Facebook Announces New Rule Changes for Contests and Promotions
Less than a week after I blogged about Facebook’s (now irrelevant) rules for promotions, Facebook decided that it was time to switch things up – and drastically. In an effort to help make it easier for small businesses to run promotions on Facebook, the new guidelines no longer require businesses to run their promotions through a Facebook app. Instead, they can just run the promotion right through their page, saving users time and the hassle. Talk about a complete 180, right?
To help you understand the new changes, we’ve broken down Facebook’s rules for promotions, as well as provided you with a few tips to increase your success…again.
What does Facebook define a promotion as?
Promotions are defined by having 3 features: entry/registration, the element of chance, and a prize.
If I don’t need to make an app anymore, what do I need to do?
Since you’re no longer required to run your promotion through an app, promotions can simply be run on your page’s timeline. However, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each. For example, apps allow you to create a more customized experience, provide more space for content, and are able to collect participants’ data in a more secure, controlled way. On the other hand, running a promotion through your page is much faster and easier. In addition, by posting your promotion to your page’s timeline, your post will be displayed in the news feed of all your fans.
Are there any restrictions on how participants can register?
Now that you’re able to run promotions directly through posts on your page, you can collect entries from likes (including using likes a voting measure), comments, or even messages to the page. However, personal timelines CAN’T be used to administer promotions. This includes asking contestants to share your post or tag themselves in your picture.
What about the fine print?
When creating a promotion, there are 2 important things you must always include:
- A complete release of Facebook by each entrant.
- Acknowledgement that the promotion is in now way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
Can I notify the winners through Facebook when it’s done?
No need to beat around the bush here. Yes, yes you can.
This all makes sense, but how can I make this promotion successful?
Before running your promotion, lay out the goals that you want it to accomplish. Are you looking to increase your likes? Are you looking to promote a new product? Maybe you want to increase your email contact list. Either way, build your contest around YOUR goals. For example, if you’re looking to build awareness around a new product, try giving some away! Not only will people be interested in learning more about it, but they’ll be itching to get their hands on one, even when the contest ends as well.
Of course, once your contest is live, it’ll be up to you to promote, promote, and promote some more. And while it’s always smart to promote the contest on your own page and other social networks, Facebook has recently made it even easier for you to promote through their ads by introducing millions of free images to use in them.
Regardless of how you promote your contest, however, it’s crucial that you follow the rules. Next time you need to run a promotion, reference these guidelines above, and watch your engagement grow.
Alex is an Inbound Marketing Assistant for Weidert Group, and a frequent contributor to the Whole Brain Marketing Blog. When he isn't busy writing tantalizing blog posts, you can find him managing the Weidert Twitter feed or creating some stellar content. Alex graduated from St. Norbert College in May 2012, and has previous experience in sports marketing and event coordination.
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