Facebook Contest – The BIG Update

By | August 28, 2013

Facebook Contest ImageFacebook Contest Guidelines has just been updated!!

And this is not the news you should miss. It could be one of the BIGGEST update coming from Facebook as it takes away the key requirement of having a 3rd part app to run contest on the business pages.

Much to the chagrin of many 3rd party app companies, Facebook pretty boldly announced the change on their news page.

Facebook Contest RequirementNot that many businesses always ran Facebook contest using 3rd party apps, but then making it official to actually run without them has many companies worried and it would not be a surprise to see few of them closing down unless they have a Plan B.

Facebook Contest – What are they?

In simplest terms, it is the ability to run promotion or contest ( ‘Like’ our Page to win a FREE Doughnut or solve the puzzle, WIN a Trip) on the business page. Contest/Promotions are usually leveraged by brands to either:

  • Invite more users
  • Encourage engagement
  • Build brand value

What was the rule earlier?

Previously, according to Facebook, any kind of promotional activity – contest, sweepstakes had to go through external tools. Pages were at the risk of being shutdown if they were caught running them on their page, albeit only few of them were really brought down.

What changes now?

Yesterday, Facebook announced:

Promotions may be administered on Page Timelines and in apps


  • Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post
  • Collect entries by having users message the Page
  • Utilize likes as a voting mechanism

What does this really mean?

It only means one thing, brands will no longer require to invest in 3rd party app like Shortstack or Wildfire or Heyo to run Facebook Contest. They can easily ask for Likes or conduct any promotional activity on their own timeline.

And this move really helps small businesses who find it difficult to invest money on those third party apps. They can now easily leverage the new found freedom to run promotions on their own.

These thoughts are echoed by the Facebook spokesperson on her email to AllFacebook

This capability makes it even easier for smaller businesses to help build awareness for a new product, promote the opening of a new location, sell inventory, or advance other business objectives. Say, for instance, a local pizza parlor wants to give away free pizza for a month to the 100th person to like its post. Now the business can do this right on its page (and increase awareness of the post via promoted posts) without needing to work with a third-party to build an app.

Who are affected?

1. Small Business Owners

They make the biggest gain from this move for reasons mentioned above.

2. App Developers

In my opinion, they may not lose too much of the business. Since very few small business invested in their tools to run Facebook contest, the bigger ones will still leverage them. The reason being, these tools have already automated many processes – counting, ability to start/close contest, choosing winner, etc. Big brands will hardly in-house those processes thus very less business loss.

And all the while, it still requires the business owners to abide by certain rules to run Facebook Contest like –

Prohibit Pages from tagging or encouraging people to tag themselves in content that they are not actually depicted in.

So businesses cannot just tag people on a post if they do not appear in that particular post.

In the end, I can only say – Go, rejoice SMBs. This is one update that you SHOULD leverage much. (I see many happy faces too)

Your Turn

Yes, I would like to hear your opinion about the latest development.

1. Will Facebook Contest spam the timelines now?

2. Will it be difficult for 3rd Party apps to charge aggressively?

3. Will we see some disruptive marketing strategy?

Do let me know your thoughts.


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