Beware of Potential Pitfalls: Social Media + Promotional Gaming

We live in a world where social media is here to stay. Brands, companies and even politicians almost always can be found on at least one social media platform. In such a competitive market, we often see social media being used as a tool to separate companies from their competitors and in order to engage one-on-one with customers.

The promotional gaming industry is no different when it comes to utilizing social media platforms to highlight unique products offered and new services to potential and existing customers. Whether you want to use Kickstarter, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media platform, it's crucial to understand the pitfalls that come along with using each of these tools. We often counsel clients who want to engage their customers through social media, contests, sweepstakes, and other promotions, but are unsure where to start and how to protect themselves.

Below, you'll find five key challenges to consider when using social media in today's ever-changing environment:

1. Complying with Social Media Terms of Use

All social media platforms have their own rules and terms of use. You don't want your promotion to inadvertently violate those terms, which could result in the removal or deletion of your customers' accounts or content.

2. Structuring Your Promotion to Excite Your Customers

The line between promotional gaming and illegal gambling can be confusing, but regulators are quick to jump on promotions that cross that line. It's important to design and run your promotion in a way that engages your customers without creating liability for illegal gambling.

3. Avoiding the Trolls

Running your promotion in compliance with its own rules is critical in order to refute subsequent allegations. A growing number of sophisticated individuals enter promotions in which they have no relationship with the promoter and no intention of receiving any merchandise prize. Instead, they want to extort settlements from the promoter for purported violations of the contest rules. The cost of dealing with these trolls can quickly exceed the value of the promotion.

4. Verifying Eligibility Before Announcing the Winner

Your promotion rules will likely restrict the prize to only eligible players. You should verify your front runner's eligibility before you announce the winner in order to avoid having to rescind the prize.

5. Picking Unique Rewards and Prizes

One way to make your promotion stand out is to offer an eye-catching prize. Some jurisdictions have limits and restrictions on the types and value of prizes that businesses can offer. Make sure your prize doesn't create a liability for your business.

Interested in learning more or have any questions about these five challenges? You can connect with our team by contacting Christy Prince