Facebook changes its promotion rules

Small-budget marketers rejoice Marketers no longer have to build apps to run contests on Facebook. The social network updated its rules about promotions Tuesday, removing some of the barriers for brands, including the requirement that Facebook apps be used for every promotion. Brand Page Timelines may now be used to run contests, meaning native functions […]

Russ Martin August 28, 2013

Small-budget marketers rejoice

Marketers no longer have to build apps to run contests on Facebook. The social network updated its rules about promotions Tuesday, removing some of the barriers for brands, including the requirement that Facebook apps be used for every promotion.

Brand Page Timelines may now be used to run contests, meaning native functions such as likes, comments and posts on a brand page can now be used as contest entries. Prior to this, all entries had to be within an app, making it difficult for marketers to increase engagement through contests.

“With this update we’re making it easier for businesses of all sizes to run promotions on Facebook,” said a Facebook Canada spokesperson. “What this means is that businesses that previously may not have had the resources to build a contesting app will now be able to engage fans through promotions directly on their Facebook page.”

Though some marketers were already using their Timeline pages this way, doing so broke Facebook’s rules and could have resulted in the social network shutting down a brand’s page.

For marketers with tight budgets, the change means not having to earmark budget for building an app each time they want to run a promotion.

“This is huge news for brand pages, especially the smaller ones who simply don’t have the budget to hire a developer and pay for a full build,” said Shannon Hunter, a social media strategist at Dare, on her blog. “Charities with limited resources and budgets are probably jumping up and down right now.”

The change will also be welcomed by small businesses, a group Facebook has been actively targeting as advertisers through a series of initiatives, including a Canada-wide contest of its own that pairs small businesses with leading media agencies that launched earlier this month.