As I was putting together a promotional post for our latest Facebook contest at work the thought struck me, do other marketers actually know the ins and outs of Facebook contest rules. Especially as these rules changed in the middle of last year. So here is hopefully a useful overview of running a Facebook contest.
The biggest change has been to Facebook attitude to running contests or promotions via your timeline\posts. Before Facebook required all contests to be run via a 3rd party application. Now this has changed, in fact since 27th August 2013. Facebook says this is to make it easier for businesses to run contests, and I fully agree even if its more likely that most businesses were ignoring their rules anyway (especially SMEs)
Facebook Timeline Contests OK
Now you no longer nees to use a 3rd part App, such as Wildfire or Shortstack and you can run contests via your Pages timeline (its still forbidden on personal timelines). This not only makes it easier and of course cheaper but also lets you run many more adhoc and spontaneous contests.
What exactly are you allowed to do? Facebook says Pages can:
- Collect entries by having users post on the page or comment/like a page post
- Collect entries by having users message the page
- Utilize likes as a voting mechanism
- Require people to like a post and/or comment on a post to be entered
- Require that someone post something directly on your timeline to enter (could be a text post or a photo)
- Use likes as a voting method (either liking a post or photo on your timeline)
- Require that someone message your page to enter
- Announce the winner of the contest on your page
- Require that to win the prize, entrants come back to your page to see who has won the contest
- Use a Like button plugin on a website as a voting mechanism
- Use an app plugin to post an entry to your contest directly on your page
- Run your contest through a Facebook app
That seems pretty straightforward. So now you can Post say a picture and ask fans to comment or like it to enter the contest.
Though running larger contests and promotions such as photo or video submissions it still makes sense via the 3rd party apps. But the advantage of the new ruls as mentioned above is that we can now work with social media, our main enagement happens via the posts and timeline and we can react quickly and use this to leverage our page enagement.
What can we not do?
There are still some rules that restrict us and we need to be aware of:
- Require that people share a post or photo to be entered
- Require someone to post something on their own personal timeline or a friend’s timeline to enter
- Require people to tag themselves in a photo to either vote or enter
- Have anyone who likes your page be entered to win ( as contest does not take place on the timeline)
The main points here for me are that we can’t use sharing as a requirement, but this should not stop us from asking users to share the contest. Second that we can not ask or require users to tag a photo as terms of entry. You can find some good examples of what is allowed and what is not on Facebooks Page Promotions announcemnt
A full break down of the Facebook Page terms