New Facebook Contest Regulations Aren’t As Strict As They Used To Be

Facebook Contest TOS

Running a Facebook-compliant contest just got a little easier. Thanks to the social network’s newly updated terms of service, page admins are no longer required to use third party apps to run certain types of Facebook contests.

As of a week ago, the only truly Facebook-compliant way to run certain kinds of page promotions was through Facebook contest apps like Rafflecopter, TabSite, North Social WildFire or OfferPop. Of course, these contests are by no means irrelevant now; design, automation, organizaitonal and measurement capabilities mean the tools are still a worthwhile investment for certain promotions, even though they are no longer technically required for Facebook compliance.

Facebook TOS now allow admins to…

In a blog post on the page terms updates, Facebook explains that company pages can now be used as a platform for several types of contests. Specifically, they list the following contest-related activities as TOS compliant.

Invite fans to enter through likes, comments and posts

A Facebook contest can now be as simple as posting a company status or image and inviting fans to like or comment to enter. You can also invite fans to create posts of their own to enter. This makes the always popular photo contest much easier to execute; you can now invite fans to post a photo to your timeline in order to enter a photo contest. Hello, user-generated content.

Vote for entries with a like

In the previous photo contest example, you might want to get fans involved in the vetting process. Luckily, Facebook’s new terms allow page admins to use fan “likes” as a voting mechanism, so that you can deem the photo with the most likes as the winner.

Enter promotions by messaging your business page

In some cases, you might want to collect fans’ contact info as they enter, either to notify the winners or to make the contest more valuable to your business. But fans aren’t likely to be too keen on posting their email or phone number as a page comment. As an alternative, you can now invite fans to enter promotions by messaging your business page. However, depending on the size of your contest, this might not be ideal from an organizational perspective.

But it’s not a contest free for all…

In other terms of service news, businesses are still prohibited from running promotions on personal Timelines. In most cases, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense anyway. Page terms also now prohibit the use of excessive or irrelevant tagging. For example, you can no longer ask fans to tag themselves in pictures of a new product for the chance to win a prize.

Social media managers, what do you make of the new Facebook contest regulations? Will you continue to employ third party apps, or make the switch to Timeline-based promotions?