Will Facebook’s New Rules for Contest and Giveaways Affect Campaigns

Sep 3, 2013

Contests on social media can be a great way to get followers and fans involved, attract more audiences and garner a greater interaction that keeps business pages in the feeds of those looking for shared information. But despite the power of using contests to create a buzz around one’s business on Facebook and other social media channels, there are specific rules that can change the way such contests are ran and implemented. Additionally, Facebook recently announced major changes to previous rules governing contests and how businesses and pages run them on the social media giant. While understanding the rules of the game is vital to ensuring there are not problems with one’s page, understanding how giveaways and contests can help one’s brand is equally important.

new facebook rules for contests and giveaways

Although a contest or giveaway is not a magic wand for social media marketing there may be many followers and Facebook users who have little interest in a brand, yet find themselves interested in contests, when utilized correctly, they can be a valuable tool to leverage in one’s overall social media plan. Garnering potential client and fan engagement, that may later drive web traffic and result in leads and inquiries, is the ultimate goal of any social media contest or giveaway. Despite the simplicity of the end goal associated with social media contests, implementing a contest in an effective way that will get the most bang for one’s efforts is the key to a successful plan.

New Facebook Rules

Contests and giveaways, which are referred to by Facebook as promotions, must include three separate parts: entries, chance and the giveaway or prize offered. While not all businesses used contests in the methods intended or promoted by Facebook, new rules for promotions allow companies and business pages to continue gathering interactions and engagement with slight changes. Companies are no longer required to run contests and giveaways through Facebook applications. Instead, under new Facebook contest rules, company pages may actually run contests and promotions on their timeline, a feature which may save many companies and businesses the headache associated with previous methods.

Despite the ease of running contests through one’s timeline in contrast with previous methods of promotions run through Facebook applications, there are some downfalls for businesses using their time lines to promote new contests. Previously, contests run through Facebook applications were easy to track and follow with data collected by those applications. In contrast, promotions run directly through one’s timeline is much more difficult to track as far as results and interactions attracted by that contest.

While there are some disadvantages to Facebook contests run directly through a page’s timeline, there are far reaching benefits to the much easier method of displaying contests directly to followers and fan through one’s news feed. Ease of use may make it more attractive for businesses and leaders to run, adhering to established guidelines is important. Offering a clear set of eligibility, rules and requirements are a vital component of running any social media contest and adhering to such rules can actually save business leaders and marketers headaches associated with problems and stipulations later.