Facebook have just announced the new guidelines for hosting Facebook competitions which will make it easier for you to administer a promotion on your Facebook Page.
This is a significant change for Facebook Pages and will be welcomed by Facebook Page owners, especially small businesses who want to promote their business without having to learn about using Facebook Apps. The change makes it even easier for smaller businesses to help build awareness for their business using their Facebook Page through using Facebook competitions as part of their content marketing plan.
Facebook announced that they have updated their Page Terms for businesses which you can find here.
The change comes the week after the announcement of the Facebook Newsfeed algorithm.
Facebook Promotions Guidelines Key Changes
- Facebook have removed the requirement for you to manage a promotion only through an application
- You can now manage and administer a competition on your Facebook Page Timeline. As an example you can enable people to enter your competition by having users post on your Page, comment on a Post you have made or Like a Post you have made on your Facebook page. Facebook have also enabled Page Administrators to collect competition entries by having people Message your Facebook Page and use Likes on a Post as a mechanism for voting.
What Has Not Changed In terms Of Promotions on Facebook
You are not able to administer promotions on your Personal profiles.
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What You Are NOT Allowed To Do When Administering Facebook Promotions
Facebook’s Pages Terms prohibit Pages from tagging or encouraging people to tag themselves in content that they are not actually referenced in.
Facebook give as an example:
- It is OK to ask people to submit names of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize
- It is not OK to ask people tag themselves in pictures of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize.
Facebook Page Guidelines state:
You must not inaccurately tag content or encourage users to inaccurately tag content (ex: don’t encourage people to tag themselves in photos if they aren’t in the photo).
Additional Assistance In Understanding Facebook Promotions Policies
Facebook have provided a hand out on their Promotion Guidelines, which include FAQ’s and best practices for running promotions through Facebook. You can access it here (PDF).
One of the areas the guideline covers is “Why can’t I ask people to take part in a promotion by liking, sharing, or posting something on their personal Timeline?”
We want to make sure that people continue to post authentic, high quality content to their Facebook Timelines to stay better connected with the people they care about.
There are technical reasons for confining the administration of the promotion to either a Page or in an app. For example, because people can choose to limit the visibility of the content they put on Facebook to only themselves, friends, or to a custom group of people, Pages won’t have the ability to access all of the entries that people post on their own Timelines unless these entries are public.
We may explore enabling this in the future, but to ensure a good experience for administrators of promotions and prospective entrants to a promotion, we are limiting the administration of promotions
on Facebook to Pages and within apps at this time.
How To Determine If You Should Administer A Facebook Promotion On Your Page Or Using An App
Using a Facebook App to manage your competition and promotion – this will mean that you are able to develop your App to reflect your brands visual identity and importantly be able to easily track participants.
Remember that you need to ensure that your App is mobile ready so that people can enter when using a mobile device. You can also use Facebook Apps to collect data securely and ensure that you are compliant with Data Protection legislation in your country and easily link to Competition Terms.
Facebook comment in their Page Guidelines:
If you collect content and information directly from users, you will make it clear that you (and not Facebook) are collecting it, and you will provide notice about and obtain user consent for your use of the content and information that you collect. Regardless of how you obtain content and information from users, you are responsible for securing all necessary permissions to reuse their content and information.
Using a Facebook Post to manage your competition and promotion – this will be fast and easy to implement and they will be eligible to be displayed in the News Feed of the people who Like your Facebook Page. Remember that if you plan to promote the Post with and Ad the Facebook Advertising guidelines state:
Ads and sponsored stories in News Feed may not include images comprised of more than 20% text.
I still recommend that you ensure that you post Terms for your competition to ensure that you comply with legistation for your industry, your country that you are operating in and to provide clear guidelines to people entering competitions so that you avoid disappointment and disputes even when manging a competition or promotion through a Post on your Facebook Page.
More On The Facebook Newsfeed Algorithm
Facebook recently announced that they decided to develop a new algorithm to factor into News Feed. To develop it, they surveyed thousands of people to understand what factors make posts from Pages high quality. Some of the questions we asked included:
- Is this timely and relevant content?
- Is this content from a source you would trust?
- Would you share it with friends or recommend it to others?
- Is the content genuinely interesting to you or is it trying to game News Feed distribution? (e.g., asking for people to like the content)
- Would you call this a low quality post or meme?
- Would you complain about seeing this content in your News Feed?
They then tested the changes and noted a significant increase in interactions (likes, comments, shares) with this content and people in the test group also hid fewer stories overall. These results suggest that this change shows more people higher quality content, and more interesting stories from the Pages they are connected to. Facebook will be rolling out this update to everyone over the next few weeks.
What The New Facebook News Feed Algorithm Means For Marketers
The challenge continues to be to create high quality content, relevant and engaging content for your Facebook Page.
When creating your content marketing plan for your Facebook Page (and your other social channels) ask the following questions:
- Is the post timely and relevant?
- Does the post build our credibility and trust with our community?
- Will people find this interesting so that they will share this with their friends or recommend it to others?
- Will people want to see this in their News Feed?
- Is posting this competition on our Facebook Page going to attract people who are or could potentially be our customer, or would refer people to us so that we gown a Facebook community that is relevant to our business or cause?
Additional Resources For Your Facebook Page Content Marketing Plan
You can access a template with the details of the sizes for your Facebook images here along with guidelines on using your Facebook Cover image to promote your business.