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Insight: Facebook competitions, the what, why, where, when and how?

Posted in: Campaign Facebook GIF How to... Insight Online

Logout, The hardest button to Click!

Facebook competitions are like Peter Andre’s mysterious girl, we know what they are but yet we know so little about them, and what are the rules? Can you do this or that? Most people never really seem sure.

There has long been a call for clearer guidelines on Facebook competitions, and many people wanting to run their own competitions have been confused as to what was actually breaking the rules. As well all know it’s  important not to break the rules on Facebook as they can deactivate and remove a business page without warning if it breaches the terms and conditions set out online.

The basics are outlined in their promotions terms and conditions. The official guidelines require that you are responsible for the lawful operation of the promotion, and that it is made clear that the promotion has no link to or is endorsed by Facebook or it’s affiliates.

You can see all the rules that are laid out here:

“1. If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:

a.   The official rules;
b.   Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and
c.   Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals)
2. Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
a.   A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
b.   Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
3. Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries” is not permitted).
4. We will not assist you in the administration of your promotion, and you agree that if you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk.”
So what these rules mean in simple terms, you are completely responsible for the running of your competition, you cannot get Facebook involved in any issues you may have. It’s all your fault. Fair enough I would say. It also means that you have to set all the rules to your competition and enforce them all yourself, for example setting and keeping age guidelines. You must acknowledge that the promotion is in no way associated with Facebook by way of a disclaimer. You can only hold a competition through a page or an app, you cannot use your personal profile to do this.

There is recent news now that Facebook is banning ‘Like-gating’ which means that pages will no longer be allowed to make a user to like their page to enter a competition. The change to their terms is an attempt to reduce the amount of spam-my Likes on brand pages, and to make information clearer for users.


This is likely to be a popular move for people who like entering competitions, as before now their Facebook profiles would have been full of pages they’ve liked to enter these competitions; most people don’t unlike the page after they’ve entered, which is what the page is counting on. It will also improve things for page  managers, in that, though there may be less likes, it will give a greater insight into the page’s activity, and will improve the reliability of reports. The change will also mean a cut down on spam profiles which were set up just to like pages and enter pages competitions.
So overall, it’s actually pretty easy to set up a competition on the social media giant. There aren’t really any specific rules regarding the type of competition you hold, obviously as long as it is not offensive. All you have to do is keep Facebook out of it and run it all yourself. Not as constricted as you thought, then really. So go forth and run that competition, look for the right audience for your promotion, and you’ll have a successful competition on your hands which will promote your brand to a greater crowd.

by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes & Fails – 27th August – Hyperlapse from Instagram & Self-censoring online

Posted in: Apple Apps Blog Facebook Fail Instagram Like Likes and Fails News Online Social Media Twitter Vine

Here are today’s Likes and Fails – today we take a look at Instagram’s new app Hyperlapse as well as looking at the rise in online self-censoring on Social Media sites.


Hyperlapse is a brand new app from Instagram launched yesterday. The app arrived initially without much fanfare, mainly as there had been no word of this app before it’s launch. The news of the apps launched arrived a mere two hours before it actually arrived in the Apple app store.

The app is a video sharing app which can turn your video clips into ‘hyperlapse’ videos, which gives a cinematic feel to the videos. Much like quick sequences you see in films when moving from one place to the other, this app now allows users to create the cool same effect without all the expensive equipment. Basically the app has built in stabilizing features which create the smooth moving effect in the finished videos. To use the app you only have to press the record option once and then press it again to stop recording. You can either play the video back at normal speed or create the hyperlapse at up to 12 times its original speed. You can then save the video by clicking the green check mark, and from there share the video.

This is a n exciting new development from the Instagram team, as many were focused on the launch of bolt – the Snapchat competitor – from them, but they surprised everyone with the launch of a completely different app with some really interesting technology involved.

We can only hope the delay whilst the make it available for Android is not too long, as currently it is only available for Apple devices.



