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Understanding and Adhering to Facebook’s 2011 Promotional Guidelines

So many brands use Facebook to focus on interacting with fans, while others actively try to grow their social media fanbase.  Often times, companies will run many competitions and promotions to encourage new “likes” and fans for their Facebook page.  Facebook has recently cracked down on promotional guidelines, resulting in the removal of many prominent Facebook pages.  This blog post discusses how to adhere to the Facebook Promotion Guideline update of May ’11.

We’ll conveniently sum it up for you below, but you can view the updated guideline list here:

If social media is part of your internet marketing strategy, you may be interested in hosting a Facebook contest or promotional event once in a while in order to get more likes and fans.

Don’t break these rules or else you could lose your page and followers.  Here are several points to keep in mind as a rough guide for promoting a contest on Facebook.

  1. Do not kick off a Facebook promotion on your wall.  They must be administered via a specific Facebook application, never as a wall post.
  2. Don’t ask fans to wall post or status update to enter your competition.
  3. Don’t ask for “likes”.
  4. Write up a disclaimer to confirm that the promotion isn’t endorsed by Facebook (nor is the supplied information for the purpose of Facebook’s use).  This is somewhat complicated—Facebook’s guidelines offer a better explanation.
  5. Do not refer to Facebook, the Facebook logo, or any trademarks as conditions to your own Facebook promotional rules.
  6. You’re not allowed to ask visitors to like your page, like a comment, upload a photo, or check-in at your location to include themselves in the promotion.
  7. Do not solicit likes from your Facebook page visitors—counting “likes” as votes is forbidden.
  8. You may not announce contest or promotion winners on your Facebook wall, via Facebook chat or message.
  9. Review prize guidelines too—offering alcohol incentives (i.e. a bottle of wine) is also against Facebook rules.
  10. In certain countries, you may not target anyone 18 or younger.

This is just a basic overview of Facebook’s updated guidelines.  We advise everyone read the full guidelines before starting a promotional event on Facebook, and review these guidelines regularly.  Breach of guidelines isn’t a myth—we see pages break these rules regularly (we won’t name any names) and they’re removed.

Facebook is about developing your online community, promoting interaction, feedback, and growing a database online.  If you’d be interested in running a contest or promotion to increase your presence or following in the social media world (while still adhering to Facebook’s rules), send Boomtown an email or give us a call.

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