Before 2009 the rules governing Facebook pages were fairly loose and easy to understand; brands had a pretty free reign and rarely risked having their pages deleted due to breaches in the T&C’s. Then, Facebook decided they should protect themselves from any liability and made a distinguished effort to distance themselves from any promotions hosted on their site.
Facebook reserves the right to deactivate and delete any Facebook page which violates their terms, so it’s worth getting clued up on the dos and don’ts of Facebook marketing before you see your hard work go down the drain. Following the example of other pages won’t be of any help, as they’re often breaking the rules. Some companies either do not know about the rules, or they feel that they’re too small to be flagged up.
Here are a few examples of things you may not know are in breach of Facebook’s Page Rules
Do you have an arrow, or a phrase encouraging people to ‘Like’ you page on your cover photo? This is one of the simplest mistakes you can make. The origins of this practice lie in the use of fan gates which would hide content from users until they liked a page. This was OK, because fan gates operated in apps, which are not directly related to Facebook. Now, however, pages are not allowed to ask for likes in their cover photo.
Have you ever run a promotion which allows users to enter simply be ‘Liking’ your page or sharing your content? This is also a big no-no. Facebook does not allow page administrators to use Facebook as a platform for promotions. All promotions must be carried out through a third-party app. This is probably the second most violated rule. The reason for this rule is to distance Facebook from all promotions run through the site.
Another commonly violated rule is the random give-away. You cannot use Facebook to select a user for a random give-away, as this would involve messaging them and informing them of their prize through Facebook. Again; all give-aways must be carried out through a third-party app. If you don’t feel up to creating your own app, and I don’t blame you, then check out Wildfire apps for great service and competitive pricing. A 2 week contest could cost you as little as $19.
So what is allowed?
- Promotions that ask users to Like the page to unlock content or promotion codes.
- Selecting a random user, or a very active user for a “user of the month” style promotion – as long as they don’t win anything.
- Promote a contest on your Facebook page that you’re running on another site- your blog, for example.