Facebook Changes Contest Rules – Businesses Win!

By Kimberly Castleberry | Small Business

Facebook Changes Contest Rules – Businesses Win! image 21130909 s 200x200Facebook Changes Contest Rules – Businesses Win!Facebook Revamps
Promotion & Contest
Rules & Regulations

If you’ve been in marketing any time at all… you know the HUGE attention-grabbing, traffic-generating, viral producing benefit of promotions, giveaways and contests!

On Facebook, these rules have long been a pain in the butt to work around, because Facebook was hyper-cautious to protect itself legally.

(Contests/Promotions are some of the most frequent kind of things to wind up in court on trivial charges or fraud charges, from participants.)


Facebook has updated the “Promotions” section of their Fan Page Terms of Service.

What this means is that you may now run CONTESTS, PROMOTIONS, and GIVEAWAYS on your page without using a complicated third party app!

Holy smokes!

You can now run promotions (contests, sweepstakes, competitions or drawings) on your PAGE wall and/or via a third party app on Facebook. Pages can:

* collect entries via users (fans and non-fans) posting on the Page wall
* collect entries by users commenting or liking on a Page post
* collect entries by having users message the Page
* collect votes via likes (new fans, post likes)

What this does is make many (but not all) non-compliant contests that are running, magically compliant and allowed.

This is going to help companies stay within the rules while getting their contest to really “grow some legs” and take off!


Just because they opened this up, does NOT mean that there are no rules. There remains one very very important one, regarding accurate tagging.

Pages can not ask users to tag themselves or friends in images that the individual does not actually appear. (This means the “Tag five friends that deserve a massage…” style promotions remain a no-no.

There are a few other “minor” rules as well (click here), including that you must have a full terms/eligibility clause and must have a full waiver of liability to protect Facebook and hold them harmless. Also, as per before, these can only take place on a business page, not on a personal profile.

See the official announcement here:

From a Facebook spokesperson via
“This capability makes it even easier for smaller businesses to help build awareness for a new product, promote the opening of a new location, sell inventory, or advance other business objectives. Say, for instance, a local pizza parlor wants to give away free pizza for a month to the 100th person to like its post. Now the business can do this right on its page (and increase awareness of the post via promoted posts) without needing to work with a third-party to build an app.”

This is great news for all businesses but the biggest winner really is small businesses who were often operating in dangerous territory with unapproved contests.

Will this make contest apps irrelevant? Absolutely not!

Many apps still have a very deep power to create viral behavior by prompting and automating actions and by controlling registration.

But the use of an app can now be a PART of the promotion and the promotion can now span onto the main wall easily giving the promotion a ton of potential to really fly!

I’m super excited about this and you should be too if you market on Facebook!

Speaking of Facebook, stay tuned because later this week, I’ll introduce you to a new training I picked up that I”m really loving! I know you’re going to want to check it out!

Have fun with your new contests!

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