Update to Facebook’s Promotion Rules

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Our online guru Kylie Lewis is here again with her weekly guidance, this time we look at some exciting news from the world of Facebook.

In late August, Facebook eased their requirements for running promotions and competitions on business pages. No longer is it necessary for competitions to be run exclusively via 3rd party apps – they can now be held directly on your business page, utilising comments and likes as entries. Yippee!

Competitions can be a very quick, easy, relatively low cost way to increase engagement with your page and increase the likelihood of people sharing your content (although be careful, you can’t ask them to explicitly do this – more on that below).

Here are still a few conditions you need to stick to, as taken from Facebook’s Page Terms:

Promotions:

1. If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:

a. The official rules;
b. Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and
c. Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals)

2. Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
a. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
b. Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
3. Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries” is not permitted).
4. We will not assist you in the administration of your promotion, and you agree that if you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk.

(It’s best to put all this type of information on a page on your website, and simply include a link to the competition terms in your Facebook competition post).

Here’s a summary of what you can and can’t do from Social Media Examiner:

What You Can Do:

  • Require people to like a post and/or comment on a post to be entered
  • Require that someone post something directly on your timeline to enter (could be a text post or a photo)
  • Use likes as a voting method (either liking a post or photo on your timeline)
  • Require that someone message your page to enter
  • Announce the winner of the contest on your page
  • Require that to win the prize, entrants come back to your page to see who has won the contest
  • Use a Like button plugin on a website as a voting mechanism
  • Use an app plugin to post an entry to your contest directly on your page
  • Run your contest through a Facebook app

What You Can’t Do:

  • Require that people share a post or photo to be entered
  • Require someone to post something on their own personal timeline or a friend’s timeline to enter
  • Require people to tag themselves in a photo to either vote or enter
  • Have anyone who likes your page be entered to win (contest does not take place on the timeline)

A few handy links to help you further:
Regulatory requirements for online competition permits in Australia
Official Facebook blog post on promotion rule changes here.
Download Facebook’s Promotion Guideline PDF here.

In Australia, the regulations to run online competitions are governed by individual States, so check your local lotteries authority to ensure you comply.

With Christmas looming on the horizon, this change is very timely in encouraging brands to think about how they can use promotions and competitions in their festive season Facebook campaigns. Time to start planning!

Here’s a curated list of other articles on this topic which you may find helpful:
Social Media Today: Facebook Updates Page Guidelines For Promotions
Social Media Examiner: New Facebook Content and Promotion Rules

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