Finally, Facebook Makes It Easy to Run Contests

by Corey Eridon

Date

August 28, 2013 at 11:22 AM

facebook-contestsAnyone else feel like Facebook's rolling out updates faster than the speed of light?

It got to be so much I actually asked someone on our content team if we needed to update our Facebook for Business ebook -- and she responded with a resounding, "uhhh YEAH." So we did ... and then Facebook went ahead and rolled out another update yesterday.

The latest one is only a minor one, so don't fret. But it's really cool for anyone who has been doing Facebook marketing for several years -- because those who have been doing Facebook marketing for a couple years have probably tried to run a contest at some point, and then learned that running a contest on Facebook is inordinately difficult to do according to its terms of use. Today, you no longer need to sweat it!

Facebook Makes Page Promotions Easier to Administer

So, why was it so hard before? In short, because Facebook used to require that you run promotions through an app. And that meant you had to hire a Facebook app developer -- or be one yourself.

I don't know about you, but I don't be one.

Now, businesses can administer promotions on their Page Timelines, or if they really liked the old way of doing it, they can still use a Facebook app. That means you can now use your Page Timeline to:

  • Collect entries into a contest or promotion by simply asking a user to post on your Page, comment on a post on your Page, like a Page post, or message your Page.
  • Use Likes as a voting mechanism.

Thank you, Facebook!

So, What's the Catch?

There isn't much of one, actually, just some rules to be cognizant of. It's not a free-for-all, you know. ;-)

Facebook is concerned with businesses being too aggressive in their promotions, and the impact that could have in content legitimacy. So, Facebook updated its Page Terms to prohibit Page administrators from tagging or encouraging people to tag themselves in content they're not actually depicted in. This sounds like a really random scenario, but the picture Facebook paints is:

"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 to tag themselves in pictures of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize."

Makes sense. The other big change they made note of is that businesses may not run any of these contests or promotions on personal Timelines. For instance, you couldn't ask users to share a piece of content on their timeline as an entry mechanism.

If you're looking for ideas for Facebook promotions or contests to run, check out this blog post; and be sure to bookmark Facebook's updated promotion guidelines.

Image credit: owenwbrown

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