Facebook competition rules changeThunderbolt Digital is a Surrey-based digital agency specialising in web design, graphic design, SEO, copywriting and online marketing. We’ve helped clients from the Surrey County Council to a local PR agency. In this series of blog posts we’ll be sharing some top tips for making your online marketing activities stress-free.

Today’s big news is that Facebook has announced it’s making business-use of its service a little easier: you can now run competitions directly on your business page and can use some of Facebook’s functionality to run the competition itself. The previous rules were rather strangulating (if frequently broken) and forbade any use of “like”, “share”, “comment” or “tag” to count as a contest entry.

How many times have we seen contests like that despite this? The risk was to have your entire page deleted without warning. Now, though, you can safely create Facebook competitions with almost all of the above functionality utilised – except tagging.

Facebook states:

Now, promotions may be administered on Page Timelines and in apps on Facebook. For example, businesses can now:

  • 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

As before, however, businesses cannot administer promotions on personal Timelines.

In order to maintain the accuracy of Page content, our Pages Terms now prohibit Pages from tagging or encouraging people to tag themselves in content that they are not actually depicted in. So, for instance:

  • It’s OK to ask people to submit names of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize
  • It’s not OK to ask people tag themselves in pictures of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize

We hope these updates will enable more businesses to use Facebook to launch their promotions.

Contests in which users are encouraged to “tag your friends” have become increasingly popular. Facebook’s new guidelines now explicitly prohibit this. Of course many pages will continue to do whatever they like but in doing so they risk deletion.

The new rules also still seem to prohibit “share this” to be used as a contest entry. Why? Because “As before, however, businesses cannot administer promotions on personal Timelines.” Many Facebook users only share content with their friends and don’t have public accounts. Therefore any contest which counts shares as an entry condition couldn’t be valid. Facebook may change this in the future but this is the way things stand for now.

These new rules offer a lot of freedom for business promotion and are a particular relief to smaller businesses who may not have had the resources to develop custom apps.

We might just run a quick competition ourselves again soon, just to test the waters! Keep an eye out and follow us on Facebook.

If you are looking for web design, graphic design or help with your online marketing, give us a call on 01252 413757 – we are a full-service digital agency in Surrey, based in the Georgian market town of Farnham and love to help local businesses thrive.