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Plugged in: competitions

In the spirit of Christmas you might be feeling generous and wanting to run a giveaway on your social media pages, but make sure you’re covered legally if you do so and treat it as you would if it were a physical competition such as a raffle.

Author

Sarah O'Donovan

Social media has brought about abundant opportunities for businesses to market themselves and reach potential clients in new ways, and with the many innovative ways influencers are using content online, you could say the internet is your oyster. But where there is new technology with seemingly few laws or regulations, there is usually a preceding rulebook that applies by default. At least, that’s the case for running competitions online.

In Australia, each state and territory has its own governing body and restrictions on promotions and competitions. While these were initially set in place for physical competitions such as local raffles, they also apply, by default, to any online promotions you run in the area. 

Further to your local consumer competition requirements, the platform you use will likely impose its own restrictions too. For example, did you know that ‘tag a friend to win’ competitions are actually prohibited by Facebook’s terms and conditions? While those running such competitions might not immediately be caught or held accountable for the breach, it’s worth exercising caution. After all, being banned and labelled a rule-breaker is certainly not going to positively impact your business reputation, nor is it worth taking the risk if the prize turns out to be invalid or revoked from a new client of yours.
In the spirit of Christmas you might be feeling generous and wanting to run a giveaway on your social media pages, but make sure you’re covered legally if you do so and treat it as you would if it were a physical competition such as a raffle. 
 
Start by making sure you answer the below questions and then check your local consumer competition law: 
  • Who’s running the competition, is it an individual or a business?
  • What is the prize?
  • Who can enter the competition?
  • How will the winner(s) be selected?
  • How long will the competition run?
  • What circumstances can disqualify a person from participating?
  • What are the legal requirements (for both you and entrants)?
HIA members may soon benefit from a digital boost thanks to a new initiative to help small businesses grow and operate more effectively in a ‘digital age’. HIA is one of 15 industry associations who have joined the Australian Government’s Digital Champions Project to provide a trusted digital advisory service, free of charge, and in a way that is relevant to the residential housing industry.
 
When small businesses are digitally engaged, they are 50 per cent more likely to be growing revenue and 14 times more likely to be innovating new products or services, according to research from Deloitte’s Connected Small Businesses 2017 report. Interested members will receive advice on technology trends, adoption of hardware, software, digital training, online content development and planning, and coaching and support from HIA to help businesses understand how to get the best out of technology.
 
If you would like to be involved please go to www.hia.com.au/digital-champions

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