Promotions on Facebook have been a little controversial over the past few years with Facebook requesting a minimum ad buy to approve the promotion and imposing restrictive rules. In many cases this has just served to encourage promotions without Facebook approval but always with the risk of removal or early termination. Facebook has changed all this week with new Facebook Promotion guidelines that remove the minimum ad buy and define clear rules for all promotions.
The main focus of the guideline seems to be around focusing promotional activities on Facebook Applications and not core Facebook functionality. In order to enter or qualify for a Facebook Promotion an application should be used either on the Canvas Page or a Facebook Page tab. It’s prohibited for Facebook Promotions to use status updates, commenting on a wall or photo uploads as a method for entering the promotion. This is very similar to the Facebook Policy against incentivized action for Facebook Applications. The goal of both theses policies is to prevent companies from encouraging users to spam their friends.
Under the new rules promotions that involve photos will need to handle photo upload and management in a Facebook Application. In most cases this is how most promotions handled photos anyways. For example the Pepsi WorldCup Application “Paint Your Facebook”, copied your Facebook picture into a external application and applied your team colours. The photo was then available for the user to download and manually upload a new Facebook picture.
The other major impact of the new rules are Quiz type contests where a Facebook Page will pose a Quiz Question on their wall and get user’s to response with the correct answer in the comments. Under the new rules users should be directed with a link to a Facebook Application where they can respond.
While the new rules are disruptive, Facebook Promotions are still a great way to develop a long term engagement with users. After a user “Likes” a Facebook Page it allows the Page owner to maintain a relationship with that user. Posts and photos can appear in the user’s newsfeed and the Page can issue updates to the user. Facebook Promotions are still a key component to a Facebook Marketing campaign.
In the past most Facebook Applications involved considerable development. That’s no longer the case with several premade applications being offered, especially for Facebook Promotions. I’ll be providing a review of pre-built Facebook Promotion applications shortly. Please send me any feedback you have on contest/promotion applications you’ve used.