Making Heads or Tails of Facebook’s Promotional Guidelines

Facebook Promotional Rules

Facebook Sting

On December 1st, 2010, Facebook made revisions to their promotional guidelines. The biggest anticipated update was that they no longer require written approval from Facebook to run a promotion. Other subtle changes were made overall to reinforce their strict rules designed to protect users and the Facebook brand. Violation of these rules could lead to Facebook disabling your page and/or account. Speaking from our own experience these action will come with little or no warning and in most cases will be irreversible. This means that a company could lose all their Facebook fans (Likes) that on average cost about $3 per fan to acquire.

These are the most commonly violated rules:

1. You cannot use your page wall to collect entries for promotions.
2. You must include the Facebook disclosure statement adjacent to any promotion entry form.
3. You cannot condition entry to a promotion based on other actions on Facebook (e.g.: liking a status update or commenting on Wall).
4. You cannot notify promotion winners through any Facebook platform tool (e.g.: Facebook Wall, Facebook Chat, Facebook Messages).

For the complete rules see Facebook’s promotions guidelines.

To-date Facebook has not done much to police these rules, but based on the removal of the written pre-approval requirement, recent negative press around user privacy and the rate that other Facebook changes are occurring, it’s likely that they will start to crack down on this very soon. And when they do there will be no way to recover lost investment.

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