Social media contest rules template Contest Marketing Social Media Marketing

Social Media Contest Rules Template

July 28, 2023
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Social media contests have become a popular and effective way for businesses and brands to engage their audience, increase brand visibility, and drive user participation.

However, running a successful contest requires more than just crafting an exciting giveaway; it also demands well-defined and transparent contest rules.

Social media contest rules are a must if you want to run a successful social media contest while staying legally compliant.

To help you with this, we have created a social media contest rules template that you can use to launch your social media contest.

See the Social Media Contest Rules Template on Google Docs, or you can view them below.

Social Media Contest Rules Template

With the template, you can have your social media contest rules ready to go in minutes. It’s super easy to launch your social media contest afterward. As shown in the picture below, paste your social media contest rules in the ViralSweep campaign builder and you’re good to go.

Launch your social media contest after pasting your official social media contest rules in the ViralSweep campaign builder

When you’re done building your campaign, your audience will be able to view the rules easily by clicking on the button shown below.

You can view the social media contest rules easily

Why Social Media Contests Rules are Necessary

Having clear and comprehensive contest rules is essential for several reasons.

Firstly, clear and comprehensive rules establish a level playing field for all participants, ensuring fairness and transparency throughout the contest. This builds trust with the audience and prevents any potential disputes or accusations of favoritism.

Secondly, having official rules helps protect the brand or business from legal issues. By outlining eligibility criteria, prize conditions, and other essential details, the rules ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations. This reduces the risk of facing legal challenges or penalties.

Moreover, official rules provide a framework for the contest, making it easier to manage and execute smoothly. They help participants understand what is expected of them, increasing engagement and encouraging more people to join.

Ultimately, well-crafted official rules enhance the contest’s credibility and effectiveness as a marketing tool on social media platforms.

Things to Know Before Making Your Social Media Contest Rules

Before you start making your own social media contest rules, there are several things you should do:

Get Familiar with the Laws

Before diving into the exciting world of social media contests, it’s essential to understand the legal implications involved.

Different countries, states, and regions may have specific laws and regulations regarding contests and giveaways. These can cover areas such as eligibility, prize conditions, and disclosures.

Make sure to research and comply with relevant laws to avoid any legal troubles down the road.

Consult with Marketing and Legal Experts

Creating fair and effective contest rules can be challenging, especially if you’re new to the process. Seeking guidance from both marketing and legal experts can prove invaluable.

Marketing professionals can help you design rules that align with your campaign goals and engage your target audience effectively. Meanwhile, legal experts can review your rules to ensure they comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

Working with a knowledgeable team will give you the confidence that your contest is set up for success.

Learn Each Social Media Platform’s Requirements and Terms

Different social media platforms have their own set of rules and guidelines for contests and giveaways. These requirements can include specific disclosure language, eligibility criteria, and promotional guidelines.

Familiarize yourself with the terms of service for each platform you plan to host the contest on, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok. Failure to comply with these platform-specific rules could lead to the removal of your contest or even the suspension of your account.

Remember, social media platforms often update their guidelines, so stay up-to-date with any changes to avoid any potential issues.

What Should be Included in Contest Rules?

a. Eligibility Criteria: Clearly define who can participate in the contest. Consider factors such as age, residency, and any specific limitations.

b. Entry Method: State how participants can enter the contest. Is it through social media, your website, or another platform? Provide detailed instructions for each entry method.

c. Contest Duration: Specify the start and end dates and times for the contest to set expectations for participants.

d. Prize Description: Clearly outline the prize(s) up for grabs, including their value and any additional terms or conditions related to the prize.

e. Judging Criteria: If the contest involves a subjective judgment (e.g., photo or video contests), explain the criteria that will be used to evaluate entries.

f. Publicity Release: If you plan to use participants’ content for promotional purposes, include a publicity release clause granting you permission to do so.

g. Disclaimer: Add a disclaimer stating that the contest is not sponsored, endorsed, or associated with the platform (e.g., Facebook, Instagram) where it’s hosted.

How Do You Conduct an Online Contest?

a. Choose the Type of Contest: Decide on the type of contest that aligns with your marketing objectives and resonates with your audience. It could be a photo contest, video contest, caption contest, or sweepstakes.

b. Select the Platform: Determine the platform where you’ll host the contest. Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter are popular choices.

c. Promote the Contest: Spread the word about your contest through your website, email newsletters, social media, and other marketing channels.

d. Monitor Entries: Keep track of all entries and ensure they meet the eligibility criteria and follow the entry method.

e. Engage with Participants: Interact with participants, answer their questions, and encourage further engagement throughout the contest.

How Do You Pick a Winner for an Online Contest?

a. Fair and Impartial Selection: If the winner is chosen based on subjective criteria, assemble a panel of judges to ensure a fair and impartial selection process.

b. Random Drawing: For contests with a random winner, consider using a reliable randomizer tool to ensure transparency.

If you’re looking for a reliable randomizer, check out ViralSweep’s free tool, Random Winner Picker.

c. Announce the Winner: Once the winner is selected, publicly announce their name (with their consent) and celebrate their victory.

d. Award the Prize: Deliver the prize to the winner promptly and efficiently, following up as necessary to ensure smooth delivery.

Social Media Contest Rules Template


1. Eligibility: Social Media Contest (the “Contest”) is open only to those who sign up at the promotion page located at  [URL to contest] and who are [age] as of the date of entry. The contest is only open to legal residents of  [eligible countries] and is void where prohibited by law. Employees of [company name] (the “Sponsor”) their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, suppliers and their immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of each are not eligible to participate in the Contest. The Contest  is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited.

