Big Changes to Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines


Yesterday, Facebook threw a curve ball at the digital marketing community by making big changes to their Promotion Guidelines.

It’s been over 2 years since Facebook last updated their Promotion Guidelines and their most recent changes will significantly impact the way businesses run promotions on the ever so popular social network.

So lets cut to the chase, here’s what you need to know:

  • Promotions no longer have to be administered through a third party application
  • A Page “like” is now a permissible means of a promotion entry
  • User’s comments on a Timeline post or Facebook Page can also be a means of entry collection.
  • Users can now privately message the Page as an entry into a promotion
  • For contests that require voting, the “like” functionality can now be used a voting mechanism
  • Users can not be asked to tag themselves or the brand cannot tag any user in a promotion post
  • Users also can not be asked to like, share, or post anything on their personal timelines as an entry mechanism

Now this all might sound like great news, but wait! Before you start running to your computer to launch a giveaway on today’s Timeline post, we need to consider the legal implications and possible complications:

  • Winner selection: Since there is now a variety of different actions and the possible outcome of numerous potential entries, businesses will now have to carefully sort through each entry and make sure it is accounted for. With third party applications, all data and entries are electronically collected.
  • Removal of entries: Facebook gives everyone the option to mark particular comments and posts as spam or inappropriate. It’s now possible for Facebook users to hide valid entries, causing them to be removed from consideration.
  • Location of entrants: It is impossible for a businesses to open a promotion to the entire world. What passes as a promotion in one country, may not in another.
  • Under-age entrants: Since Facebook users only have to be older than 13, you may encounter some promotion participants under the age of 18. There is also a large number of Facebook users that are actually under the age of 13. These participants would be ineligible to win if they are from the United States. In addition, marketing to children under the age of 13 is heavily regulated by COPPA.

Of course, entrant’s location and age are issues that you could encounter while hosting a promotion within a third party application. It is the nature of social media however, third party applications often feature a separate area for Official Rules.

If you plan to host a promotion solely on your brand’s Timeline, I recommend creating a Facebook Note, microsite, or comment for the particular promotional post listing the specific requirements to remove any confusion or liability.

My suggestion to brands:

This is a great opportunity, no doubt about that.

Even though Facebook has made it easier for brands to create promotions and contests, you should not be running promos every day as a quick and inexpensive way to increase fans and engagement. Over time it will dilute your brand’s image and you’ll see a drop in brand loyalty.

With the right strategy and execution, Facebook’s new Promotion Guidelines will help your page build greater awareness and acquire valuable consumers.


<a href=”” rel=”me”>Allison Solberg</a>


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