When I told friends and colleagues I won two return plane tickets to LA and New York via a facebook competition, their first response was a surprised “I thought those competitions were fake!” (closely followed by a disbelieving laugh before I told them that ‘No…. the competition was definitely legit’). Then, came the sheepish ‘Oh… congratulations…”
Well, it wasn’t a fake and I won. Being a Digital Strategist makes me very wary of competitions via Facebook (like everyone else) – however, I did my due diligence. These are the areas I check for legitimacy:
1. The type of competition:
Usually if it is a 25 words or less, it’s a sign the competition is a ‘game of skill’ rather than a game a chance. Less people are likely to enter a ‘game of skill’ competition – which is not what the scammers ultimately want.
A game of chance is where the competition asks you to ‘like’ their Facebook page and tells you to ‘share’ their post, in order to enter. Besides, it is against Facebook Competition Policy to force people to share your post in order to enter a competition (as Facebook are trying to protect their customers from too many competition spamming…)
2. Take time to look the actual business page
This, usually, is a dead giveaway. Click on the blue business page title and there are some tell-tale signs to look out for legitimacy:
- Check how many people like the page.
If it is from a well known company (ie: Jeep, Qantas, Carnival Cruise Line etc…), less than 100,000 people liking the page is another bad sign. Jeep’s legitimate Facebook page currently has over 4 million Facebook likes, Qantas has over 700,000 likes… you get my drift.
- Scroll down their timelime. A legitimate Facebook business page would be communicating and engaging their audience, with information about their services, anecdotes and interesting stories. If the only information is the competion… red flag!
- Did their timeline miraculously start in 2016? – roughly the same time they were planning to give away a $90,000 Jeep or 1st Class Plane Tickets or a Trip of a Lifetime Cruise – and the only thing posted is about the competition? WOW! What a co-incidence! It’s safe to say it’s all lies. If you are on desktop – you can also check the timeline bar on the right hand side of your desktop screen for this information.
- Where is the ABOUT information? Scammers are too lazy to fill in the necessary details to make their page look legitimate (why would they bother when they already have 118,117 shares for their bogus competition?). Still not sure? Click the ABOUT page and check to see if there is a description. Is there a phone number? A website address? No?
3. Look for a blue tick next to their name.
It is relatively new to Facebook and is only available to selected high profile companies. This is an authenticity check, in an effort to crack down on fake profiles and fake identities. Not all companies have this as businesses are unable to request it. Only Facebook will decide when the company is worthy of the blue badge. And there are still some high profile companies with no Facebook blue tick yet.
However, the white circled tick is immediate recognition that the Facebook page is legitimate.
Below is an infograph what to look for (and where) when looking at out for a fake Facebook Business Page.
As I have proven, there are some fantastic prizes to be won on Facebook – however you need to do your due diligence. Spend two minutes doing some research, assess the situation and then make a decision to enter.
Therefore, it is important for businesses to ensure their Facebook Business page is filled appropriately and is a continuing source of information. If you are a business wanting to run a Facebook Competition, click here for more information.
Good luck! I might see you in New York from tickets you legitimately won on another Facebook Comp!