New Rules for Facebook Promotions

If you have a Facebook fan page for your business and run contests or sweepstakes listen up.
Facebook announced some new guidelines on Nov 4th, but as often happens it seems they didn’t really tell anybody! I expect it’s a reaction to the new FTC blogging guidelines and you really need to understand how this will affect your business.

Back to Facebook
This is a pretty long list of rules and some are right in the face of how most people run promotions on Facebook.

1.) You won’t be able to mention Facebook in the promotion’s rules except with wording as explicitly instructed by Facebook.

2.) If you want to administer the promotion through the Facebook platform you will need written permission from Facebook.

3.) You will no longer be allowed to run a promotion that requires an individual to take action on Facebook. Specifically: “In the rules of the promotion, or otherwise, you will not condition entry to the promotion upon taking any action on Facebook, for example, updating a status, posting on a profile or Page, or uploading a photo.

This quite literally means you can’t hold a contest asking people to upload an image, fan your page, comment or share with their network. This has been one of the standard tactics for building fans on a fan page.

The only acceptable way to do this is through a 3rd party platform, so expect some more of those to be cropping up soon. In the meantime if you’ve got the funding you could use something like Wildfire to do it for you.

4.) The promotion’s objective cannot be to promote “any of the following product categories: gambling, tobacco, dairy, firearms, prescription drugs, or gasoline” (what in the world is wrong with dairy??

There’s a lot more to this and it’s very important you read it carefully if you have any promotions running now or plan for them in the future. Better safe than banned!

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  1. Facebook Changes the Rules. Again | Janet Fouts - 2009/12/09

    […] at Facebook. First there was the privacy policy debacle, then there was the whole thing about not using contests to grow your Fbook friends list and a bunch of other rules about what you can and can’t say […]

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