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Facebook Simplifies Promotions for Brands

2013 September 16

Up until now any Facebook page I’ve come across with the words “Like or Share to Win” has resulted in irritation. Facebook’s Terms and Conditions clearly stated that pages were required to run competitions through third party apps.

But a week or so ago,  Facebook surprised us by relaxing their previously stringent competition rules. Brands are now allowed to run their competitions directly on their page by asking users to either like or comment on a post to enter, using likes as a voting mechanism or entering by messaging the page. As of yet sharing a post as an entry requirement is still banned.

This clearly makes it easier for smaller companies who would prefer not to or are unable to invest in apps. There’s been a mixed reaction from those who work in digital marketing around this turnaround so I thought I’d weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of the rule change.

Ella's Kitchen and partners have made good use of the rule changes.


1) Makes competitions more accessible for small businesses

If you’re a small business with a small audience and want to offer a prize it’s now simpler, faster, easier and free to run a competition.

2) Allows you to spend your budget on Facebook media

If you have a limited budget to spend on a competition, you can now spend it promoting your competition post and have it displayed to more people than your usual organic reach (around 10% of your fans), instead of splashing out on an app.

3) Greater post reach

The higher the amount of engagement on a post the higher its reach is. So if the competition entry mechanic is commenting or liking the post itself, it’s far more likely to have a high reach.



1 )Lack of data capture

For larger brands a big advantage of running a competition through a third party app is that they facilitate easy data capture, allowing brands to increase the size of their e-marketing audience.

2) Manually collating entries

Larger brands or competitions in which a high value prize is given away tend to have a high number of entrants. Manually collating these from the Facebook post and randomly selecting a winner is time consuming and potentially inaccurate. (Although Woobox have sought to minimise these risks by creating a free app that allows you to randomly select a winner from those who have commented or liked on a post.)

3) Risk of Negative Talk around the Brand

Facebook has made it clear that brands must clearly state the Terms & Conditions of competitions run on the page timeline and release Facebook of any liabilities. In competitions such as these, there is a greater risk of contestants talking negatively about the brand if they feel it is not carried out in a fair way.


A fan gate is a great way to build a page audience


 4) No fan gate 

A great advantage of third party apps is that many allow for the installation of a fan gate, making contests a great way to build a page audience. Although brands can make liking a page part of a competition’s Terms & Conditions this rule is harder to enforce.


So are these changes good or bad?

Just as every brand is different, every Facebook community is different so there’s no clear answer to this question.

The changes make things far easier for smaller brands with smaller community sizes and limited budgets.

But for the bigger brands there is still much to be said for the visual appeal and easy data collection that comes with using an app.

Ultimately it comes as little surprise that Facebook have implemented these changes, as well as simplifying things for brand page owners they likely to benefit from an increase in Facebook ad revenue.

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