New Facebook Promotion Guidelines May Require a Tweak in your Promo Strategies
As of November 4, 2009, Facebook changed its Promotion Guidelines, specifically regarding administering and publicizing promotions (promotions being defined as sweepstakes, contests, competitions, or similar offerings). Fortunately, these changes do not restrict the ability of any company use promotions to increase brand awareness and engage with fans and users.
Administering Promotions vs. Publicizing Promotions
Facebook has defined administering promotions as collecting submissions or entries, conducting the drawing, judging winning entries, or notifying winners. Essentially, this is implementing the promotion through the Facebook Platform and using it as a medium in which the promotion is conducted. Publicizing promotions, on the other hand, means promoting, advertising or referencing a promotion in any way on Facebook or using any part of the Facebook Platform – building hype around a promotion. As administering and publicizing are defined as two separate actions, separate rules apply to each action a company may take.
Rules for Publicizing Promotions
Publicizing promotions via Facebook does not require prior written approval from Facebook. The promotion must be completely separate from Facebook and must abide by the following guidelines in order to be publicized on Facebook:
- You cannot indicate that Facebook is a sponsor or administrator of your promotion and cannot mention Facebook in the rules or other materials relating to the promotion
- The rules of the promotion cannot require participants in the promotion to take any action on Facebook to qualify for the promotion
Rules for Administering Promotions
Administering promotions via Facebook requires written approval from Facebook regarding the rules of the promotion. Once approval is gained, a company may only administer their promotion via a third party application on the Facebook Platform designed specifically to host promotions. Only through these third party applications can users participate in the promotion by doing things such as uploading pictures or submitting personal information to enter a sweepstakes.
Users may only enter the promotion on the canvas Page of an application on the Facebook Platform or on an application box in a tab on a Facebook page. As with publicizing promotions through Facebook, language used to describe the terms and conditions of the promotion must explicitly state that Facebook is not a sponsor, endorser, or administrator of your promotion.
Facebook PROHIBITS the administering and publicizing of any promotions that match any of the following criteria:
- The promotion is open or marketed to individuals who are under the age of 18
- The promotion is open to individuals who reside in a country embargoed by the United States or is a sweepstakes open to individuals residing in Belgium, Norway, Sweden, or India
- The promotion’s objective is to promote any of the following product categories: gambling, tobacco, dairy, firearms, prescription drugs, or gasoline
- The prize or any part of the prize includes alcohol, tobacco, dairy, firearms, or prescription drugs
- The promotion is a sweepstakes that conditions entry upon the purchase of a product, completion of a lengthy task, or other form of consideration.
For more examples of what companies can and cannot do, check out the Facebook Promotion Guideline page: http://www.facebook.com/promotions_guidelines.php
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