There are reports today that surveys have shown that users on Twitter and Facebook are increasingly self-censoring themselves regarding controversial topics. The study looked specifically at the fallout following the Edward Snowden leaks and peoples willingness to talk about the topic. A large majority of Americans, 86%, said that they were open to talking about the leaks and the impact of the government intrusion on privacy but only 43% said they were comfortable about talking about it online on Facebook and even less, 41%, said they would discuss it on Twitter

The survey also found, that people were more willing to share their thoughts on the case if they thought their audience would agree with them. Which is not really surprising. Though the report also suggests that people were less likely to share their opinions offline if they thought that their online friends and followers would disagree with their opinion. This displays a crossover between the two worlds which may mean that important information is not being shared between mediums and that the censoring is passing over into in-person contexts. Though this was not definitively shown in the survey, though it was suggested by the data received.

This is an interesting look at self-censoring, which we probably encounter daily online. I know personally I’ve had an opinion on a topic online but have not shared my opinion for fear of getting involved in an online argument which I did not want to deal with. I think this fear of ‘online confrontation’ is what leads us to shy away from sharing our opinions online. It is a lot easier for someone to counter your argument online, sometimes in an aggressive way, without any lasting backlash. Whereas if the same confrontation happened in-person there would definitely be some sort of lasting message, whether it be law enforcement of just the fact that the relationship with the person was ended.


by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 26th August – Facebook doesn’t like click bait & Macmillan steals ice challenge

Posted in: Campaign Facebook Fail Like Likes and Fails News Online

Here are today’s post bank-holiday likes and fails!


Logout, The hardest button to Click!

Facebook have decided to start clamping down on click bait articles on the site. This should hopefully start to clear out annoying content from users feeds. You’ve probably noticed more recently that your feed is filled with tons of rubbish click bait articles that your friends have shared. I know I have, it does get very tiresome, especially when I simply use the site to see what friends are up to, as well as running brand pages. These articles are especially annoying as they don’t give anything away in the title, but just enough that the user is forced to click through to find out more.

The example that Facebook gave was: “You’ll NEVER believe which two stars got into a fight on the red carpet last night!! CLICK to find out which starlet they were fighting over!!”.

This means that Facebook will be changing their algorithm slightly to make less of these articles appear in feeds, this is obviously not great news for the publisher sites but Facebook says only a small set of publishers will see a distribution change and that the changes are necessary so as to not drain out the things people want to see on Facebook.



Macmillan, the cancer charity has come under a bit of fire online regarding their jump onto the online fad of chucking ice water over your head for charity. Originally when the ice bucket challenge started in America it was in aid of the ALS Association, which helps those with motor neurone disease, also know as Lou Gehrig’s. The challenge quickly grew in popularity when celebrities got in on the act and people were uploading their own video challenges to social media and raising millions for the charity. As the challenges spread over to the UK Macmillan saw their chance and started asking that people donate to their charity and do the ice bucket challenge. Now you may think, why is it bad to hijack a charity challenge for your own charity, it’s all charity right?

Well some are saying it was a little tactless of Macmillan, as cancer is a well known disease and one of the most donated to diseases. Whereas Lou Gehrigs disease is much lesser known and could definitely help, in awareness of the disease as well as working on curing it. There are calls for people to consider the UK association for Motor Neurone diseases ( Some have taken note of this and the charity have currently raised £1 million from ice bucket donations.

Macmillan have defended themselves though and said they thought it was a good idea to take the initiative to get involved with the challenge as they had been previously criticized for being slow on the uptake when the no make-up selfie was popular earlier in the year.

The details for donating are here:

Macmillan ask people to film themselves doing the ice bucket challenge, post it online and donate £3 to the cause by texting ICE to 70550.

You can also donate to the Motor Neurone Disease Association by texting ICED55 £5 – or any other amount – to 70070.

by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 22nd August – Instagram business tolls & Twitter promoted content latches on to hashtags

Posted in: Apps Fail Hashtags Instagram Like Likes and Fails Twitter

Here are today’s Likes and Fails for your viewing pleasure this Friday!



We mentioned it earlier, but interesting news today that Instagram have added 3 new business tools to help brands engage with fans and grow their following. The 3 tools are account insights, ad insights and ad staging. The new tools are expected to roll out over the coming weeks and months but there is currently no exact time frame or market.

Instagram say that they decided to add the new analytic and advert tools after receiving feedback from users (something that Twitter should probably take note of…). The tools will allow insight into how users have engaged with their photos and campaigns so as well as monitoring the activity, there will be suggestions for the best time to post.

