Over the past year I’ve seen more and more small businesses using Facebook to promote their products and services. Because, as everyone knows, Facebook is magic and all you need to do is set up a page and BAM–sales start pouring in, right?
- Be aware of Facebook’s Guidelines that deal with promotions. Yes, there are rules about how you can do contests on Facebook.
- Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or an app on a Page App. This means that if you want to run a contest on Facebook, you either have to know how to develop a Facebook app or pay someone to do it for you, or use a third-party contest app.
- You cannot use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism. Thinking of doing a contest where you post something, tell fans to “like” it, and at the end of the day you’ll pick one “liker” to win? Or asking fans to upload a photo to your page and you’ll pick a winner? Both violate Facebook’s guidelines and running your contest that way can get your page deleted.
- You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion. See my comment on #3 above. The “like” button is not a contest entry system.
- You must not notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on your page’s timeline. So please, no “drumroll please” or “congrats to our lucky winner!” posts that announce the winners….unless it’s after the fact and you’re just letting the rest of your fans know who won.
Photo by Alex E. Proimos on Flickr