Navigating Facebook’s New Contest Rules

Inside Facebook recently published a post, Marketers and Agencies Figuring Out How to Navigate Facebook’s New Contest Rules, outlining the updated promo/sweeps guidelines from Facebook. According to the post, the two main takeaways from the new rules implemented are:

(1) Require all marketers to get explicit permission from Facebook at least 7 days before administering any promotion inside Facebook.

(2) Prohibit running any contests or promotions that require users to become a fan, interact with a feed story, or do anything else outside an application tab or canvas page in order to enter.

Inside Facebook highlights examples of Business Pages that have violated the new guidelines with recent Fan acquisition programs and/or contests that use Facebook as the platform to generate entries (including Ikea and Gilette to name a few). They also conveniently point to the third party development companies that provide Facebook Page management tools.

As an agency, we understand the monetization of a massive social network like Facebook (which currently boasts more than 300 million active users) and the benefit of putting budget behind a Facebook app to host a compelling promo/sweep… but the guidelines do raise important questions.

Does this harm smaller companies without big budget who previously could have hosted a valuable (but free) contest on their Facebook page?

Does this lessen the chance of brands promoting and linking to Facebook because they’re unable to host a promo/sweep on their business page?

Does this lessen the frequency of creative content on Facebook because not all brands will take this route?

Does this feel too big business?

Food for thought.

Click here for a complete analysis of the new guidelines from Inside Facebook.

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