November 24, 2011

Many businesses may want to consider a Facebook promotion as part of a larger marketing strategy.  There are many different types of promotion, and they can all be helpful at different times.  The important thing to remember when adding in a Facebook promotion is that you must comply with the guidelines laid down by Facebook.  You are not required to be a paid advertiser on the site to run a promotion, but it must be administered using an application, and the application must work with Facebook’s policies on platform.  There are third party applications you can use to ensure that you are in compliance.  Below are 4 do’s and don’ts when posting a promotion, and be aware that some of the distinctions are very fine.

  1. Entries can not be conditional upon a user providing Facebook content.  This includes making a wall post, adding a photo or making a status update.  However, you are allowed to use a third-party application to put content conditions on an entry.  For example, if you are promoting a video contest, videos would be uploaded via a third-party application, rather than directly using Facebook.  Applicants would be automatically re-directed to the third party site to finish their submissions.
  2. No automatic entries for liking a page, checking in to a place or connecting to platform integration.  You can make it part of the promotion for entrants to complete one or all of these steps before finalizing their entry, but there can not be automatic entry.  Instead, after the entrant has completed the action required, you then collect the rest of the information needed, like their name and email contact information.
  3. No Facebook communications can be used to notify winners.  This includes wall posts, messages, and chats.  Make sure to collect alternative contact information as part of your entry process.
  4. No instructions can tell participants to sign up for a Facebook account.  Instead, instruct those interested in participating to visit your third-party application where they will then be offered an opportunity to sign up if they do not already have an account.  The Facebook Platform is only available to those with a Facebook account, making those without ineligible to participate.

When using a free site like Facebook, it is important to follow the rules as closely as possible.  You have probably seen many promotions that are in violation of some of these guidelines, but it is not worth losing a devoted following and being forced to re-start your social media marketing efforts simply to take a short cut on posting a promotion.  Follow the rules and get the results you are looking for.




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