September 23, 2013

A Change In Facebook Rules Makes Executing Contests Easier

facebook-logoNot all changes are bad and Facebook proves this with some changes the company recently made to the way contests are administered on the site.  In the past, it was illegal for Facebook page administrators to run contests or promotions that asked people to ‘like’  or ‘comment’ on the company’s page or status and instead required companies to go through third-party applications.  This, not surprisingly, wasn’t something too many small businesses were willing to undertake either from a time standpoint or a monetary standpoint.

This isn’t to say that many businesses didn’t break the rules (and I’d be willing to bet that most small businesses who did break the rules did so because they simply didn’t know them) but the risk was getting your company page banned from Facebook altogether.

So what’s the change?  Well, Facebook is lifting that requirement that you work with a third party app system to run and manage your contest.  It is now legal to ask your fans to ‘like’ or ‘comment’ on a post of yours in order to enter to win a prize.  In Facebook’s own words from an email where they detailed the changes:

This capability makes it even easier for smaller businesses to help build awareness for a new product, promote the opening of a new location, sell inventory, or advance other business objectives. Say, for instance, a local pizza parlor wants to give away free pizza for a month to the 100th person to like their post. Now the business can do this right on their Page (and increase awareness of the post via Promoted Posts) without needing to work with a third-party to build an app.

In my book this is a win for small businesses.  Yes, an app may have made it possible for you to make a snazzier contest or one that enables you to capture the email addresses of your fans (which normal commenting and liking doesn’t do), but truthfully, most small business owners simply want to run a no-frills contest and don’t need all those bells and whistles – and now you can!

Have you seen any really innovative social media contests or promotions that small businesses have designed?  Any contests or promotions that have caught your eye recently?

Click here if you’d like to read the complete rules associated with running contests and promotions on Facebook.

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