like thumbs up FacebookIn August, Facebook announced changes to its promotions rules in its Pages terms. Basically, Facebook has removed the third-party app requirement to run Facebook contests and promotions.

What does this mean? It makes it easier for small and mid-size businesses to directly run a contest or promotion from their Facebook business page timeline. Larger businesses using third party services such as Wildfire and Vitrue will probably continue to do so due to ease of use.

The rules change gives more flexibility for businesses to offer promotions on the fly and for free. The flipside is that these types of promotions will have to be manually run increasing chance of error and creating extra work for employees running the promotions.

Now Facebook promotions and contests can run on the business page timeline and in third party applications.

Facebook outlines the following guidelines. Businesses can:

  • 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

One thing that has not changed is that businesses can’t run promotions on personal Facebook timelines.

There are also tagging guidelines for businesses that Facebook specifies:

  • It’s OK to ask people to submit names of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize
  • It’s not OK to ask people tag themselves in pictures of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize

These guidelines ensure tagging accuracy for brands so people aren’t tagged in content that they don’t actually appear in.

For more information regarding their promotions policies, check out the downloadable Promotion Guidelines, which includes best practices for running promotions through Facebook.

How will these changes affect your business Facebook page?

Image courtesy of basketman /