2. Agreement to Rules: By participating, you agree to be fully unconditionally bound by these Rules, and you represent and warrant that you meet the eligibility requirements set forth herein. In addition, you agree to accept the decisions of [company name], as final and binding as it relates to the content. The Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws.

3. Contest Period: Entries will be accepted online starting on or about [start date] and ending [end date]. All online entries must be received by [end date] 11:59PM EST.


4. How to Enter: The Contest must be entered by submitting an entry using the online form provided on this Contest site, located at  [URL to Contest]. The entry must fulfill all contest requirements, as specified, to be eligible to win a prize. Entries that are not complete or do not adhere to the rules or specifications may be disqualified at the sole discretion of [company name]. You may enter only once and you must fill in the information requested. You may not enter more times than indicated by using multiple email addresses, identities or devices in an attempt to circumvent the rules. If you use fraudulent methods or otherwise attempt to circumvent the rules your submission may be removed from eligibility at the sole discretion of [company name].

5. Prizes: Winners will receive [list prizes and approximate retail value]. Actual/appraised value may differ at time of prize award. The specifics of the prize shall be solely determined by the Sponsor. No cash or other prize substitution permitted except at Sponsor’s discretion. The prize is non transferable. Any and all prize related expenses, including without limitation any and all federal, state, and/or local taxes shall be the sole responsibility of the winner. No substitution of prize or transfer/assignment of prize to others or request for the cash equivalent by winners is permitted. Acceptance of prize constitutes permission for [company name] to use winner’s name, likeness, and entry for purposes of advertising and trade without further compensation, unless prohibited by law.

6. Odds: The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.

7. Winner selection and notification: Winners of the Contest will be selected in a random drawing under the supervision of the Sponsor. Winners will be notified via email to the email address they entered the Contest with within five (5) days following the winner selection. [company name] shall have no liability for a winner’s failure to receive notices due to winners’ spam, junk e-mail or other security settings or for winners’ provision of incorrect or otherwise non-functioning contact information. If the selected winner cannot be contacted, is ineligible, fails to claim the prize within 72 hours from the time award notification was sent, or fails to timely return a completed and executed declaration and releases as required, prize may be forfeited and an alternate winner selected. 

The receipt by winner of the prize offered in this Contest is conditioned upon compliance with any and all federal and state laws and regulations. ANY VIOLATION OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES BY ANY WINNER (AT SPONSOR’S SOLE DISCRETION) WILL RESULT IN SUCH WINNER’S DISQUALIFICATION AS WINNER OF THE CONTEST AND ALL PRIVILEGES AS WINNER WILL BE IMMEDIATELY TERMINATED.

8. Rights Granted by you: By entering this content you understand that [company name], anyone acting on behalf of [company name], or its respective licensees, successors and assigns will have the right, where permitted by law, without any further notice, review or consent to print, publish, broadcast, distribute, and use, worldwide in any media now known or hereafter in perpetuity and throughout the World, your entry, including, without limitation, the entry and winner’s name, portrait, picture, voice, likeness, image or statements about the Contest, and biographical information as news, publicity or information and for trade, advertising, public relations and promotional purposes without any further compensation.


9. Terms: [company name] reserves the right, in its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest should (in its sole discretion) a virus, bugs, non-authorized human intervention, fraud or other causes beyond its control corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness or proper conduct of the Contest. In such case, [company name] may select the recipients from all eligible entries received prior to and/or after (if appropriate) the action taken by [company name][company name] reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or website or violates these Terms & Conditions.


[company name] has the right, in its sole discretion, to maintain the integrity of the Contest, to void entries for any reason, including, but not limited to; multiple entries from the same user from different IP addresses; multiple entries from the same computer in excess of that allowed by contest rules; or the use of bots, macros or scripts or other technical means for entering.

Any attempt by an entrant to deliberately damage any web site or undermine the legitimate operation of the contest may be a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, [company name] reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.

By entering the Contest you agree to receive email newsletters periodically from [company name]. You can opt-out of receiving this communication at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the newsletter.

10. Limitation of Liability: By entering you agree to release and hold harmless [company name] and its subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers and directors from any liability, illness, injury, death, loss, litigation, claim or damage that may occur, directly or indirectly, whether caused by negligence or not, from (i) such entrant’s participation in the contest and/or his/her acceptance, possession, use, or misuse of any prize or any portion thereof, (ii) technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunctioning of any computer, cable, network, hardware or software; (iii) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions or telephone or Internet service; (iv) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Promotion; (v) electronic or human error which may occur in the administration of the Promotion or the processing of entries.


11. Disputes: THIS CONTEST IS GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OF [country] AND [state/province], WITHOUT RESPECT TO CONFLICT OF LAW DOCTRINES. As a condition of participating in this Contest, participant agrees that any and all disputes which cannot be resolved between the parties, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively before a court located in [state/province] having jurisdiction. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances will participant be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental, or consequential damages, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, other than participant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e. costs associated with entering this Contest), and participant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.


12. Privacy Policy:  Information submitted with an entry is subject to the Privacy Policy stated on the [company name] Web Site. To read the Privacy Policy, [privacy policy URL] click here.


13Winners List: To obtain a copy of the winner’s name or a copy of these Official Rules, mail your request along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: [company name] [address][city][state/province][postal code][country]. Requests must be received no later than [date].


14. Sponsor:  The Sponsor of the Contest is [company name] [address][city][state/province][postal code][country].

15. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Google. You understand that you are providing your information to the owner of this contest and not to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Google. 

Good luck with launching your social media contest. If you’re looking for an easy solution to host unlimited sweepstakes, contests, and giveaways, check out ViralSweep.

Also, if you’re looking to run a sweepstakes, check out our Official Sweepstakes Rules Template.