facebook promotion guidelines Social Media Marketing

Facebook Promotion Guidelines Updates: It’s Easier to Run Promotions

August 28, 2013
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Facebook has just announced an update to the Facebook promotion guidelines in order to make it much easier for businesses to run promotions on Facebook.


  • It was against Facebook’s promotion guidelines to run a promotion on your Facebook page wall requiring people to comment, like, or share something in order to enter.
  • In addition, Facebook required that all promotions be administered by a 3rd party app. This has been the largest point of friction for most brands wanting to build their brands on Facebook.

Here are the updates:

  • Facebook no longer requires promotions to be administered through 3rd party apps.
  • Promotions can be administered on page timelines and in apps on Facebook.
  • Businesses can collect entries by having users post on their page, leave a comment, or like a post.
  • Businesses can collect entries by having users message the page.
  • Likes can now be used as a voting mechanism.
  • Promotions CANNOT be administered on personal timelines.

In addition, Facebook has said that “accurate tagging” is required in promotions.

“In order to maintain the accuracy of Page content, our Pages Terms now prohibit Pages from tagging or encouraging people to tag themselves in content that they are not actually depicted in.”

Here’s what this means:

“Businesses can ask people to submit names of a new product for a chance to win a prize.”

“Businesses cannot ask people to tag themselves in pictures of a new product for a chance to win a prize.”

For full information, you can see the announcement on Facebook: It’s now Easier to Administer Promotions on Facebook

Facebook’s promotion guidelines

With these new changes, Facebook has, of course, updated their page guidelines. Here is what the promotions section of the guidelines now says:


  1. If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:
    1. The official rules;
    2. Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and
    3. Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals)
  2. Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
    1. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
    2. Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
  3. Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries” is not permitted).
  4. We will not assist you in the administration of your promotion, and you agree that if you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk.

Key takeaways:

  • If you run a promotion on Facebook, you’re still responsible for the lawful operation of the promotion, which means you need to have your official rules in order.
  • The promotion requires a complete release of Facebook by each entrant, and you must acknowledge that Facebook is not endorsing, sponsoring, or administering the promotion.
  • Running your promotion on your Facebook page is done at your own risk.
  • Promotions cannot be administered on personal timelines. In other words, you cannot run a giveaway, contest, etc. on your personal profile.

For more information, you can download a PDF containing Facebook’s new promotion guidelines, as well as recommended best practices: Promotion Guidelines

What does this mean for businesses?

There are a few new benefits with this update, but some things remain unchanged.

For one, dealing with setting up a Facebook app to run a promotion is now unnecessary.

However, running a promotion on your own page will require more manual effort than through a third-party app; these apps often help with law compliance, choosing winners, and managing promotions.

There are other potential problems that may be highlighted in the weeks following this change.

It will now be much easier for people to cheat in promotions, either by creating fake profiles or by sourcing services like Fiverr to help a contest entry get more likes.

If you want your promotion to spread across multiple social platforms, hosting it on your Facebook wall works heavily against that.

Finally, if you’re running a promotion on your Facebook wall, it will be hard to collect information from your audience, like an email address.

If you’re going to run promotions through Facebook, consider the motivation behind running them in the first place.

If your business runs promotions to build an email list of potential leads, then Facebook’s policy change isn’t a big deal for you—you’ll still probably want to use a 3rd party service. For brands that are very Facebook-centric, this policy update is a boon.

Avatar for Giancarlo Massaro

Giancarlo is the co-founder of ViralSweep, the viral marketing platform for businesses. Connect with him on Twitter.