Facebook have recently completed a 180 when it comes to their promotion rules and regulations.
Unbeknownst to many, the ‘Like & Share’ promos which so many businesses have been rolling out over the last few years are technically against Facebook policy. Until yesterday’s Facebook promotional guidelines update, it was against Facebook policy for you to use a Facebook tool, such as like or share as a means of entry into a promotion. This has now changed.
Facebook have relaxed the rules pertaining to running promotions on the platform in their words, “to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to create and administer promotions on Facebook.”
After the facebook promotional guidelines update, the rules now state promotions may be administered on Business Page Timelines and in apps on Facebook.
Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post
Collect entries by having users message the Page
Utilise likes as a voting mechanism
However, the rule still stands that businesses cannot administer promotions on personal Timelines.
Facebook Promotional Guidelines: Update
1. If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including: a. The official rules; b. Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and c. Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals)
2. Promotions on Facebook must include the following: a. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant. b. Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
3. Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries” is not permitted).
4. We will not assist you in the administration of your promotion, and you agree that if you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk.
Will this change how brands use Facebook? Will it help improve their visibility and number of likes?
Should businesses use this method as opposed to specifically designed Facebook apps?
The answer to this is, it depends what it is you want to get out of it.
If you are just looking to earn more Facebook fans then that’s fine use the new ‘free’ Facebook method, but if you are looking for more, some Facebook apps can provide you with a much more organised competition structure.
Take our in house 3rd party Facebook app, Pay With A Post for example (ed. now discontinued after a further Facebook promotional guidelines update :( ), not only does it Like-gate entry (also now discontinued after yet another guidelines update, thanks Facebook) into a giveaway, forcing people to like your page in order to gain entry, it also records the names and email addresses of all entrants.
Business page owners can add this valuable data to their email database for further marketing purposes. While some businesses maybe looking to alleviate the barrier to entry, sometimes there is a very good reason for it.
For more information on the Facebook Promotional Guidelines Update , see Facebook’s Page Terms