The account insights will let a brand know their impressions, their reach and their engagement with fans and users. The ad insights will do the same for adverts ran on the platform but will also show this in relation to the target audience of the advert. The ad staging does what it says on the tin, this is a place to create, edit and publish adverts to the platform.

Advertisers will be getting the first access to these new tools though once they’ve received feedback from these initial users they will look to improve the tools and roll them out more widely to other brands. Don’t forget that ads are still fairly rare, only showing up in the US at the moment as they don’t want to scare off users. They still plan to roll these out slowly to other territories and countries.



Twitter are meddling again. This time their attaching promoted content to your tweets! The change is currently only seen on the iOS app version of Twitter, but it means that Twitter can try and attach some sort of content to your tweet if you use a related hashtag to the content they have available. So for example, what’s been seen at the moment is that if you use the hashtag #ABCSelfie, which refers to the new Television show on ABC, then you will be asked if you want to attach a video of the show to your tweet.

Luckily Twitter will not be doing this automatically for you, but instead giving you the option to attach the media offered. Though as we said it is currently only on iOS it’s likely to be coming to other platforms too as they test the function further.

Twitter have really been amping it up with their tests and experiments  recently, trying out other annoying things such as putting tweets from people you don’t follow in your timeline as well as tweets that people you follow have favourited. needless to say this is not going down well with users, and I think Twitter would do well to pay attention to what everyone is saying about their ‘experiments’.

by Helen Stirling


Social Media News: Instagram Introduces Analytics

Posted in: Advertising Brands Instagram Social Media

Big social news from Instagram today, as they are rolling out a new suite of tools over the next few days to help brands and marketers ‘better understand the performance of their paid and organic content on Instagram.’


They are going to be opening up analytics in three main areas, which are:

- Account insights

This will allow you to see how you’re increasing brand awareness through impressions, reach and engagement.

- Ad insights

This will help you track and monitor the results and performance of any paid campaigns, and includes number on impressions, reach and frequency for each individual advert.

- Ad staging

This means you can preview, save and collaborate on ad creative for upcoming campaigns.

If you want to read more about the new tools, you can do so on Instagram’s blog.

by Iona St Joseph


A Social Media Agency’s Likes & Fails – 21st August – Soundcloud gets ads

Posted in: Fail Like Likes and Fails Social Media SoundCloud Twitter YouTube

Here are your Likes and Fails for the day.



Soundcloud is going to be adding adverts to their platform for the first time ever. This is being introduced alongside a program which will allow it’s content creators to make money on the platform, which sounds much like YouTube’s offering. The program will have three tiers, partner, pro and premier, of which the premier is the highest tier. Premier allows content creators to make money through their tracks through advertising, but only when their tracks are played in the US. The revenue made will be split between the content creator and Soundcloud. At the launch of this program the premier tier will be invite only.

So from now on US listeners will begin to hear the adverts when listening to certain tracks on the site. These will initially be from mostly the company’s brand partners.

Alex Lijung, founder and CEO of SoundCloud said:

“The introduction of advertising is an important step for creators. Every time you see or hear an ad, an artist gets paid… In addition to supporting creators, ads will keep the service free and open for people to listen to SoundCloud.”

The partner tier is free for content creators and lets you share your first track as well as recieve feedback and basic stats. The pro level is the same but paid and with more upload time and more detailed stats.



You may have heard about the recent horrific news of James Foley an American Journalist who was beheaded at the hands of the IS terrorist group. There is unfortunately footage of the event spreading around online which is said to be harrowing and unsuitable for viewing, especially if it were to be seen by youngsters. There are now warnings in place that watching, downloading or sharing the material is illegal, and that you should not go seeking the material.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said:

“We would like to remind the public that viewing, downloading or disseminating extremist material within the UK may constitute an offence under terrorism legislation.”

