Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Beware of the Facebook T&Cs!

A lot of people- myself included- have used giveaways on Facebook to generated more "likes" for their business page. I found I could get several hundred new followers in two days by doing this. I used to set up targets such as doing a random draw when the fans went up to a certain target figure. However, the last one I ran I got an e-mail from a follower saying that this was against the Facebook terms and conditions, but people don't tend to know this. She asked me to make sure others were aware otherwise we could find our pages being deleted by Facebook!

This was quite scary as more than half my business for trufflepiglet comes through Facebook promotion. So I thought it might be useful to share these rules to prevent anyone else getting caught out.

The relevant terms are not on the standard Terms page. Or even on the Page Guidelines linked on there. They're on the Promotions Guidelines.

1.Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or an app on a Page Tab.
This means that just popping a message on your wall isn't enough. If it is a Facebook only giveaway then it gets quite complicated- to add an extra tab on yourself you need to create an "iFrame". There's a tutorial here for the technically minded. For the non-techy types it might be worth looking at Pagemodo- I've not used it myself but it is free and you can customise your Facebook pages, which might be nice to do anyway. I shall be testing this out soon I feel!

2.Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
a. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
b. Acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
c. Disclosure that the participant is providing information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook.

Easy enough to do, if you remember to do it!

3.You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant.

4.You must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your app. For example, you must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall.

Yeah this was the main one I broke. You'd be best linking to a forum or blog giveaway or something like that, commenting on your page is breaking the rules too- they're pretty much saying no competitions of any kind here, which is quite sad as I'm sure the BBC and similar have done competitions where you upload your photographs to enter. These aren't allowed anymore.

5.You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion.
So you can't let your fans decide winners either :S

6.You must not notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles (timelines) or Pages.
Again, I did this because in some cases I didn't have e-mail addresses. Just be careful!

So I think the moral of the story is just don't run Facebook giveaways at all. The only way I can think of doing it as a sort of loophole is to ask people to like your page on your blog as part of a giveaway, but asking them not to post on your wall if they do so. Otherwise it will be very difficult!


  1. Thankyou Kerry! So useful! ♥

  2. an interesting article,i didn't know any of this. Thanks kerry