Facebook is continually changing their Facebook Page Guidelines. They change so often it can be hard to keep up. There are still frequent questions about what is legal -- or not -- when it comes to running a promotion through Facebook. In recent months, Facebook dropped a majority of their guidelines.
Here is a look at five Facebook Page guidelines that no longer exist.
PREVIOUS GUIDELINE: Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or a Page App.
In August 2013, Facebook announced that businesses could administer Facebook Promotions on their Timeline or using a third-party application. If you decide to host a promotion on your Timeline, but still want to collect some user data, it's worth looking into a Comment/Like importer tool so you can collect your entries into a database for easy winner selection.
PREVIOUS GUIDELINE: You must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your app. For example, you must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall.
Seeing as businesses are now allowed to run promotions on their Timeline, Facebook was forced to remove this guideline that said Page admins could not use Facebook features as a means to enter. With Timeline promotions, fans are able to Like or Comment as a means of entering. However, you are still not able to require fans to "Share" a post on their personal Timeline or with their friends as a means of entering a contest.
PREVIOUS GUIDELINE: You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion.
Along with the previous point, once Facebook allowed promotions to be run on the Timeline, they also had to allow Facebook features, such as Liking a comment or post, to be a means of voting on a promotion. For example, you could host a Timeline promotion asking people to comment on the post and then "Like" the comments to vote for their favorite entry.
PREVIOUS GUIDELINE: You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant.
As of today you are allowed to use "Liking" a Page as a means to enter a promotion. The only thing we get hung up on is how you know if someone has Liked your Page to enter your promotion or has Liked it for another reason. We find this very hard to track, therefore we don't recommend businesses using the "Like" feature as a sole means of entry. However, if you wanted to use the "check-in" feature as a means of entry, that could lead to an interesting and new contest for fans.
PREVIOUS GUIDELINE: You must not notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles (timelines) or Pages.
Facebook recently decided they were okay with business Page's notifying contest winners via status updates, private messages, chat, etc. Here are 5 legal ways you can contact winners today.
Now that we've gone over the Facebook promotion guidelines that no longer exist, lets take a quick look at the most recent guidelines you need to be aware of as a business Page on Facebook.
TODAY'S FACEBOOK PROMOTION GUIDELINES
Date of Last Revision: December 18, 2013
I recommend bookmarking the Facebook Page Guidelines and checking in at least once a quarter to see what Facebook has been up to. Often they adjust their guidelines without notifying users.