There’s no doubt about it: Facebook competition rules are confusing and can seem arbitrary, especially for small business owners who are simply trying to promote their businesses while also giving Facebook a boost. However, Facebook recently made changes to its promotions guidelines, creating a few new allowances that will make conducting promotions using Facebook slightly easier for bloggers and small business owners.
As a recap, in June of this year, Facebook had changed its guidelines to include the following:
* You cannot require people to create a wall post to enter the competition.
* You cannot contact winners of competitions via Facebook, including via Facebook message, chat or posts on profiles or Pages.
* You must get permission to run any competition through Facebook from a Facebook account executive using this form.
* You can’t require someone to like a page, post a status update, or upload a photo or video as entry into a competition.
* Competitions run through Facebook must be run through a third party application, not Facebook itself.
Are you in violation of any of the above when you conduct a competition? I’m fairly certain you’re not alone. The guidelines in bold still apply.
However, with Facebook’s updated guidelines, some of these restrictions have been lifted or slightly altered. Here are some of the main changes that affect small business owners:
* You no longer need Facebook approval to run a full competition.
* You can now ask people to check in to your business before entering a competition.
Having a check in to your business as an additional entry draw is the big new addition that I think more small business owners can and should take advantage of.
Read the full set of updated promotions guidelines. At the end they have added a section of “You can” and “You cannot” which outlines the rules slightly better than they have in the past. Are they still confusing? Yes. When in doubt, create a third party app to run your competitions through Facebook. However, Facebook is working on becoming more small business-friendly. Like all new forms of media, it will just take more time to work out the kinks in their system.