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Facebook’s new competition rules

Implications of the changes to Facebook’s promotions rules

Importance to Facebook marketers:

Recommended link: PDF download of new promotion rules

Facebook promtion changes

To the surprise of many Facebook marketers, this week saw the release of updated Facebook competition rules,  removing the requirement for businesses to run competitions and promotions through a app on their brand's timeline.

"We’ve updated our Pages Terms in order to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to create and administer promotions on Facebook."

Until now, it has been against Facebook regulations to run any promotion outside of a third-party app. For example, running a competition that required users to 'like' or 'share' a post for the chance to win.

This new change, now allows businesses to:

  • Collect competition entries by users posting on the Page or comment and/or liking a Page post
  • Collect entries through users messaging the Page
  • Use likes as a voting mechanism

So what does this mean?

Pros:

  • For the business with smaller budgets and resources - competitions and promotions will be quicker, easier and cheaper to set up and run through a brand's Timeline.
  • For the user - competitions will be accessible via mobiles and tablets, whereas Facebook apps typically don't work. With 751 million users using Facebook on mobiles, they will now be able to enter more easily - therefore signalling a major improvement for user experience.
  • For Facebook - they benefit from improved data about how users interact and share with their friends, which will obviously help their ad targeting offering.
  • For the brand with deeper pockets - a richer ad profiling tool through improved data,  therefore means increased message relevancy and spend efficiency.

Cons:

  • For the business with smaller budgets and resources - temptation to run competitions more frequently to grow 'likes', may mean they devalue their fan-base grown through non-promotional content. The brand may also find they begin attracting the 'wrong' type of fan and the interaction they increasingly receive lacks genuine sentiment and engagement.
  • For the user - news feeds and Timelines could fill up with shares and likes from friends participating in the contests.
  • For Facebook - users might lose interest in the network by the effects of increased sharing requests from friends, appearance of too much promotional content, or in fact increased advertising through the effects of better targeting data.
  • For the brand with deeper pockets - apps might still be a requirement where entries are received in volume and data capture is a long-term strategy.
  • And for the developers that have been providing the compliant apps?It doesn't take a genius to realise their business model might need a re-think.

What do you think of the new change?

By Rhian Harris (was Simms)

Rhian Harris is an online marketing all-rounder and guest blogger for Smart Insights. With over a decade of experience of all digital media and ecommerce from utilities, travel, charity and retail sectors, Rhian is now a digital marketing consultant working with businesses to deliver and optimise their performance on any aspect of their strategy. IDM qualified, Rhian also contributes to the Econsultancy blog and other expert websites as well as her own business, Consult&C Digital. You can connect with Rhian on LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

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