comment "Liked and Shared". Say something relevant or don't say anything at all. Making multiple comments the same can get you marked down as a spammer.
  • Like and share things other than competitions ("Oh, so THAT''s why Jane suddenly started sharing cat photos, jokes and random scientific facts!" I can hear you saying) so the ones you do for  competitions get "diluted" among the other stuff.
  • Use your Facebook account for other things. Share some good news, some bad news, a rant, a family event. Comment on a friend's photo, wish somebody a happy birthday. You might even enjoy it!
I've only looked at Like and Share competitions in the most basic of terms here,  but Superlucky Di has some blog posts that go into much more detail. The first looks at a lot of other reasons Like and Share competitions are a bad idea such as difficulty in promoters contacting winners, entries not always being visible and vulnerability to cheating.  The second is a closer look at those Facebook regulations, with some advice to promoters on how to stay within the rules and to compers on how to handle promotions that break them.


  1. Thanks for linking to my posts Jane - L&S comps are driving me up the wall (up the Timeline?) lately, and I've had a chat with the IPM about what can be done in terms of Facebook making examples of the offending pages! They create so much spam!

  2. makes no difference whether you are friendly and ''praise'' the promoter,they pick out who they pick out and i don't think they will after a comp has been going on for say a month a business will not remember whop left the nicest comment.

    1. Maybe, but being pleasant costs nothing and looks a lot better than just putting "liked and shared"

  3. It is not as easy to motivate people to participate in 'Like and Share' as you might think, because people have grown smart to know the value of clicking these buttons. However, there is no harm in trying it, if it can fetc better results.

  4. Thank you for the advice. My only question is- when I enter a competition straight from an e-mail and it says " you are now entered into the competition" "now like and share our facebook page" am I obliged to do this as it as already said im entered or can I avoid it & by not doing it will it affect my chances?

    1. I think the ones that say it after you've entered are asking you to do it as a favour rather than as a condition of entry. But I can't guarantee it! I don't usually share them when they word it like that, unless it's something I think that friends who are online at the time would be interested in, as I don't want to clutter up everybody's feed when they see the same comps over and over again, when each of their friends enters.

  5. I wish they would do something about them,I personally can't stand the like & share competitions... & i wish i could ignore them & not do them, many i can but some i can't as the prizes on offer are so good ( many are not i might add!). & Di i have seen that coming up an awful lot in comps, fill in the form then they want you to go back & like & share the photo...grrrrrrr, my Timelines a nightmare somedays as some compers come on & just do all the likes & shares in one go & that drives me insane, i have started reporting them as spam...not that it'll do any good, i recon Facebook ignore you when you report a company. Still till they stop them alltogether, i'm sorry but some of them i have to enter, there too good to miss !!!

  6. I've only entered a handful of "like & shares" recently, and dilute them with bunny photos lol. Normally for local companies - although I do educate them after the comp - like I did recently with the Garden Fork comp that I won. If I have no wish to enter the local comp, I send a message with a link to Di's or yours pages showing the rules and how go use rafflecopter etc. Most of local companies have changed and no long use "like and share" :-)

    I have wondered if reporting the page with the comp on (for bigger companies that flaunt the rules) is a good idea? Or is that really mean?

  7. I really wish reporting them would make them disappear, it's all that fills my news feed!
    I'll admit that when I started my business page, I ran a like & share comp, because I knew no better, but since finding out the rules, I haven't, and have tried educating others as well. Some take on board what you're saying, but some just get snotty and abusive! :(


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