Facebook announced an update to their Pages Terms that loosens the restrictions on how to run a promotion on their platform. Page admins are no longer limited to 3rd party applications when launching promotions on Facebook. Promotions can now be “administered directly on the Page Timeline and in apps on Facebook”.

According to the announcement, businesses can now:

  • Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post
  • Collect entries by having users message the Page
  • Use likes as a voting mechanism

Important to keep in mind: Businesses still can’t ask users to enter a contest by sharing or posting something on their personal Timeline. .

What does this mean for you? As always, there are pros and cons to consider.

Benefits of running contests/promotions this way:

  1. Simplicity: The update of Pages Terms helps page admins launch quick, simple contests with very little overhead. Using a post, you can launch a contest, ask users to submit through comments, and let users vote through likes. It really doesn’t get much easier than this – and really, people were already doing this despite Facebook’s terms (or perhaps unaware of them)
  2. Engagement: These interactions are sure to get high engagement, which will help your post go viral, and ultimately get a lot of eyeballs on it. The key to these contests will be creating highly visual photo posts, creative calls to action, and of course, convincing incentives that make your fans want to enter.
  3. Mobile Friendly: By allowing contests on a Page’s Timeline, desktop and mobile users will be able to participate in your contests within Facebook. This helps because Facebook still does not have full Page App +support on mobile devices, and Page admins have to hack the system to let mobile users participate – it’s doable, but it’s not pretty. And of course, running a Facebook Ad for your contest will now be as easy as clicking on Boost Post from your Timeline.

Drawbacks:

  1. Low quality leads: Since you can’t collect vital marketing information like email addresses and other contact information through the Timeline, Page Admins who are trying to collect leads for future marketing initiatives will still need to utilize 3rd party apps.
  2. Time consuming and manual: With this update, Facebook did not release any new tools to help administrators manage such promotions. Thus, anyone that decides to run a contest via a post will have to manually moderate entries and manually choose winners. Depending on the success of your promotion this could be a daunting task.
  3. Legal hurdles: The reality is that Facebook still requires that you operate the contest legally, abide by state and federal laws, and adequately release Facebook of any responsibility for your contest. Regardless of the method you choose to execute your promotion, it is vital to know your local, state, and regional guidelines when it comes to running contents and giveaways.

Regardless of the limitations, reducing the restrictions on contests makes it easier for marketers to engage their fan base and get as creative as possible. Facebook has been reducing restrictions in many areas and this is a welcome trend. It would be great to see them reduce the 20% text limitation of Photo Ads!

Still prefer to use an app to manage your Facebook promotions? Check out Pagemodo’s Contest tabs. What do you think about this latest Page Terms update? Do you see yourself running more contests/promotions going forward?

About the Author: Irina Kabigting is Pagemodo’s Marketing and Social Media Manager.
Get more from Irina on Pagemodo’s Blog and Google+.

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