New Rules for Facebook Contests | Social Media Virtual Assistant - Be Social Worldwide

New Rules for Facebook Contests

Filed Under Social Marketing


Facebook contests are a great way to generate excitement and get more attention for your brand. The rules that have been in place put a few restrictions on what a business could and could not do when holding a contest. Those rules were not often followed and were somewhat hard to understand.

In an effort to improve the contest experience for creators and users, Facebook has recently made changes to the Terms of Service that affect sweepstakes and contests.

According to Facebook, the changes were important in order to give marketers more flexibility. Marketers can now use Facebook for quick contest turnarounds, which they had been getting with Instagram and Twitter.

Also, so many brands were not following the rules that had been set by administrators that it is probably more economical to change the rules than attempt to rein in all of the non-compliers.

While it is still against the rules to require users to perform actions that show up on their personal Timelines (i.e. share this post), brands can ask users to visit the brand page to like a post as a contest entry.

Another change that Facebook made to its Terms of Service is that brand pages can no longer tag people in content in which they are not depicted. It is also no longer allowed to encourage other users to tag themselves or others in images that they are not in for a contest entry.

This doesn’t mean that users can no longer tag friends and family in photos on their personal Timelines. It is simply a rule to keep businesses from using the tagging feature for their contest entries.

These changes give brands even more options when it comes to creating new contests and promotions. Contests can be executed more quickly. It is still recommended that brands use an app for their contests because they are better for customer acquisition and brand awareness. But, they can also take a lot more time and money.

Brands are no longer required to use a third-party app from companies like Wildfire or Virtue. Entries can be collected by having users comment or like a post or sending a private message. Likes can be used as a voting mechanism (the comment to get the most likes, etc.) to determine a winner.

Marketers are still responsible for following all of the Facebook rules for contests and sweepstakes and must post offer terms and eligibility requirements for users to see. They must also include a release of Facebook by each contestant and acknowledge that the contest is in no way endorsed, administered or sponsored by Facebook.

Many of the rules for contests and promotions haven’t changed, but a little tweaking to the Terms of Service has made it much simpler and added some flexibility for marketers.

What do you think of the new changes to contest rules on Facebook


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  • Dawn Pigoni, IVAA Member