Good afternoon, Social Rabbit here with your guide to the world of social media.
In social media, as anything, it is important to know the rules of the game. Facebook on December 1st 2010 changed their rules regarding promotions, some are massive changes, others are no different, below I have laid out what this means for you as the admin of your Facebook page wanting to run competitions and promotions.
1) Promotions run on Facebook
Basically you CANNOT run a promotion through your Facebook page UNLESS you use an application, this includes
- Collecting entries
- Conducting a draw
- Judging entries
- Notifying winners
So even if, for example you ran a competition on your website, you can’t put the winners on your Facebook page (or send them a message through chat, updates or regular messages) according to these rules, nor can you ask them to upload a photo to the Facebook page as a way to enter the competition.
You MUST for any competition you run on an application on your Facebook page (or on your website) include the following text: “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for [disclose any way that you plan to use the user's information].”
2) General Restrictions
In the communications with people about the competition, whether in an ad, on the page or in a status update you can ask them to like your page or check into your place before they get full details of the competition, however entry to the competition can not be through doing something on Facebook, eg liking a photo, commenting on the wall or uploading a photo or video. This also means that they can’t be entered into the competition by just liking your page, or checking into your Facebook place.
You have to make sure that it is very clear that Facebook has nothing to do with the competition/promotion you are running.
You can’t use the Facebook name, trademarks or other copyrights (that includes the logo) when you talk about the promotion except to:
- Tell them that they need to like a page, or check in (as above) for details
- Tell them to go to the application on your Facebook page to enter
Finally you can’t run a promotion if:
- It is aimed at those under 18 years old
- If the promotion is open to people who live in a country embargoed by the USA (that is: Burma (Myanmar), Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Iran, Sudan and Syria)
- If the promotion is a sweepstake open to people living in Belgium, Norway, Sweden or India
- If you are promoting drugs, tobacco, guns or petrol
- If the prize includes drugs, tobacco, guns or petrol
- If the promotion is conditional on buying a product or completing a long task!
I am guessing you are thinking, well what can I do? Here are some ways to run a competition/promotion and tell your page likers about it:
- Use an application such as Wildfireapps, they have a few different ones, including sweepstakes, contests and promotions. These do cost money, but are not expensive, a few dollars a day, and are much cheaper than getting your own built.
- Run the competition on your website and post as a status update on your page driving them to your website
- Put the winners of your competitions on your website and email them to let them know, or use an email newsletter if you have one
- Get an application built to run the competition on, however this may set you back $5,000-7,000
The big changes to these new guidelines are that you no longer need permission from Facebook to run a promotion (not that many people bothered to ask), you can no longer enter people to the competition just because they like your page (so no more, our 1000th liker gets x). These changes are annoying, it is frustrating as a business owner that Facebook have put such tight rules and regulations around the promotions that pages want to run.
You need to be aware that if you don’t adhere to the guidelines that Facebook can shut down your page with NO warning and you will not be able to get any information back from them.
I have to say I personally find these rules frustrating, and unnecessary, I think that Facebook are trying to cover themselves in case they get sued by someone thinking a competition on a Facebook page is run by Facebook, or it could be that Facebook are in with the application developers, and just want page admins to spend more money…. What do you think? Tell me in the comments below.