Contests, giveaways, sweepstakes, promotions — what ever you call them, offering consumers a chance at a prize has always been an excellent way for small business to acquire email addresses and drive traffic to their sites. But not on Facebook. Up until now, Facebook insisted on pre-approving all on-site promos and restricted access to only those spending more than $10,000 on advertising.
Facebook said this was necessary to protect themselves in case of a law suit but apparently they are no longer afraid because the restriction is about to be lifted.
According to Inside Facebook, the social media site is removing the pre-approval and financial commitment, thereby opening up the contest option to anyone running a fan page.
This is huge news. Yes, there are other restrictions, but nothing out of line. Mostly they’re legal issues regarding age, alcohol, tobacco, gambling and gasoline (?) and that you must make it clear that Facebook isn’t involved.
They also don’t allow contests that require people to post status updates, contests where you’re entered just by becoming a fan and oddly, you can’t notify the winner through Facebook. Not sure what’s the point of that, but it’s not a deal breaker by any means.
You can see the current guidelines here. They aren’t expected to change much except for the removal of the pre-approval section but the new guidelines, which appear to already be in effect, should show up shortly.
I love giveaways. I enter several a day and I run several a month to help drive traffic to my sites. I’m excited to see how many people take advantage of this change in terms because more Facebook contests, means more ways for me to win!
Will you be running a contest on your Facebook page?