Facebook Promotion Guidelines
By Meg Deedy, Mindshare
On August 27th, Facebook announced a major change to Promotional Guidelines for brand Pages.
For many years, Facebook has restricted brands from running promotions (sweepstakes, games of chance, etc...) using any native Facebook functionality such as comments, likes or shares. This meant that brands were required to place all promotions on applications (separate tabs). An application requires a technical build, creative design, QA testing and in some cases moderation - all of which require resources, budget and extended timelines.
To date, brands have not been allowed to activate any promotion on their main Facebook page (Timeline). All promotions were required to live within an app - which means that consumers could not 'like' a brand post as a means of entering a promotion such as, "Like this post for a chance to win a $5 gift card" or "the first 200 people to comment on this post will receive a 20% coupon." In these examples, the consumer uses native Facebook functionality (liking and commenting) to participate in a promotion on the brand's Page.
Facebook's policy change means that such promotions are now acceptable. In other words, brands can run promotions directly on their Timeline - Facebook has removed the requirement that promotions may only be administered within apps. For example, Pages can now:
- Collect entries by having people post on the Page or comment/like a Page post
- Collect entries by having people direct message the Page
- Collect votes by having people like a post image/caption
However, there are still some restrictions:
- Timeline promotions must be run on a brand Page not a personal page
- Brands can't use 'Share' as a method of promotion entry
- Facebook has updated Page Terms to prohibit Pages from tagging or encouraging people to tag themselves in content that they are not actually depicted in - avoiding spam and confusion within Timeline promotions and content
The option to run a promotion on a brand's Timeline allows brands to be more agile for smaller scale initiatives or quick incentives for fan engagement. However, the policy change does not eliminate the need for Facebook apps - there are plenty of concepts that still require an application such as when:
- Multiple User Generated Content (UGC) like photos and videos need to be displayed for consumer voting
- Aggregated rankings, gallery voting or video content submitted over time need to be displayed
- Sweepstakes have multiple phases or submission points that need to be tracked/displayed
- A choice of coupon/offers are available for consumers to instantly download
- A game (flash/skill) or completion of tasks is required to enter a promotion
- Multiple form fields are required by law for promotion entry
Although some promotions can now be run on a brand Page it is important to continue to heed the following best practice guidelines for any promotion, regardless of location:
- Always Include Rules:
- Rules of a promotion must clearly be posted, along with offer terms and eligibility requirements (registering, bonding and state restrictions must be adhered to)
- For Timeline promotions, rules can be added as a link to keep the post short
- Promotions that include a compelling reason to enter are more likely to encourage engagement and generate buzz
- Consistent and Concise Creative:
- Compelling images and text that is in the brand voice tend to get better responses and engagements
- Amplify Promotions:
- Create Promoted Posts to increase awareness, encourage participation, and extend the reach of your promotion
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