New Facebook Contest & Promo Rules

Facebook Promotional Guidelines for Contest 2013

Just hours ago Facebook released breaking news of its new and loosened Facebook Contest and Promotions Rules and Terms of Service.

These are published under Facebook’s Page Promotion Terms as well as Facebook’s downloadable Promotion Guidelines. In short you can run contests in a simple way by asking for a Like, Comment, or a Message (not a share). Third party apps use are no longer a requirement. From August 2013 Facebook Contest Rules will never be the same again!

This change makes it easier to run promos, and it will save you time and money. It makes it easier to start Facebook marketing, and begin to reach early goals. This is especially good news if you are in a lean start up phase.

What does Facebook regard as Promotions?

Facebook suggests these:

  • Entry/registration
  • Element of chance
  • Giveaway or prize

What has Facebook changed with its Competition and Promotion rules?

  • Facebook no longer requires third party apps to administer competitions
  • in other words – it is now legal to use the Page timeline to promo competitions with no app

Can Facebook Page Administrators still use apps?

Yes you can still use apps. Facebook gives Pages permission to administer promotions via their Page tabs and apps as long as the promotion is run according to Facebook’s promotion guidelines. Do I recommend using third party apps still? Yes, definitely, as soon as your budget allows. Apps are a benefit for gathering email addresses for long term relationships, market education and promotion, and analytics. Apps allow you to be in control of your database, and your marketing.

Why is Facebook making this change to its Contests, Competitions and Promotions rules?

  • ‘Facebook wants to make it easier for marketers to create and administer  Contests, Competitions and Promotions
  • it benefits companies of all sizes
  • it aligns its policies’

New Facebook Contest rules Aug 2013

What CAN you do with Contests, Competitions and Promotions?

since the 27th August 2013 change Facebook Pages can:

  • ‘Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post. Note – ‘sharing’ is not in this list!

  • Collect entries by having users message the Page

  • Use an app to promo


This is a bit like using Facebook likes as a voting mechanism.

What can you NOT do with Contests, Competitions and Promotions?

since the 27th August 2013 change?

  • Tagging: Facebook prohibits Pages from tagging or encouraging people to tag themselves in content that they are not actually depicted in. So, it’s not OK to ask people tag themselves in pictures of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize
  • Clients must not administer a promotion on a personal Timelie or Profile Page. This has not changed.’
  • Can’t ask people to take part in a promotion by liking, sharing, or posting something on their Personal Timeline. All must be done on the Facebook Page


Note key elements:

  • that as the policy does not permit ‘share’
  • the policy does not permit this interaction on Personal Timelines / Personal  Profiles
  • tagging is a no, no.

Why are Facebook Competition interactions limited to Pages?

  • Facebook wants high quality content with caring Page with Fan interaction
  • Privacy control is another issue. Confining interaction to the Page enables fans to control, choose & ‘limit visibility of their interaction to only themselves, friends or to a custom group of people ‘
  • Technically it is not possible for ‘Pages to access all of the entries that people post on their own Timelines unless these entries are public.’

What are the benefits of Facebook competitions with no contest app?

  • SAVES TIME – simply create post that requires people to like, comment and message for a chance to enter and win the contest. The post will show in the Facebook’s News Feed. Simple, easy, no learning curve, no software
  • SAVES MONEY – it’s FREE. No apps to lease or buy. Less graphics to design. Spend the money on the prize and on ads to promote the competition and grow your fan base instead!
  • SAVES EFFORT – easier for people to enter a contest. In the industry we anticipate this will make it easier for people to see and interact with your contest.
  • MOBILE FRIENDLY –  The contest will be as mobile friendly as Facebook is (Apps tabs are not mobile friendly.). No more concerns about whether contest is mobile friendly or not.
  • STRESS FREE – no worries about which is the best app to use – if you decide on the ‘no app’ way
  • INTERACTIVE – competitions are a great way to get fans to talk and interact with you – on your Page

If a couple of clients follow through with their plans, I will soon be testing competitions with some fairly new Facebook Pages. Come back to this bog to see the results using these new and loosened Facebook contest rules.

What are the disadvantages of Facebook competitions with no contest apps?

  • WILL NOT BUILD LIKES – without an app you will get comments, but you won’t build likes. Apps require ‘likes’ to enter
  • WILL NOT BUILD AN EMAIL LIST – without an app you will not build an email opt in database. With an app as people join the contest they also opt in to your database.
  • LESS BRANDING OPPORTUNITY – strong branding and looking professional attracts.
  • LESS PROFESSIONAL – while no apps & posting to the timeline is a simple, it is also a less professional method. For those with design and programming skills, an alternative to using third party apps, is to set up a landing page .

How To Run a Contest from Your Fan Page Timeline in 2013

  1. Plan the competition. Write a post telling your fans about the contest (graphics & ads will help a lot!), choose a winner and give away the prize. Promote the completion.
  2. Or after competition planning, use a third party app to host the competition. Choose a winner and give away the prize. Promote the completion. Promote the completion.
  3. Or with competition planning, set up a landing page to lead capture, Write a post / display graphics telling your fans about the contest, choose a winner and give away the prize. Promote the completion.

More info on Facebook Promotion Guidelines 

For info on Facebook contest apps  and pre- August 2013 Facebook contest rules head on over to this post

Interested jn the legal implications of the new Facebook Promotional Guidelines and contest rules?

You will find this link on Facebook Promotion Guidelines handy for the official word from Facebook

Want help with your Facebook Ads and Contests?

If you need a hand with planning your Facebook competitions, using Facebook apps, and planning or implementing Facebook Ads (yes, you need them to work hand in hand with your competitions) then ask me!

Chargeable Options:

1. Q & A session

2. Coaching or training

3. Consulting – done for you planning

4. Consulting – done for you planning and implementation

Contact me: The very best places you can reach me on are or  (if this site was a fully fledged website I’d be using automated landing pages and automated forms). A new website is in early planning stages!

Info I will need in your initial enquiry are: your Facebook page url, your personal profile url, website, estimated Facebook Ads / Competition campaign start date, budget, which chargeable option you’d like to use. We will talk about other planning needs when we get started.

Looking forward to helping you!


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