Facebook changed its rules for business page competitions at the end of August this year. Under the new rules, page owners are free to run competitions on their own timelines without using a third-party app. Hooray!

You ARE now allowed to ask Facebook users to enter your competition by:

› Liking or commenting on your page post
› Messaging the page
› Voting by liking a post or photo

However, there are some strict no-nos. Facebook are very clear that promotions can only be administered through pages or apps and “Personal Timelines must not be used to administer promotions”.

You are definitely NOT allowed to:

› Ask users to share a post or photo to be entered (e.g. “share on your timeline to enter”)
› Ask users to post something on their own or a friend’s timeline to enter
› Ask users to like your page to enter (i.e. asking people to like a post on the timeline is fine but you cannot make them like your page)
› Ask people to tag themselves in content “that they are not actually depicted in” (so asking for them to suggest a name for a new product is fine, asking them to tag themselves in a picture of a new product is not.)

Additionally you must give potential entrants information about:

› The official rules (for example a link to your competition rules on your website)
› Offer terms and eligibility to enter (for example closing date, limitations to number of entries per person, minimum age, residency restrictions etc)
› Rules and regulations of the promotion and prizes (for example registration and regulatory approval)
› Acknowledgement that the promotion is not in any way associated with Facebook

What this means for your small business:

As long as you follow the rules, you can increase your customer engagement and gain more fans quickly and easily for little more than the cost of a competition prize. Whilst it may seem disappointing you’re not allowed to tell your fans to share your page or post on their timeline in exchange for their competition entry, this doesn’t mean your loyal fans will not share interesting content. Plus, Facebook’s algorithm showing ‘high quality content’ in news feeds means, if your content is deemed worthy, your post may still show in non-fans’ news feeds.