06 Jan 2010

Are you running afoul of Facebook contest rules?

1 Comment facebook marketing and advertising, promoting yourself, social media

On November 4th, 2009, the new Facebook promotional guidelines took effect with little notice.  Whether you’re selling Maggianos or marijuana, the rules have a major impact on you and are strict.  For example:

  • You can’t require the user to post, friend, or comment as part of being entered into your contest.
  • You can’t notify winners via Facebook’s platform– comments, posts, email, whatever.
  • You have to even place this specific text as part of your promotion:
    • “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to [recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for [disclose any way that you plan to use the user’s information].”
  • You can’t mention Facebook anywhere, as people may easily be confused into thinking that Facebook is sponsoring it.
  • You have to get written approval from Facebook at least 7 days before you run a contest.

I’m paraphrasing here, so you should read the whole article in its entirety itself.  It’s well-written and clear.  Most of the brands I see running promotions and contests on Facebook are breaking these rules. Now let’s see whether Facebook actually enforces these rules.  If the past history is an indicator, Facebook writes policy more to allow enforcement against the bad actors, than to try to bust anyone that may run afoul, but doing so in a non-spammy way.

Confused by these changes?  Need help from a Facebook advertising agency?  We might be able to help.

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written by
Dennis Yu is the CTO of BlitzMetrics. He is an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook marketing, having been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, and CBS Evening News. He is also a regular contributor for Adweek's SocialTimes column. Dennis has held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines. He studied Finance and Economics from Southern Methodist University and London School of Economics. Besides being a Facebook data and ad geek, you can find him eating chicken wings or playing Ultimate Frisbee in a city near you. You can contact him at dennis@blitzmetrics.com, his blog, or on Facebook.
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One Response to “Are you running afoul of Facebook contest rules?”

  1. Reply Dennis Yu reveals the 12 worst Facebook marketing tips says:

    […] fans, all else equal, is a good thing. So adding in a bunch of fake fans from the Philippines, via a contest or via a fan-buying service is a good thing, right?  Nope.  People click like on your page only […]

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