YouTube says that they are actively trying to remove the footage, as well as removing accounts which belong to extremist groups and terrorists. This alongside a Twitter campaign encouraging people to not share the clip and to remove it if they had already. Twitter have been deleting tweets that include links to the video. This should help to remove the attention from IS which is what they so greatly crave.

by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 20th August – Snapchat Discovery & Secret app to be removed

Posted in: Android Apple Apps Fail Google Like Likes and Fails News Online Snapchat Social Media

Good morning, we’re here to bring you the hottest and the not-test in Social Media today. Today we’re looking at Sanpchat’s expansion plans as well as a Brazilian judge’s agenda to get Secret removed from Google and Apple app stores as well as all phones!



Snapchat is looking to expand their app’s offering. Currently the app has no way of generating revenue, so the first option one may think of is to introduce advertising to the app, which is one of the avenues that Snapchat will be exploring, but there are other plans too. The rumours are that Snapchat want to introduce a sort of ‘snap news’ to the app. The service is apparently to be called Snapchat Discovery and would allow users to read daily editions of publications as well as look at pictures and video clips associated with the stories by holding down on the images like you normally would in the app. The company has apparently been in talks with dozens of online content providers, with publications such as the Mail Online in talks to provide content on the app.

If Snapchat were to link up with other content poviders it would definitely make it more appealing to advertisers. The Snapchat Discovery feature will likely be the first feature of the app to offer ‘sponsored’ stories, another opportunity for brands to promote themselves and their advertisements.

This is a good move for the company which has now been running for 3 years and continues to grow it’s user base everyday. It will likely offer the app it’s first revenue, and help to build the company up even more.



 A Brazilian judge has ruled that Apple and Google must remove the app Secret from all of their local devices and app stores. The judge was reportedly pushed too far by one case where bullying and intimidation had been happening on the app and the only way to solve this was to order Apple and Google to remove the app locally. The app is usually used to anonymously share gossip, or personal thoughts without them linking to yourself.

If Apple and Google don’t agree to remove the app then they will penalized by the Brazilian court for around $9,000 a day, that’s not a load of money in terms of the amount of revenue these companies make, but it may be easier in the long run if the just remove the app from local app stores and phones to remove themselves from the charges.

The request is definitely one that the two companies can fulfill, they’ve removed apps from their respective stores before and they can technically pull or block software that is installed on their gadgets. Though this is only usually used if the there is a malware outbreak.

So we’ll have to wait and see if the companies remove the app, pay up or instead contest the ruling, which seems likely in the circumstances.

by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 19th August – YouTube Music Key & ALS ice bucket fails

Posted in: Campaign Fail Google Like Likes and Fails Video YouTube YouTube. Video

Here are our favourite, and our least favourite things from the Social Media world today.


Google are edging ever closer to launching their music streaming service. It’s still yet to be officially announced but there are leaked facts about the service, one of which is the name, which is purportedly YouTube Music Key, which isn’t especially catchy, but there are signs that this is what it will be. One is that Google bought the domain, and now there is a supposedly ‘leaked screenshot’ which shows the layout of the mobile site.

youtube music key

The new service was initally discovered earlier this year and people have been waiting for the service to launch so that comparisons can be made with other popular music streaming sites like Spotify and Pandora. From the leaked images it looks as if there will be 20 million tracks available to stream as well as having full albums and a 30 day free trial for new users. It will also reportedly offer listening suggestions too, based on your listening habits. Nothing new there, but a reported bonus will be exclusive tour footage, as well as remixes and covers.


The ALS bucket challenge has been going on for a fair few days now, and with thousands of videos of buckets of ice water being thrown over people, there has to be a fair few fails to go along with it. We’ve spotted a fair few today and we thought we’d share some of them. We did mention the ALS challenge yesterday, but just a quick recap, it’s a charity awareness trend, much like the no make-up selfie for Cancer Research. The participant nominates others to take part in the challenge and  then pours, or has someone pour a bucket of ice water over their head, and then hopefully donates money to the ALS association which is the point of the viral trend. So far the charity has made a whopping $15.6 million from these donations. Which is clearly not a fail! If you want to help research and care for those with Lou Gehrig’s Disease then you can donate here. But now let’s have a look at those ice bucket challenge fails!

by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Monday Round-Up – 18th August – ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Facebook Satire Tag, Twitter Experiments, Snapchat Popularity

Posted in: Campaign Celebrity Facebook News Round Up Snapchat Social Media Twitter

Good morning ladies and gents, I’m sure you’ve had a lovely weekend, so much so that you didn’t even pay attention to the Social-goings on. So here we are to save the day and let you know what’s been happening.

