by Alys Drake
I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. Personally, I love the interaction with friends, especially those I don’t get to see often. My marketing background likes it too for the interaction businesses can have with their clients, particularly local businesses and non-profits. However, that’s also the area where I hate it.
Facebook has rules and, for whatever reason, some businesses and non-profits tend to to ignore those rules. “My Facebook page is too small; no one will care if I do this,” many say.
Maybe you’re right. And maybe you aren’t. Do you really want to take the chance of losing all the fans you have worked so hard to get? The one thing that gets me hot is contests.
Almost daily, I see Pages run contests that violate Facebook’s Page Guidelines. “Like this post and we’ll choose a winner from the likes,” they will say. Maybe they think that will get them engagement but it could get their page shut down. The Guidelines say
“Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or a Page App.”
It dosen’t say “maybe” or “sometimes” or “it depends.” The word they use is “MUST.” Also, read this:
“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.
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.You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion.”
It’s pretty clear to me. You must not ask people to like a post, a page, a picture or ANYTHING in order to win a contest. MUST NOT.
This is not hard. And if you are a social media consultant or a marketing and public relations professional, and you allow your clients to do this, it’s YOUR fault when their page goes missing one day.
“We reserve the right to reject or remove Pages for any reason. These terms are subject to change at any time.”