Facebook Promotion Guidelines – The Dummies Guide!

The most recent changes to Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines has created confusion around running a competition using Facebook, but here is the ‘dummies guide’ spelling out the terms for you.

When Facebook changed the Promotion Guidelines without any prior warning I was in the middle of running a competition, and if you were like me, it left you scrambling for clarity on some of the sections written that confused us all.

From a number of authority resources who were giving advice on their Facebook walls and blogs I have managed to decipher the new Facebook Promotion Guidelines for me & you to run competitions ‘stress free’.

My numbered points match the numbers stated in the Promotion Guidelines to help you understand each section covered by Facebook.

1. This means IF you plan to run the competition ON Facebook then you must use an app that you have created or a third party company app such as Wildfire, Involver or Shortstack. Be aware that most third party apps will charge you for the use and the email details of the entrant do not authorize you for further marketing correspondence but to the third party app provider instead.

If you do know how to create your own iframe page to display your own email opt in to enter a competition it is a better option. Otherwise create the email opt in form on your website and direct people to enter the competition there.

2. You must list ‘tick the box legal stuff’ to ensure any entrant understands the competition is not the responsibility of Facebook if anything should go wrong, eg an entrant wants to dispute the running of or the result of a competition. So, something to the effects of:
“I give permission for [insert you] to contact me using the entered details provided if I am the successful recipient of the prize.
I acknowledge the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
I understand I am providing information to [insert you] and not to Facebook.”
If you plan to use their email to provide further email marketing such as promotions, newsletters, discounts you MUST add that as a separate permission or add it as part of the entry requirement in the first permission mentioned above.

3. We’ve all been a little unclear about the use of ‘liking a page’ as the wording of this point and point 4 is one of the new changes. But point 3 means you cannot ‘like a page’ or ‘check into a place’ as automatic ENTRY into a competition, eg ‘be a fan to win’, ‘check into [insert page] Place to win’.

4. This means you CAN use the function of ‘liking a page’, or ‘connecting with an app’ or ‘checking into a Place’ as a CONDITION of entry eg ‘be a fan to enter’, ‘get this app to enter’, ‘check into [insert page] Place to enter’. So, for example, you could say: ‘to celebrate hitting 500 fans we will give away [insert prize]. Details of entry will be sent to fans via an update. In the update you could send a link to your website for fans to enter their email or once they have become a fan reveal the opt-in iframe where they can enter their email details to enter the competition. Check out Custom Fan Pages for their great Fans Only Reveal frame templates or get one custom designed.

5. Means you cannot use ‘like’ as a method of voting on photo’s or comments. Such as asking people to click like on the best comment or best photo to win.

6. This point is pretty easy to understand – you ust notify a winner personally via the email address they submit when entering the competition. Using any form of Facebook communication is not allowed. However, once notification of the winner has been received and prize delivered you CAN communicate that the successful winner has been notified and thank everyone for entering. It doesn’t hurt to offer participants a bonus offer to improve your sales either after the competition has completed.

7. Is also fairly easy to understand and is there to make sure no-one makes their competition to ‘appear’ to be related or run by Facebook. So no using the icons or logos associated with Facebook such as the blue ‘f’ or the like within the box etc…

8. The definitions is really just to ensure Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines covers all the different terms that may be used in running a competition – so no loopholes for anyone to say ‘it’s not a competition it’s a sweepstake’ etc.

I hope by providing you with a few examples and ‘spelling out’ the Facebook Promotional Guidelines in regular language has put you more at ease in running a competition, as it is a great way to increase your fans and retain their interest, as they grow to like and become attached to your brand.

If you need assistance in structuring or running a competition via the use of social media my staff and I are more than happy for you to contact us and help you get this organized for you.