Facebook Updates Promotion Guidelines

Last week, Facebook made an important announcement: The company would loosen restrictions on promotions hosted on Facebook. Previously, Facebook had required prior approval or large ad buys to officially host a promotion on Facebook.

However, unless you read Facebook blogs or are a fan of Facebook Pages, it is unlikely you heard about the changes. Understanding the policies is important for marketing communications professionals engaged in product promotions.

In theory, removing these restrictions should make it much easier for Facebook pages to host promotions. In practice, the guidelines have had little effect on the way many Facebook pages are using sweepstakes. Every day, countless pages host contests that violate the Facebook guidelines.

Many of these page editors do not realize they are violating the guidelines, because the guidelines have been poorly publicized and minimally enforced.

The potential consequence is substantial – don’t follow the guidelines and your Facebook company page could be shut down. However there are few, if any, instances of Facebook actually enforcing this threat.

Even with the changes, the restrictions are extensive. We are curious to see if Facebook actually begins implementing the consequences of not following the rules.