In Tuesday’s post, Small Business Facebook Contests: 7 Common Mistakes to Avoid, Irina (Pagemodo’s marketing manager) talked about the importance of adhering to Facebook’s many rules for running promotions through the social network. Not only can your contest get shut down if you don’t, your company’s page might be taken down as well [shudder].

But what are Facebook’s requirements when it comes to promotions, contests, and giveaways? Glad you asked. Below we’ll go through a summary of the dos and don’ts in terms that are a little easier to understand than what’s available on Facebook’s webpage.

So here you are – the summary version of Facebook’s promotion guidelines.

Facebook is very clear that the guidelines it lays out for promotions only relate to Facebook’s terms. This means that you are also responsible for making sure that your promotion also complies with any local, national, or international regulations that might apply.

1. Use an app on to administer your contest. This can be a Canvas Page or a Page App. Try something like, perhaps, the new Facebook Contests tool from Pagemodo.

2. Include in your contest entry form some language that releases Facebook from any responsibility for, or association with, your contest. (“In no way sponsors, endorses, administers, etc. etc.)

3. Be specific in telling participants who will be receiving their information. (“By entering, you are providing Pagemodo, not Facebook, with your personal information.”)

1. Use Facebook features and functions as a way for users to enter or vote in your contest. This includes “Like this post to enter!” and “Comment on this photo to win!” or “Vote by liking your favorite photo!” (You can, however, use actions like checking in at a Place or liking your actual Facebook Page.)

2. Use Facebook to notify the contest winners. This includes direct messages, chats, or Wall posts. Instead use the email or phone number you collected when they entered. (Does this one make a ton of sense? No. Does that matter? Still no.)

Facebook does make changes to its rules and regulations on a fairly regular basis. So make sure before you start any new promotion on your page that you visit Facebook’s Page Guidelines and make sure you’re still covered.

About the Author: Sarah Matista is the Online Content Specialist and resident blogger at Pagemodo. Loves social media, branding, whales. Get more from Sarah on Pagemodo’s Blog and Google+.

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