Facebook is adapting to become even more business friendly with yet another change – this time to its rules regarding contests. After years of only being able to run contests or promotions through apps, businesses can now post them onto their business timeline (personal timelines are still not allowed).
Facebook claim to have made this change to make it easier for businesses to “create and administer promotions on their Facebook”. This change enables entries to be collected through users messaging the page, posting on the page directly or commenting and/or liking a page post. It means businesses can run a contests so easily, by simply posting a text or photo and asking others to comment and like.
However, with this new freedom to run contests comes a restraints on the rules of sharing them and posts. Whereas before, with third-party apps you were permitted to give extra entries for sharing the contest, this is no longer allowed. You can encourage the practice of sharing but you cannot make it a requirement to enter your contest.
Lets talk about the other rules of this Facebook contest change:
- You can allow people to like and/or comment on a post to be entered.
- You can allow people to comment directly onto your timeline to be entered (note: this must be a business timeline)
- You can use likes a voting method with a like button plug in on a website
- Someone can message your page to enter
- You can announce the winner of the contest on your page
- You can’t make it a requirement that someone post on their own personal timeline or a fiends timeline in order to enter
- You can’t require people to tag themselves in photos in order to enter or vote
- You can’t enter someone in your contest who has liked your page
Following this contest rule change and with the above constraints, how do you decide which contest is right for you your business aims? Well the difference between a timeline contest and an app contest on Facebook is simple: a timeline contest will provide you with more engagement at a fast rate and an app contest will provide you with a list of e-mail addresses for connectivity!
Both of these of course come with advantages and disadvantages to help inform your decision. Timeline contests are dead easy to set up, are free and work well on mobile devices, (many apps are not compatible with mobiles) which is a fairly crucial requirement in 2013! However, you cannot re-share the post to inform people multiple times and of course no e-mail addresses are given!
By comparison, app contests do provide e-mail addresses, do allow you to re-share the contest easily and give you more control over the look and feel of it. But, they do not always work on mobile devices and can be costly.
So there you have it – another Facebook change, the rules of the new contest options and the chance to decide what type of contest to go for. Businesses should be jumping for joy!