Could Your Facebook Contest Shut Down Your Business Page?

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A lot of clients have been asking about Facebook contests – what should they do and how should they do it?

Really wanting to present the best options for our clients, I set out to do some research about Facebook contests and how to get the most return. What I found was surprising.

It turns out that many of the ideas that I found do, in fact, break Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines. And when you break them, Facebook can shut down your page.

As of this writing, the most current Promotion Guildelines were updated on May 11, 2011. And the rules are something to pay attention to.

Most importantly, to enter your contest, you cannot have a user:

  • Like a photo, status, or your page
  • Upload a photo or comment on your wall
  • Tag themselves in a photo on your wall
  • Check into a place
  • Connect to your App
  • Use the Like button for voting

I see a lot of contests out there like this, and I thought they were great ideas – until I realized they were against the rules. Rather than risk my clients’ Facebook pages being shut down, I started looking into other options.

Facebook contests must be run through an app, either on a Canvas Page or as an app on a Page Tab. I’m no Facebook developer, so developing my own app is out, but there are several apps out there that are built for Facebook contests specifically.

In addtion, Facebook contest rules must be very specific, especially when it comes to stating that Facebook in no way endorses your contest.

Rather than re-write all the rules, I invite you to carefully read Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines and determine for yourself if your page is at risk. If you need some help with your Facebook contest, let us know and we can help you set it up so that your Facebook Page stays safe!

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