Dummies’ guide to Facebook’s new competition rules.

Facebook changed its rules in August this year so that brands no longer have to use an App to run a competition on Facebook. Now brands can run simple promotions on their Facebook page, such as asking fans to ‘like’ or comment on a Facebook post to be into win.

To run a competition, brands can now ask fans to:
• ‘like’ or comment on your post
• comment on your page
• private message your page.

Brands can’t ask fans to:
• ‘like’, share or post something onto their personal timelines
• tag themselves into images that aren’t them
• ‘like’ your page to go into the draw (technically you aren’t able to see some people who have liked your page because of privacy settings so it is impossible to administer a competition like this).

To comply with Facebook’s Pages Terms, when running your competition you are also responsible for complying with local laws around promotions. Therefore brands must ensure:
• the official rules (including offer terms and eligibility criteria) are easily accessible
• the promotion is run in accordance with the official rules and any local laws.

So why would a brand still use an App? Well, if you have the budget and you want to grow your fan base, a likegated App will achieve the most growth in the short term (just be careful to ensure your App encourages growth from relevant engaged fans). Apps also have the potential to go much further than simple competition posts on Facebook. For example, utilising more complex gameification elements in Apps ensures your fanbase has more fun while they are engaging with your brand, helping build brand love overall.

Mix it up, have fun with short burn timeline competitions to encourage engagement from your fans on your page, while also ensuring you deliver something more to your fans now and then through larger-scale, fun and imaginative Apps. Keep your fans guessing and looking forward to seeing what you’ll come up with next.

Author: Virginia Bashford