Facebook Promotion Guidelines
Keep up with and understand the rules around running a contest or sweepstakes on Facebook, so your next promotion can be a success :)
There have always been a lot of questions pertaining to Facebook promotion guidelines, so we’re here to help and set the record straight. On this page, we’ll give you a digestible guide of what you can & cannot do when it comes to running a giveaway on Facebook, a breakdown of where to read more about the rules, some tips/tricks, and best practices to help you navigate Facebook’s rules.
As Facebook’s rules and terms evolve, expect this page to be updated with the latest and most up-to-date information. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below.
Facebook Promotion Guidelines Explained
Here, we’ll give you a quick breakdown of Facebook promotion guidelines. Continue reading below to get a better understanding of how we arrived at these rules.
✔ You’re responsible for your promotion – Facebook isn’t. You must have a set of rules and eligibility requirements in your promotion, and you must include a statement of release in your rules that Facebook has nothing to do with the promotion (get a statement of release here).
✔ You’re allowed to run your promotion on your page timeline, or within a third party app.
✔ You cannot ask entrants to share your giveaway on their personal timeline or with their friends as a means of entry. Any kind of action that involves a personal timeline or friend connection isn’t allowed (tagging, messaging, etc).
✔ You can have entrants ‘like’ or comment on your page’s status update as a means of entry.
✔ You cannot have entrants ‘like’ your page as a means of entry.
✔ You cannot encourage people to create second accounts; be mindful of your promotion rules if you might think you’re doing this by mistake.
Note: Understand that the rules above pertain to promotions that are run on Facebook, but also promotions that are advertised on Facebook, whether that’s through a status update, promoted post, or ad. If you’re running a giveaway on your website, and you tell your fans through a status update, your giveaway must adhere to these terms.
Facebook Promotion Guidelines: An In-Depth Look
Several years ago, there was a page on Facebook that was specifically set aside for promotion guidelines. While that page no longer exists, there are four sections of Facebook’s terms you should be mindful of before running a promotion on Facebook:
- Page Guidelines - rules you need to follow if you have a Facebook page
- Platform Policies - rules specifically for developers of apps that integrate with Facebook
- Community Standards - a guide every Facebook user should become familiar with
- Statement of Rights and Responsibilities - better known as terms of service
In the sections below, we’ll break down these specific areas to help show you how we arrived at the summary of the rules stated above.
Facebook Page Guidelines
If you have a Facebook page and haven’t read them yet, we recommend reading through them at least once. This page discusses subjects like tagging, how data is used, Facebook offers, and cover photos. Read Facebook Page Guidelines here.
Towards the bottom of the page, there’s a section of the page guidelines that specifically addresses promotions. It states:
These rules pertain to promotions that are run on Facebook as well as those promotions that are shared on Facebook. If you’re running a giveaway on your blog, and you tell your fans about your giveaway through a status update, for example, your giveaway must adhere to these terms.
You’re responsible for the promotion, and Facebook wants you to make sure it’s clear to your entrants that Facebook has nothing to do with your promotion. You must include a statement in your rules that Facebook has nothing to do with the promotion.
You’re allowed to run your promotion on your page timeline, or within a third-party app. But you cannot ask entrants to share your giveaway on their personal timeline or with their friends as a means of entry. Any kind of action that involves a personal timeline or friend connection isn’t allowed.
On the page, it states that, as a Facebook business page, you must comply with Facebook’s community standards just as a personal page would. Additionally, if you have any apps installed on your page, they must comply with the Facebook platform policies.
Facebook Platform Policy
The Facebook platform policy contains the rules that app developers (like Rafflecopter) need to follow in order to build an app that integrates with Facebook. Read Facebook Platform Policies here.
If you’re not an app developer, this shouldn’t be of huge concern. But, if you’re using a 3rd party app, there is still some responsibility on your shoulders to make sure the app you’ve chosen isn’t breaking any rules. The page guidelines mention that this is your responsibility:
So how does this affect running promotions on Facebook?
If you build an app that integrates with Facebook you must adhere to several rules:
- Build a quality product
- Give people control
- Protect data
- Encourage proper use
- Follow the law
Under the ‘Encourage proper use’ rule, there’s a sentence that states “Only incentivize a person to log into your app, enter a promotion on your app’s Page, or check-in at a place. Don’t incentivize other actions.”
This means that as app developers, we cannot build an app that allows you to give an incentive to those that like a page or share a post. Here’s a paragraph taken from Facebook’s developer blog when these platform policy updates were announced that offers more detail:
You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, Facebook wants its users to like your page because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives.
Facebook Community Standards & Terms
The Facebook community standards are a set of guidelines written for all Facebook users that describe what type of sharing is allowed on Facebook, what type of content is allowed, and generally describe how to behave respectfully on Facebook. Read the Facebook Community Standards here.
Additionally, we’ll touch on the Facebook statement of rights and responsibilities in this section. These are the terms that any end user of Facebook agrees to when creating a Facebook account. Read the Facebook Terms of Service here.
We recommend that you become familiar with both, especially if you use Facebook a lot. It’s an easy and informative read. But the sections of the community standards and terms that we’ll focus on are the rules that state each person is allowed to have one Facebook account, and that account should be using real identity.
Running a giveaway that encourages entrants to create another Facebook account is something that should be avoided. You don’t have to be directly asking entrants to create a second Facebook account either. If you have a promotion set up that encourages inauthentic behavior that would drive them to create a new account and use that to enter in place of the account tied to their real identity, you need to rethink your strategy.
This point is driven home in the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities section that discusses ‘Registration and Account Security’ and the Community Standards section that discusses ‘Using Your Authentic Identity’.
Facebook Promotion Guidelines: A Change History
Facebook promotion guidelines have been updated quite a bit in the last five years. Here are some dates and blog posts associated with their changes that we’ve written in the past. Moving forward, this section will be updated as Facebook’s guidelines and terms continue to evolve.
This page is current as of August 2016.
- November 2014: Rafflecopter Updates & An Alternative to Fan-Gating
- October 2014: Facebook Platform Policy Updates & Upcoming Changes
- August 2014: Facebook Platform Policy Updates: What You Need to Know
- August 2013: Facebook Promotion Guidelines Update: What You Need To Know
- August 2012: Facebook Giveaway/Contest Rules & Regulations Explained
- May 2011: Giveaways and Promotions on Facebook: What’s Allowed?
A Statement of Release For Your Next Giveaway
Every promotion needs one! Instead of writing your own, feel free to use the disclaimer verbiage in the box below for your promotion’s terms and conditions as an acting statement of release:
Questions? Join the discussion below!
If you have any questions or comments about the material above, or want to run something by us, please feel free to add to the conversation below!