Facebook contests

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Facebook has rolled out some new rules for Facebook contests.  For years Facebook has required the use of an Application to administer a contest on Facebook.  But that all changed with the recent Promotional Terms update.

You can now run a contest on your Facebook Page without using an App.  You can tell people to Like or Comment on your Post for a chance to win something!






Per Facebook’s post:

“For example, 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
  • Utilize likes as a voting mechanism
As before, however, businesses cannot administer promotions on personal Timelines.”

But what does that mean for marketers?  Should we abandon Apps entirely and run Facebook Contests right on our Timeline?  Absolutely not for a few critical reasons:

  1. Using a Facebook App to run a contest will allow you to collect e-mail addresses which is one of the main benefits of running a contest.
  2. Administering the contest by telling people to Like or Comment takes more time when it comes time to pick a winner.  And it can be more challenging to notify a winner if they miss the update.
  3. If someone is sharing your post, they may comment or Like that shared post rather than the “true” post for entering the contest.
  4. Facebook Apps have easy metrics and some have bonuses for sharing that are easily tracked.

I think there is a time and place for this new type of Facebook Contest entry form – like when you need some added engagement and you don’t want to go to a lot of trouble to set up the contest.  But I still think most contests should be run through a third party App.

Make sure you read all of Facebook’s guidelines and sort through their FAQs to find out how to run a contest the right way.  As always you can bookmark the official Facebook Page Terms so that you can refer to them for all your questions about how to run your business marketing on Facebook.

But I did have to try things out for myself.  Grandma is running a “new-style” Facebook contest on her Page right now.  I’ll keep you posted on the results but feel free to go over there and give it a Like to enter 🙂

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