Guide: Incentivizing Online Engagement

 The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

“Endorsements must reflect the honest opinions or experiences of the endorser, and your plan could cause people to make up positive reviews even if they’ve never done business with you. However, it’s okay to invite people to post reviews of your business after they’ve actually used your products or services. If you’re offering them something of value in return for these reviews, tell them in advance that they should disclose what they received from you. You should also inform potential reviewers that the discount will be conditioned upon their making the disclosure. That way, other consumers can decide how much stock to put in those reviews.”

Facebook Platform Policy


  • Incentivize or reward people for using Facebook to login to your app.
  • Incentivize or reward people for checking into your location.
  • Use referral based rewards to help bring awareness and reengagement with your game. For example, you can give free in-game items or offer discounts on game items for every friend that installs your game through a person’s post.


  • Don’t incentivize people to post content on Facebook, or give the impression that posting to Facebook will be rewarded. For example, don’t give people anything in exchange for them posting to Facebook (i.e. don’t give or promise virtual goods, achievements, coupons, discounts, access to content or extra entries in a promotion, if they post content to Facebook).
  • Don’t incentivize people to like a Page, or give the impression that liking a Page will be rewarded. See examples above and below.

“You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.”

Instagram’s Platform Policy

“You can administer a promotion on Instagram if you comply with all applicable laws and regulations, but don’t directly incentivize other actions.”

“You shall not Use the Instagram APIs to spam, incentivize, or harass users.”

Yelp Content Guide

“Don’t ask for reviews and don’t offer to pay for them either: Please don’t ask your customers to review your business on Yelp. Over time, solicited reviews create bias on your business page — a bias that savvy consumers can smell from a mile away. You should also never offer compensation (discounts and freebies count too) in exchange for reviews.”