A Facebook competition or promotion is a great way of gaining interest and exposure for your brand. From holiday giveaways to exclusive amenities, hotels are constantly running competitions on social media, and with good reason. Competitions have great potential to increase attention to and excitement for your brand.

That said, it is important to keep a few key guidelines in mind. Facebook has recently amended their terms and conditions for running contests and promotions on Facebook.

Failure to comply with the official rules and guidelines for your Facebook competition will result in a warning, followed by suspension or removal of your page and account. Once your page has been removed you will not be able to reactivate it, meaning you will be required to start a new one from scratch.

One of the biggest changes has to do with the hugely popular “Like & Share” competitions. Getting users to like your page and share it on their friends’ pages has clear appeal for garnering reach and increasing page likes…or so it seems.

Facebook has now deemed these types of contests against the rules, but before you send them an angry email, just know that you won’t be missing out on much.

Like & Share campaigns have been shown time and time again to be superficial and, in truth, a rather ineffective way of reaching valuable audiences. A huge influx of likes and shares may seem like a success, but this encouraging of spam and lack of loyalty following the campaign is more likely to cause you grief in the long run.

So how exactly are you supposed to run a Facebook competition without upsetting your followers or the social network then?

It’s actually much easier than you think!

Here is your simple cheat sheet guide to running a successful – and compliant – Facebook competition.

Facebook Competition infographic