Facebook have just published new guidelines for running draws, giveaways and any other kind of promotions on fan pages. This is very interesting for me as I administer the active PuddleDucks Facebook fan page. I am sure that Facebook have good reasons to cover themselves legally for possible liability from promotions but I feel that these new restrictions are hugely over the top.
I am a big fan of the possibilities for customer engagement on fan pages. In the last six months, our Facebook page has been the most interesting, exciting and successful form of social networking with customers for PuddleDucks. On the page we engage with fans in many ways. Here are some examples that these guidelines say are outlawed in future.
- We run a monthly draw among our fans for a prize of DVD’s, fridge magnets, etc.: NOT ALLOWED
- We communicate the name of the winner on Facebook: NOT ALLOWED
- We occasionally ask fans to post photos and select a winner among them e.g. our recent Halloween pumpkin contest: NOT ALLOWED
- We run occasional fun contests and ask fans to guess by posting their answers by commenting on the status update: NOT ALLOWED
I am not sure what problem Facebook are trying to address here but the new guidelines are complete overkill and if enforced, will alienate small business users of Facebook fan pages. I hope Facebook will reconsider.