Facebook relaxes contest rules - they've turned everything as upside down as our bulldog!

Facebook Contest Rules Changed – Why You Should Care

Facebook relaxes contest rules - they've turned everything as upside down as our bulldog!Though many page administrators seemed unaware of it, until yesterday it was against the rules to run a Facebook promotion wherein the entrants sent a message to the page or liked or commented on an update to enter a contest or giveaway.
Then, Facebook surprised us all and gave permission for people to do what they were already doing – run promotions without a third-party app.

What is Still Against the Rules

Requiring people to share an update on their own timelines is still against the rules. I know, pages do it anyway – but there have been cases where Facebook has shut down pages for this infraction. Running promotions on a personal profile is also prohibited.

A Brand New “No-No”

Page administrators can no longer tag or encourage people from tagging themselves on an update in which they are not actually pictured. So, if you post a photo of a new dish at your restaurant and ask people to tag themselves to enter to win, this is against the rules. If, however, you upload a photo including a crowd of patrons, it is fine to ask them to tag themselves to enter to win a prize.

Why You Might Run a Contest Right on Your Page

If you are just looking to increase engagement and exposure for your page, and you’re not comfortable designing custom apps, these new rules are excellent news for you! On-page contests require very little planning and administration and no design or coding at all.

What You Still Need to Do First

You still need to have:
  • Official rules
  • Terms and eligibility requirements
  • Compliance with any non-Facebook rules and regulations regarding your prizes and promotions
  • A notice that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

Is it acceptable to put all these in a page on your site and just link to them in your update? Facebook doesn’t say, but if not, this could sure muddy things up – and we were hoping to keep it simple!

Making it easier for page admins to run promotions – the only reason I can see why this change in rules is a good thing. Tomorrow I’ll tell you why I think this is a terrible idea :). In fact, I believe that on-page Facebook contests could actually poison your page.

Interesting in running a promotion that gets you closer to reaching your business goals? We can help with that! Give us a call at 800.305.9420×1 today.

About the Author Alisa Meredith (311 Posts)

As co-owner and chief inbound marketing consultant at Scalable Social Media, Alisa Meredith spends a lot of time keeping up with online marketing trends for the benefit of our customers. Computers have been a passion of hers since her first T1-99, so inbound and social media marketing is a natural fit.


  1. Love you simple, but effective, POV Alisa! It certainly is unclear how admins will add the disclaimer and ToS inside of the post…? Hopefully that gets cleared up soon.

  2. Alisa Meredith

    Hehe, thanks, Brooke. I forced myself to stay pretty neutral in this post but now I’m working on one for tomorrow because I smell a rat! 🙂

    Oh, and yeah – that was about as clear as mud!

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