Rules, schmules! Michael gives the lowdown on finding and adhering to contest rules.
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Michael Reynolds Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we discuss the business side of massage therapy. I am Michael Reynolds.
Allissa Haines I’m Allissa Haines.
MR And we are glad to have you with us for another Q&A episode. I love these Q&A episodes. How are you feel — are we going to do this again? Are you feeling good about these?
AH I think we will do another season of it in the spring.
MR Maybe at some point. Okay. So I’ve got — we’ve got a maybe. That’s good. I really like these, but you’re right, they definitely do add some — [laughing]
AH Listen, people. Michael would say yes to all the things. He’d be like, let’s do this new thing, let’s try this new thing —
MR I know.
AH — if I didn’t rein him in. And we already have two huge projects on our plates that I want to have both of them done by the end of January or mid February. So I’m reining Michael in, but we will do another Q&A series probably March, April. May. Okay?
MR This is why we’re good together because Allissa keeps me from saying yes to everything and just getting overwhelmed, so. There you have it. All right, so we have our question from Meg. And Meg has a question about contests, so let’s hear it.
Listener question Hi, Allissa and Michael. It’s Meg from Northern Virginia. My question is is there a place to easily go to look up rules about contests and giveaways. I’m interested in both social media, for example tag or like in order to be entered to win, and in conjunction with charitable giving, an example being if you were to give blood or donate to xyz org you’d be entered to win. My state website on raffles is very cumbersome and seems really hard to navigate and understand. Facebook guidelines are even worse. So is there a place that you can go to look up what the rules are locally but maybe is a little bit easier to understand? Thanks so much.
MR All right, thanks, Meg. We would love to talk about that. But first, I believe we have a special offer from Pure Pro, right?
AH Yes. Yes, we do.
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MR All right, thank you.
MR All right, Meg —
AH Tell us about contest rules, dude.
MR Well, here’s the thing. So we always promise honesty and transparency here on the podcast, and I’m just going to say we don’t have a whole lot of experience here. At least I don’t.
Allissa, do you have a ton of experience running social media contests?
AH I got nothing.
MR Yeah, so we have very little, Meg. So we’re going to come out of the gate lowering expectations a lot here [laughing] so please don’t expect too much because neither one of us have a ton of experience. However, I did a little bit of just, good old-fashioned googling because — that’s probably what you’ve done as well. But I was not able to find anything better in terms of local state or local rules for contests. So I’m guessing that the resources you’ve already found are pretty much the best you can find. There may be others out there, but I wasn’t able to find anything better.
So here’s my thinking. So I did find a lot of resources about the rules of social media contests. In particular, I found one by Sprout Social; that was a pretty good one. There are quite a few out there, but what I googled was “rules for social media contests”. I just googled that phrase, and I got a ton of information. And what I found was each individual social network has it’=s own individual set of rules and guidelines. So what I would do if I were you is I would make sure that I found the rules specific to each platform. You know, Facebook has their own, Instagram has their own, Twitter, Snapchat, they all have their own. My thinking is if you follow those guidelines based on what the social networks kind of dictate in their guidelines and you do your best to interpret what your local guidelines are in terms of raffles, et cetera, then you’re probably not going to go wrong or too far off. But that’s kind of how I would approach it. I don’t really have any great resources other than the ones you’ve probably found, but again, I do know that each social network has their own. So I would just kind of compile some resources based on what’s out there. I know Sprout Social is a good resource; they’re a pretty big name in the social space. There are other sites out there that are pretty well known. We’ll link to that one. So that’s kind of what I got.
What do you think, Allissa?
AH I think you’re absolutely right. I mean, I did a little bit of googling around myself. I found that Instagram’s and Facebook’s were fairly easy to get ahold of. It’s right there within their own help menus. And I also learned when I was looking around a little bit that — and this is from an article on shortstack.com that says “accounts that hold contests grow their follower base 70% more quickly.” So I think that using contests — and this was referring to Instagram specifically. I think that using a kind of contest could be really, really cool and probably help you grow your followers faster. I know Meg’s had questions about Instagram and using stories and stuff in the past. So if you really want to invigorate your Instagram following, a contest could be great.
I also think it’s nice because a lot of these rules apply to much bigger businesses and brands than our social media is going to do. Like you don’t need to report prized to the IRS unless they’re worth over $600. And that’s not going to be likely in the kinds of things we run and the kinds of contests we run in our small massage businesses. We’re not going to have sponsoring brands. It’s pretty easy as far as following the social media rules. As far as your state website, you’re just going to have to kind of wade through it and — keeping in mind, too, that our businesses are very, very small compared to like Coca-Cola running a contest, our reach is really small, and it’d be pretty hard to break any laws doing this.
AH That’s all I have to say.
MR All right. That’s what we got, Meg. It’s a great question. Sounds like you’re on the right track. So I’d be curious to know how things turn out and what you find and how the contest goes. So let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear about it. Or post in the premium group and let us all know. That’d be great.
All right. Well, sorry we weren’t the expert source, but like I said, I think you’re in the right direction. I think we have a few insights that may have added. So thank you for the question, Meg. We really appreciate it. We hope your contest goes awesome.
All right, well, thanks, everyone, for joining us today for this Q&A episode. If you would like to send in your question, we have a few slots left before we end this particular season of Q&A episodes. I think we have maybe two or three slots left, so send your questions in as soon as you can before it wraps up. And you can do that at massagebusinessblueprint.com/talk. Again, that’s massagebusinessblueprint.com/talk. And we’d love to hear your question on the air just like we heard Meg’s.
All right, thanks everyone for joining us today. Have an awesome day. We’ll see you next time.