Facebook has announced this week that they have REMOVED the requirement for promotions on Facebook to only be administered within an app.
You can now run promotions, competitions and sweepstakes on your page timeline, or within an app, as long as you don’t do it on your personal timeline, or encourage fans to share or engage with your content on their personal timeline.
Here are the new rules to share with anyone who looks after your Facebook page:
Now you CAN…
- Allow entry by asking fans to post on your Facebook page.
- Collect entries by asking fans to comment or like a post.
- Collect entries by asking fans to message your page.
- Run promotions on your page where the winner is chosen at random.
- Run promotions where you give away a prize based on skill or your choice, eg: the first to answer correctly or our favourite comment wins.
However you CANNOT…
- “Inaccurately tag content” to quote Facebook, meaning you can’t run promotions where your page, or your fans, tag content that they do not personally appear in.
- Ask or encourage fans to share your content to enter or as part of entry. This is a biggie and may catch out a few admins.
- Ask or encourage fans to like or post anything on their personal timeline to enter or as part of entry. This includes encouraging people to upload your page’s cover image to their personal timeline.
Don’t forget the fine print
The same requirement to publish the terms and conditions for any type of promotion still applies, whether you run the promotion on your Facebook page or on an app.
The easiest way to do this is simply add a note on Facebook with the terms and conditions, then link to it in your comments. Eg: Please read the terms and conditions before you enter: link.
To find the notes app on your page:
- Go to your Facebook page, click Edit page (top right-hand corner) then click Edit settings from the drop-down menu.
- The settings area will load. From the 4 options at the top, click More then Apps.
- On the next page, you’ll see Notes as one of the apps listed. Click the Go to app link under the Notes information.
- Click Write a note and when you’re finished, simply copy and paste the link to that note.
I wrote that for a Facebook competition I ran earlier this year. Feel free to use it as starter copy to get ideas for writing your own. I’d still suggest getting a legal professional to check your own terms and conditions copy if you haven’t got a legally approved template to use.
Facebook still requires your terms and conditions to include:
- Eligibility requirements (eg: age, country etc). Remember that unless you have your page or app restricted to only show in a specific country or have a minimum age in place, it can be seen by anyone.
- Disclaimer. You also need to include the usual Facebook disclaimer. The wording I use is: “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.”
- Privacy statement. Facebook holds you 100% responsible for your promotion, and that includes what you do with entrants details. The usual copy I use is: “You are providing your information to the promoter (put your business name here) and not to Facebook.” Check that link above for the full privacy terms and conditions copy, as you should also include how entrant details will be used and whether you’ll be sharing their details with a third party.
Things yet to be answered by Facebook…
I expect the following will also be prohibited, however these are yet to be confirmed:
- You probably won’t be able to ask new fans to like your page to enter or as a condition of entry (you’ll still need an app for that).
- Due to the restriction on sharing, reaching new fans won’t be as easy as it would be with an app.
- As fans can’t tag themselves, your page or their friends, reaching new fans won’t be as effective as having an app.
- If you’re wanting to build your email database, get your fans phone number, postal address or other private information, an app is still the way to go.
So this is certainly exciting news for rewarding your current fans and increasing your reach and engagement without the cost or hassle of an app; however as you can see from the list above…
An app is still the best solution if your aim is to get more fans and/or grow your email database
Keep checking back for more breaking news. For now I’m off to celebrate!
Please share this with your network now, and pass it on to anyone who looks after your Facebook page, because it’s a big change to how you can run promotions.
PS: If you select the green ‘Share this’ button you can choose the Email option to email the link if you prefer.