Today Facebook updated its rules for contests and promotions and released their new Facebook Promotion Guidelines which state that you are no longer required to use a 3rd party app to run a competition on Facebook, but that promotions are allowed to be run on a Facebook Pages Timeline, meaning that you can collect entries by having users like a post, comment on a post, or post on your fan page wall. You are also allowed to collect entries by having users message the Page and use likes as a voting mechanism.
Basically before Facebook’s old rules stated that if you wanted to run a competition, it had to be through a 3rd party app like Wildfire or WP4FB and telling users to enter by clicking like or commenting was not allowed. The old rules were BS frankly as they were very inconsistently enforced and most successful contests even by big companies broke all the rules before and completely got away with it. I remember my friend Mandi did a presentation on Facebook Contests at SMX Melbourne and was hard to present a successful case study without the proviso that it was in “the naughty box”, even by well known companies like Westfield and SAS Airlines.
From the new official Facebook Promotion Guidelines on 28th August 2013:
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
However you can’t tell people to tag themselves in a photo to enter a competition and Facebook’s updated Page terms prohibit Facebook Pages from “tagging or encouraging people to tag themselves in content that they are not actually depicted in”.
The rules still say that you can’t ask people to enter by liking, sharing, or posting something on their own Personal Profile Timeline (only on your Fan Page timeline). You may remember people posting on their timeline “All I want for Christmas is a $10,000 Westfield Gift Card” which went completely viral – that kind of promotion would still be against Facebook’s terms. This is flawed in my opinion as it is rarely enforced and so many big companies get away with it – though Facebook did say “we may explore enabling this in the future”.
What do you guys think of the changes? Will you still use an app for your promotions or will you try getting users to like or comment on your posts now that it is explicitly allowed by Facebook?