ALS Ice bucket challenge

So the ALS ice bucket challenge dtarted popping up last week, but on over the weekend has it truly gone viral. Celebrities everywhere are flocking to pour a bucket of ice water over their heads in the name of charity, or in some cases exhibitionism. The idea is very similar to that of the extremely popular no make-up selfie trend which took Facebook and the internet by storm earlier this year, and ended up raising over £3 million for Cancer Research UK.

This latest trend was started by Pete Frates, a college baseball player, who has ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease) to try and raise money for the ALS association and awareness of the disease. Since that initial posting, the trend has been passed on after people nominate their friends to create a short video of ice water being poured over their heads. Celebrities have also got involved, including people like Selena Gomez, Lena Dunham, Justin Beiber, and even the big man himself, Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook to flag satirical articles


Facebook are clearly worried that the world is getting more and more gullible (a word that isn’t in the dictionary). People are getting fooled time and time again by articles from the Onion and other satirical sites, so much so that Facebook have been testing out a ‘satire’ tag under the articles that are posted to Facebook. Apparently Facebook have been testing this feature for over a month; though so far it’s only been spotted on The Onion articles and there is no word yet on whether it will appear under other sites” articles. Facebook originally implemented the tag because they were getting feedback from users who wanted a clearer way to distinguish between real and satirical articles.

Twitter experiment


Recently, you may or may not have noticed that Twitter has been quietly throwing in different things into your timeline. The newest tinkering by Twitter now makes it so you see tweets that others have favourited. A lot of people think that this is ridiculous and at the moment I tend to agree. Someone on Twitter made the point that showing users these tweets is basically just the same as a retweet, and I don’t know about you but I don’t favourite things because I particularly want other people to see them.

Twitter could be going to far with their tinkering, at the moment they’re focusing too much on the core features and is changing them into features people don’t like. There should be more of a focus on how people use the service and how they can improve that experience. There have also been rumours of a Facebook style algorithm being used on Twitter, but I can imagine the outcry now if this was the case, it would mean that users would not see every update from people the follow and that would change the whole dynamic of Twitter.

Snapchat popularity among young adults doubles in  9 months

snapchat rise graph

Snapchat’s popularity among 18-24 year olds has doubled since last November, making it equally as popular as the Twitter app for users in this age range. The most popular app is still Facebook with a massive 75% of 18-24 year olds using it, and the second most popular is phot-sharing app Instagram, which is also owned by Facebook.

Snapchat’s popularity continues to rise in older age ranges as well, 25-34 year olds and 35+ are seeing a growth, all though a lot slower than in the younger age range.

All hail the self-destructing picture/video app; Facebook are trying to get their own version of Snapchat to take off with Slingshot and Bolt, but so far they’re failing to match the success of Snapchat.

by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes & Fails – 15th August – A Level results on Twitter & Facebook Messenger hate

Posted in: Facebook Fail Like Likes and Fails Social Media Twitter

Here are today’s Likes and Fails for your viewing pleasure.


So yesterday in the UK it was A Level results day and as usual the Brit internet went into overdrive. The twitter reactions were all over the place, people mourning, celebrating, and older people offering their advice. There was also a funny moment where two universities didn’t quite get the joke a ‘student’ was making and offered their help and advice for him to get into university. See below:

The other opinions and jokes varied throughout the day. See some more of the hilarity below:





Facebook has officially made the update to it’s apps which means you need their separate messenger app to send Facebook messages to your friends via your phone. Since this change has happened there have been around 50,000 negative 1 star reviews across all app stores, from disgruntled users that now need to download the new app to message their friends. These 1 star reviews made up 95% of all the reviews posted in the last month.

The users have been criticizing the company’s lack of respect for user feedback as well as being forced to download a new product. Some also think that the new app asks for too many permissions and were concerned as to why it needed certain permissions such as access to record audio.

Facebook rolling out messenger separately to the main app shows another strand of their plan for mobile domination. Along with their Snapchat competitor slingshot and their news aggregate Paper, it’s clear that their attempting a Google-like take-over of users’ internet experience.

by Helen Stirling