Facebook relax competition rules

Facebook have decided to relax their competition (promotion) rules, allowing brands and businesses to setup and administer contests directly from their Page. The previous rules were regularly flouted by Pages of all sizes from small businesses to big brands, so the move is a logical one.

It’s a helpful change as competitions are a great way to create interaction and to attract potential new clients as well as engage existing ones. Facebook Page Admins can now run competitions promotions freely on their Timelines without the requirement of using a Facebook App (Tab). Fans of your Page and in fact, any Facebook users can now Like, Comment, or create posts as a mean of entering a competition or to vote in a poll. Creating a promotion with a Page is now faster and easier and plenty of Likes and Comments will ensure that it’s promoted to a wide audience via their News Feeds.

Announcing the change Facebook stated: “We want to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to create and administer promotions on Facebook, and to align our policies to better meet the needs of marketers.” 

This suggests the change is aimed at helping smaller businesses who may not have the resources to design and setup Facebook Apps. But there is no doubt that the rules were difficult to enforce with so many Pages Admins ignoring them.

The following is now permitted for competitions:

  • Collect entries by having users post on the Page, Like or Comment on a Page post.
  • Collect entries by having users message the Page (using the Message button on top right of a Page).
  • Utilize Likes as a voting mechanism

It can be difficult to select a winner from Comments and Likes; especially if there are 100s of them. It’s also hard to notify winners without an email address. A solution to both of these problems is a Comment and Like Importer, eg this one from Shortstack. Contacting winners by email is more professional and easier than posting a public post asking winners to contact the Page plus email addresses can be used for marketing purposes such as an email newsletter.

It should be noted that ‘Like and Share’ competitions are still not permitted as Shares aren’t allowed as a means of competition entry.

The relaxation of the rules doesn’t mean Facebook Apps are dead as they give you the opportunity to enhance competitions with a dedicated space, branding and to capture contact details of entrants. Furthermore,  it’s not just competitions they can be used for – read 5 ways to use Facebook Apps. We can produce Facebook Apps to meet your requirements – find out more. If you need advice on which is the best option let us know

Facebook also stated its page terms have been updated to restrict Pages from tagging or encouraging Facebook users to tag themselves in content “that they are not actually depicted in.” For example, Pages cannot tag people on posters promoting events or ask people to tag themselves in photos of their products or offices for a chance to win a prize.

For more information regarding the changes, check out Facebook’s downloadable Promotion Guidelines.

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