Up until yesterday, Facebook prohibited using your Page Timeline to directly run a promotion. You had to either divert fans off of Facebook to your website, blog or other social network to have them participate in promotions, or you had to administer the promotion though a third-party Facebook application. However, Facebook has again amended its terms to allow for promotions. It is still NOT allowed on your personal timeline.
Things You Can Do in a Facebook Promotion
- Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post
- Collect entries by having users message the Page
- Utilize likes as a voting mechanism
- You can use a third-party app
Things You Can’t Do in a Facebook Promotion
- You can’t ask people to tag themselves in a promotional photo or graphic to win
- You can’t ask people to take part in a promotion by liking, sharing, or posting something on their personal Timeline (so don’t use hashtags)
- You can’t run a promotion on any personal Timeline
The Fine Print
Even though you are now allowed to run a promotion from your Facebook page you still need to follow local and state laws for running a promotion. You most likely will still need some kind of landing page (preferably on a website or blog) on which you explains the promotion, including official rules, eligibility requirements, and details about the promotion. You should have a link from the post to this page. Also, on the post itself, you will need to include language that, as Facebook puts it on its “Facebook Pages Terms” page that includes:
- A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
- Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
I am sure that language will be developed by lawyers that will meet this requirement, but for now, I might include the following in your promotion language:
By (Liking this post, or whatever you are asking them to do, see above) you agree to completely release Facebook and the sponsors from any liability. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
You can also now use the Facebook “Promote this Post” to get your promotion more heavily seen by your current fans and their friends. Overall, this is a good thing for both businesses and Facebook.
You can read more about this change on Facebook’s Pages Terms, on Facebook’s News Page, and in a short document they created with some best practices and a FAQ for Facebook Promotional Guidelines (pdf).