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Facebook Updates Promotional Guidelines, Free Contests for All!

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Facebook has always maintained stringent rules for acceptable marketing standards and behaviors on Facebook, and for years now, the company has placed extreme regulations on third party contests and sweepstakes.

However, a big change came yesterday when Facebook officially announced a change to their long-standing promotional guidelines, which have historically placed a heavy financial and administrative burden on businesses intending to run promotions within the Facebook environment. As of December 1, 2010, promotions on Facebook will no longer require Facebook’s written consent OR a minimum media spend.

In the past, Facebook has required businesses to obtain explicit written approval of their promotions prior to deploying a promotion, contest or sweepstakes within Facebook Pages, applications and custom tabs. In addition to receiving Facebook’s approval, Facebook mandated that businesses support all contests by a minimum $25,000 Facebook Ad buy.

These regulations helped to ensure that businesses operated within Facebook’s terms and conditions, and insulated Facebook from legal pursuits. With the new changes, however, Facebook has opened its promotional doors to businesses of all sizes and varieties, and has eased the process and financial commitment associated with deploying promotions, contests and sweepstakes.

It’s important to note that the most rudimentary of Facebook Promotional rules still apply. Business are still restricted from awarding contest entries to users who post on a wall, upload a photo, post a status update, comment or like a status, or like a Page, check into a Place or connect to Facebook via a third party website. Additionally, businesses are not allowed to notify contest winners through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles or Pages.

In summary, before you start storyboarding your first big Facebook contest, be sure to read the rules and restrictions in Facebook’s newly updated Promotional Guidelines.

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