With all of the talk about Facebook Business Page Cover Photo changes, there's another issue that I keep seeing online that I think is super important to mention because of how often it happens.
What I mean is this – do you know that there are Facebook contest rules for business pages? And if you violate those rules, you could have your page shut down quicker than you realize!
No matter what you've seen other people do, if you haven't read Facebook's terms of service recently, it's time to brush up on your knowledge of how to use Facebook to run a contest, if you're trying to use this form of Facebook marketing for your business.
Worst case scenario, you spend 5 minutes reading something and realize that you already knew it. (Good for you!)
Best case scenario – we save you from the embarrassment of your customers seeing you get your page yanked for a compliance issue, or of you getting banned from Facebook altogether! (Good for us!)
Facebook Contest Rules for Marketing your Business: What You Need To Know
1. 1. Just because you call it a contest, it isn't necessarily a contest.
You can't just put up something that sounds roughly like a contest and think it's okay. (I know that's sort of what we just said, but you'd be surprised at how many people need something repeated).
2. 2. You must include verbiage that eliminates liability for Facebook.
Your disclaimer needs to be on the tab for your contest, and it must include something like this: This is a promotion that is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by Facebook. You're providing your information to [Our Company] and not giving it to Facebook. This is important to communicate to your audience that Facebook doesn't have anything to do with your contest other than "hosting" it.
3. 3. You may not use a Facebook action for entry into your contest.
You can't ask people to do anything that is specific to Facebook to enter your contest. That includes liking, sharing, or commenting on a particular post or Page. And – you cannot use Facebook as a way of notifying your winners, either by message, post or comment.
4. 4. You must use a third party app to run your contest.
Because you cannot use Facebook to run your contest, surprise surprise, that means you have to use a "third party application" (one that is created by a neutral third party). There are a number of different providers that make apps that make hosting a contest a smooth process and help keep you in Facebook's good graces in the process.
For many businesses, using a contest to market your business on Facebook can be a great way to generate buzz for your brand. Do it the right way, and you'll give your business the edge of being classy and ethical. Do it the wrong way, and you could lose your ability to market your business on Facebook forever!
What's been your experience with Facebook contests for marketing your business? Leave a comment below – we always love hearing from you!