Have you been pushing your luck flouting Facebook’s competition/promotion rules? In doing so have you feared the day that all your hard work would be for nothing because Facebook chose to close your page for breaching the rules.

Well fear no more as Facebook has recently announced that they’ve changed their Pages Terms to make it “easier for businesses of all sizes to create and administer promotions on Facebook.”

Essentially they are now doing away with the need to run your competitions/promotions via apps and instead you will now be also able to run them on your businesses own timelines (you cannot run contests on a personal timeline).

Facebook has advised that businesses can now:

  • Collect entries by having users post on the page or comment/like a page post;
  • Collect entries by having users message the page; and
  • Utilize likes as a voting mechanism.
Facebook’s amended guidelines now list the following rules for promotions and contests under section E (as of August 28, 2013):

1. If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:

  • The official rules;
  • Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and
  • Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals).

2. Promotions on Facebook must include the following:

  • 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.

3. Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries” is not permitted).

4. We will not assist you in the administration of your promotion, and you agree that if you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk.

So what does that mean for you and your business. Here are a list of things that you now can and can’t do to help make running your promotions easier.

What You Can Do:

  • Require people to like a post and/or comment on a post to be entered
  • Require that someone post something directly on your timeline to enter (could be a text post or a photo)
  • Use likes as a voting method (either liking a post or photo on your timeline)
  • Require that someone message your page to enter
  • Announce the winner of the contest on your page
  • Require that to win the prize, entrants come back to your page to see who has won the contest
  • Use a Like button plugin on a website as a voting mechanism
  • Use an app plugin to post an entry to your contest directly on your page
  • Run your contest through a Facebook app

What You Can’t Do:

  • Require that people share a post or photo to be entered
  • Require someone to post something on their own personal timeline or a friend’s timeline to enter
  • Require people to tag themselves in a photo to either vote or enter
  • Have anyone who likes your page be entered to win (contest does not take place on the timeline)

If you still need some clarification then Facebook has even put together a video to help explain the changes.