Facebook Contest Rules
On December 10, 2010, Facebook released a revised edition of the Facebook Promotion Guidelines. Summarized, these new rules state:
- A contest must not use any part of Facebook such as Liking, status updates, photo tagging, etc.
- A contest must be administered in an “application on the Facebook Platform” (Static FBML, mailchimp, and flickr for example), not directly on a Page Wall.
How serious is Facebook about enforcing these rules?
As you may have guessed, Facebook has outlined consequences for violating these rules. Specifically, “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.”
Facebook obviously doesn’t have the time or the resources to constantly police every page to ensure compliance to the Terms of Service; however, considering the consequences, it may be a good idea to follow the rules anyway. If you need more convincing, keep reading.
Should you follow the rules on your Facebook Page?
To really succeed in social media it is important for companies and social media professionals alike to follow the rules and guidelines of social media platforms. Why? Because breaking the rules is bad for your image and leaves the reputation of your company, brand, or person, open to long-term ridicule and damage.
Is it really worth it?
How to run a compliant contest (EASY!)
In this case, following the rules is really not difficult. Use a third-party app where people can “enter” your contest. An entry can be signing up for an email list (mailchimp), submitting a photo (flickr), or visiting your website to complete a specific action. Notice that each of these contest entry ideas requires using an “application on the Facebook Platform,” as stated in the rules. You can’t just say “Like our page to be entered,” or “Like this post to be entered.” That breaks the rules.
The third-party apps I just mentioned are already there, they just need to be added to your page. No technical knowledge or coding required.
If you have tips for running contests that meet the new rules, please leave them in the comments section below.