Facebook Guidelines: Contests, Promotions and Getting Likes

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We know that leveraging our Facebook business page with contents and promotions is a great way to gain new fans, interact, and get shares and likes for your brand.  It seems like an obvious thing to do, but did you know that Facebook has strict guidelines on running contests and promotions on your Facebook page wall?

The bottom line with running promotions on Facebook is this:

  • Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or an app on a Page Tab.
  • You cannot do a promotion, contest or giveaway through your Facebook Wall.

Below are some important rules on running a promotion or giveaway from the Facebook Promotions Guidelines.

If you administer or run a giveaway or promotion on Facebook where you select a winner, you need to adhere to Facebook’s Promotions Guidelines.

Facebook’s Promotions Guidelines state:

  • You will not administer a promotion through Facebook, except through an application on the Facebook Platform.  Administration includes operation of any element of the promotion, such as collecting entries, conducting a drawing, judging entries, or notifying winners.
  • You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant.
  •  Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or an app on a Page Tab.
  • Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
    a. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
    b. Acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
    c. Disclosure that the participant is providing information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook.
  • Ads may not imply a Facebook endorsement or partnership of any kind.
  • You must not notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles (timelines) or Pages.

Facebook also strongly maintains that all promotions must comply with all laws and regulations of the jurisdictions where the promotion is open.  The responsibility for checking that a promotion can legally offer a specific prize remains the responsibility of the promotion administrator and page owner.

Click Here to the complete Facebook Promotions Guidelines.

What does this mean for you?

Below is my interpretation of the guidelines on using Facebook for promotions based on the Facebook Promotions Guidelines and expert resources like Social Media Examiner and Mari Smith.

  • If you are asking people to “Like” your page to win, enter the contest, etc. you cannot promote the contest on your Wall.  This must be done by through a Third-Party Application.
  • You cannot use Facebook features or functionality such as the Like button as a method of voting for a promotion.
  • You cannot ask people to vote on photos, comments, etc. on your Facebook wall to find a winner.
  • You cannot ask people to upload photos to your wall, comment on or like a photo or post to enter a contest.
  • You cannot choose a random winner from your fans to give something away.

You can run a promotion where entrants have to first “Like” your page, as long as the promotion is administered through a Third-Party App on a separate canvas page or tab.  All forms of entry must be run through the Third-Party Application.  You may also administer a photo contest where the participant uploads a photo to a Third-Party App to enter the contest.  You must notify the winner of the promotion outside of Facebook as well.

Here’s a great article from Social Media Examiner and  Mari Smith that explains all of the Facebook rules on running contents and promotions.  You will find several examples of what you can and cannot do with running contests and promotions on your Facebook page.  http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-promotions-what-you-need-to-know/

Should you run a contest and not use a Third-Party App?

Facebook has strict rules on contests and promotions.   In some cases they have shut down an entire page if the Facebook Promotions Guidelines were not followed.

From Facebook: In addition to our other remedies, we may remove any materials relating to the promotion or disable your page, application or account if we determine in our sole discretion that you violate any of our policies.

What is a Third-Party App?

There is a list of several free as well as paid for apps available in this Social Media Examiner article as well.  I use a Third-Party App that allows me to create custom pages or tabs with HTML.  There are many paid apps that even set everything up for you like Wildfire and PagemodoThe Facebook app is not included as a Third-Party App.

Watch this Facebook Guidelines Training Video that clearly explains how you can run a promotion on your Facebook page.

Keep Up With Changes

Facebook changes occur often, always be sure to check with the Facebook Promotions Guidelines for up to date information on running a contest or promotion on your business page. You must also comply with rules governing running a promotion or contest based on your location.

As of writing this post, Facebook has also mentioned possible significant changes to Facebook Pages coming soon.  Experts are predicting we will see a Timeline version of Pages by the end of February 2012.  At this time it is not clear how Third-Party Apps using Canvas Pages and Tabs will be affected.

Are you running a promotion using a Third-Party Application?  How have you set up Contests on Facebook using an app?  We would love to hear your experiences!

 

About Sarah Kuglin

I am a web designer, social media consultant, online marketer, wife and mother. I love to design websites, drink coffee and socialize!
Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn

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