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Facebook Contests 101

You have set up a Facebook Page for your business and now you decide to find a way to increase brand awareness, gain exposure and learn more about your customers.
You decide to run a contest or an offering for your Facebook Page’s fans and attract new ones at the same time. But did you know that such promotions must comply to Facebook’s Promotions Guidelines

See below some of the key points as of May 11, 2011:

  1. Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or an app on a Page Tab.
  2. Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
    a. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
    b. Acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
    c. Disclosure that the participant is providing information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion.
  6. You must not notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles (timelines) or Pages.
What all of the above actually mean? In order to run a contest or a promotion on Facebook, a Facebook Application is required. Asking fans to write on your page’s wall, post a photo or like something in order to participate to a contest or promotion is forbidden. If Facebook gets a report of a contest/promotion of this nature reserves the right to shut it down.
Still think you can run a contest on your page’s wall? For best results you will most definitely need a Facebook canvas app designed to follow Facebook’s Guidelines ie you will need a Facebook contest app!

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