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Facebook Promotional Do's And Don'ts - The Marketing ShopOver the past few weeks we’ve noticed something of a surge in activity amongst businesses on Facebook that in fact break the promotional guidelines and could technically result in the page being suspended – or closed down!

Facebook is a wonderful platform to incorporate into a promotion or marketing campaign, but you need to be aware that while it can be included as part of a competition, there are guidelines on what is or is not acceptable.  So for today’s post I’m going to share an idea of the types of promotion that could put your page at risk – along with a few simple suggestions to get you on track.

The following are not permitted in Facebook, as they utilise the Facebook platform;

  • Share a photo to enter our competition
  • Comment on our post/update/wall to enter a competition
  • Click like on our post to win
  • Upload your photo to our facebook wall to win
  • Ask your friends to like our page, whoever gets the most new likes for us wins
  • Click “like” on our Facebook page to enter
  • Click like on a photo on our wall or in an album to vote, most likes wins
  • Check-in on Facebook at our business to win
  • Tag yourself in our photo to win

Confused?  Well, that’d be because you see these type of promotions are running on a regular basis through numerous Facebook pages and in most cases they go unnoticed.  But Facebook can and do suspend pages – and they’re not obliged to warn you, or reinstate them.  And you should be aware that while many pages get away with breaking rules – they do after all have in excess of 800,000,000 members – a competitor, disgruntled customer or ex-employee can be your undoing!!

And, just in case you think this wouldn’t happen, I have been asked by one person how they could have their competitors page closed down due to a petty jealousy over fan numbers – something I absolutely refused to advise on, but be warned it’s not difficult to report a page or person!!

Anyway, what would we suggest in order to run a promotion on Facebook that keeps within the rules and can still make an impact?

  • Use an application from a provider such as Wildfire where you can pay per campaign.  With a logo and credit card you can be up and running in little more than a few minutes.
  • Have your customers enter a competition page or entry form on your own website or blog.
  • Do not make it a Facebook exclusive competition – ensure that your customers are 100% aware that Facebook do not endorse, sponsor or support your promotion – it’s your responsibility, not theirs and you will have to add a disclaimer which appears within the promotional guidelines.
  • Winners should be notified by email or phone, never suggest that your fans should tune in at a dedicated time to see you announce the winners.
  • Respect the law – if your prize or business is not suited to a minor, ensure that your page reflects this too.
There are of course other options, but these are just a few to help you get through your first promotion – or to steer a current promotion you may be running in the right direction.
Many will be disappointed to find that they are in fact breaking the rules or argue that it’s the “viral” effect of sharing photos and posting comments that makes it work, but you are risking all of your hard-earned fans and are not paying heed to the type of customer you are attracting – after all, social media is about the quality and not the quanity but that’s another day’s post.
If you need help on creating a promotion, or indeed any further aspect of social media, digital marketing or traditional marketing, you can contact us via our website, through our facebook page by tweeting us or by email.

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