For years, marketers etc have struggled with the need to use a custom app in order to run competition and promotions via their Facebook Page – you basically could not run a competition that asked FB users to like, comment, share etc an update in order to enter a competition. The solution to this was to use either an off-the-shelf app or a custom-built one that would sit in a Page tab (or whatever they call them now!). This wasn’t ideal as it did very little to improve activity on the Page itself and would usually require budget.

Not anymore!

14 hours ago, Facebook announced a relaxation in the rules:

“We€™ve removed the requirement that promotions on Facebook only be administered through apps Now, promotions may be administered on Page Timelines and in apps on Facebook. For example, businesses can now:

– Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page pos

– Collect entries by having users message the Pag

– Utilize likes as a voting mechanism

As before, however, businesses cannot administer promotions on personal Timelines”

For once that is some pretty clear instruction from Facebook. What can’t you do though?

Well, you can’t ask people to tag themselves as a product in order to enter:

“It€™s not OK to ask people tag themselves in pictures of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize”

But you can ask people to submit names of a product in order to enter:

“It€™s OK to ask people to submit names of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize”

Why they are only saying ‘new product’ I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t worry about that.

What about asking people to use their own Timelines to enter?

That’s a no-no!

“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”

Here here!

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So, should I just stop using apps?

Not entirely. Running a comp on a Timeline isn’t a great way to offer a branded or particularly immersive experience. Another key factor is that you can collect data via an app (just not too much or nobody will enter. Remember opt-ins!), which can help with your further marketing needs. I expect to see a huge amount of Timeline comps bursting onto the scene now, using an app will help you stand out from that crowd. If you are going to run Timeline comps, please so put a bit of thought into them, you could easily come across as very cheap if you do too many rudimentary comps. This is a great step from Facebook, but don’t get lazy!

Why have Facebook done this?

The official line:

“We want to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to create and administer promotions on Facebook, and to align our policies to better meet the needs of marketers.”

I think they are maybe ‘sucking up’ a little. They have to give marketers a break, as they are making it very hard to make an impact without budget these days.

So, go forth and take advantage of this, but just do it in a clever fashion! It is also worth saying that many brands etc have ignored the rules over the years, but karma to all those that have been good!

We can create excellent Facebook apps for your Page, so if you want to offer something special, please contact us.

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