I have been wondering about Facebook rules for promotions, contests, or giveaways for a while. A few months ago a couple of our sponsoring companies have asked me not to use their facebook pages at all due to new facebook rules. I wasn’t sure what those rules were but of course I didn’t use their pages at all because they asked me not too.
Anyway, I tried to search them out and couldn’t really find anything about these rules anywhere. I’m not saying that they weren’t there because they are. They were just hard for me to find for some reason. In the meantime, most other companies that I have worked with still wanted me to use “liking” their page as an entry so I didn’t think much more about it.
After some time went by, I came across a blog post over at Simply Stacie about the facebook promotions guidelines and from what I read from her post made sense. I have found various things at multiple websites that were pretty conflicting until I read her post. That got me looking again and decided to try to find it on facebook directly. Don’t ask me why I didn’t just do that to begin with. It still wasn’t easy finding it there either but I did.
A lot of these rules pertain to conducting promotions or contests on facebook itself. I have never ran a contest or giveaway on facebook myself but there are a lot of rules you should probably look over if you do. There are certain ways that you have to run it by using an application. Check the new Facebook Promotion Guidelines.
The rest of my post is mainly about promotions, contests or giveaways that are held off of facebook which would pertain to most of us that hold our giveaways on our blogs. Below are some things that you can and can not do on facebook for any promotion – these are quoted from the Facebook Promotions Guidelines.
You cannot: Condition entry in the promotion upon a user providing content on Facebook, such as posting on a Wall of a Page, uploading a photo, or posting a status update.
You can: Use a third party application to condition entry to the promotion upon a user providing content to the application. For example, you may administer a photo contest whereby a user uploads a photo to a third-party application to enter the contest.
You cannot: Administer a promotion that users automatically enter by liking your Page, checking in to your Place or connecting to your Platform integration.
You can: Require entrants to like your Page, check in to your Place or connect to your Platform integration before they provide their full entry information, such as name and contact information.
You cannot: Notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles or Pages.
You can: Collect an email or address through the third-party application for the promotion in order to contact the winner by email or standard mail.
You cannot: Instruct people (in the rules or elsewhere) to sign up for a Facebook account before they enter the promotion.
You can: Instruct users to visit the third-party application to enter the promotion (as described in Section 188.8.131.52). Since users must have a Facebook account in order to access an application on the Facebook Platform, if you give this instruction, they will be prompted to sign up for a Facebook account if they do not already have one.
These rules are for whether or not the promotion is held on or off of facebook. These rules may still be a little confusing (I know a few of them still are a little confusing to me) but I receive a newsletter from Mommy PR and one of the newest newsletters that I received was about these guidelines and included in this newsletter was a link that explained these rules in a way that was easier for me to understand. I thought it was really helpful to me when I read it so if you want to take a look at the new guidelines for promotions and contests by Link Bug, just follow the link. It’s a really good post to check out.
So over all, I have to thank Simply Stacie for her post and thank Mommy PR for including the information in the newsletter. So from my understanding after everything that I read, I came to the conclusion that you can safely ask to “like” a page (whether it’s your own or a company’s page) as an entry. You cannot however, ask someone to take some sort of action on facebook such as leave a comment on your page, upload a picture, tag a picture, ask someone to post on a page that you sent them, etc.
It is also okay to promote your promotion, etc. on facebook. This was a big relief because all my blog posts are automatically posted to my facebook page to announce all my giveaways. What happens if it is found that you have violated any rules or guidelines? Facebook can terminate your page!
Because a page can be terminated is why I decided to post about this. I really don’t think everyone knows about these rules and guidelines and who can blame them? I had a hard time trying to find these rules. I’m not associated with facebook in any way – I’m just a facebook user. We all work hard at what we do and I just wanted to help get the word out to my fellow bloggers who may not know about these rules. I would really hate to see someone’s page get shut down because they didn’t know about them!
My thoughts on these rules are solely from my own understanding which I why I have included the links to the guidelines in my post so that you can read through them if you choose to see what you think for yourself.