Facebook announced yesterday that they updated their Page Terms and removed the requirement that promotions run on Facebook only be administrated through third party apps. Now pages can administer their promotions on their own Page Timelines and/or continue to use apps like Woobox and Wildfire. Whoa!
What does this mean?
Pages can now collect entries for promotions they are running directly through Facebook’s native products on the Wall and not have to run giveaways, sweepstakes and contests on an app or external website. For example, it is now legal to collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a post, collect entries by having users message the Page and utilize likes on a wall post as a voting mechanism.
Even with this change, there are still some no-no’s when it comes to running a promotion directly on a page. Pages are prohibited from tagging or encouraging fans to tag themselves in content that they are not depicted in. This means that people can’t tag themselves in a picture of your product for a chance to win that product, for instance. And, as before, businesses cannot administer promotions on personal Timelines.
According to the announcement, Facebook hopes to enable more businesses to run promotions. Some small businesses may not have been able to afford or have the know-how and workforce to use a third party app. This opens up promotions to them. Also, many pages were already illegally running promotions so the announcement sort of grandfathers them in to compliance with Facebook’s Terms.
It also will allow brands to set up promotions quickly. There will be less set up time and planning from the back-end if you decide at the last minute you want to do a giveaway.
Promotions will now allow for more engagement on Pages!
Any brand looking to use a promotion to foster more engagement on their page should be really excited to concentrate the activity on the Wall! Of course small businesses and marketers who have smaller budgets are also excited over the news.
Prior to this announcement, a lot of energy was spent using wall posts to direct fans to an entry tab or website to upload an image (or follow whatever entry requirements) and all of the activity that was happening on the page didn’t actually help engagement for the brand on the newsfeed (of course marketers hoped that the user would take the extra step to “share” the entry to their friends).
Overall this is really really good news for brands looking to increase engagement on their Facebook pages.
Is this ALL good news?
It’s something that will definitely change the landscape of Facebook promotions. However, as with any change, be on the lookout for growing pains and new issues to arise. There are a few questions that have popped up over this announcement.
Could the newsfeed become inundated with “like this photo to win” and “comment now and receive a year’s worth of gummy bears” and turn spammy? Will some seemingly dodgy promotions creep up with no gate-keepers involved? Will marketers’ heads turn grey trying to hunt down the winner from a random like and make sure it was a qualified entry?
Just because promotions will be run on the Wall doesn’t mean that the FTC will allow you to run them without rules either. Brands will still need to follow all FTC and international protocol for running promotions legally…beyond Facebook’s Terms of Service.
Finally, what will happen to third party apps like Woobox and Wildfire? Third party apps help maintain a sense of order to promotions and will likely still be used by businesses and marketers who want the design and customization of promotions. The apps can collect entrants’ email addresses, randomly choose a winner and provide analytics on how the promotion ran, to name a few.
All in All
In summary, we will just have to wait and see how this change plays out and the fate of third party apps. However, this is big, big news! All administrators on Facebook pages need to get familiar with these changes and determine if running a promotion directly through Facebook is the best course of action for their page.