Chances Are You’re Breaking Facebook Terms of Service

By Rob McNair

One of the best ways to get engagement from your brand’s Facebook fans is to run a promotion, however Facebook has some pretty stringent Terms of Service and Promotion guidelines that brands are required to adhere to, and chances are, you’re breaking them.

The promotion guidelines and Terms of Service have been around for long time now, as of yet it doesn’t seem that anyone is getting punished, but as Facebook enter the stock market things are about to change. Facebook is now a public company, meaning that every aspect needs to be above board, including brands adhering to Terms of Service and Promotion Guidelines.

In order to educate people in this Facebook has launched a new, easy to find policies hub that lays out everything brands need to know in order to run a ‘by the book’ campaign.

Before the introduction of the Facebook policies hub, guidelines and terms of service were so buried in Facebook it was difficult to find them. With the introduction of the the minisite Facebook has made it easily accesible for brands to find the do’s and do not’s when thinking about Facebook campaigns.

Below are some of the most common examples of breaching terms of service by brands:

Cover Photo Violations:

When Facebook rolled out the new look timeline for brands one of the new terms of service that came with it was all call to actions and promotions are prohibited in cover photos. Meaning that asking people to like your page (as with the above example) or offering a discount code to people is forbidden.

Promotion Violations:

This isn’t a new edition to the Facebook promotion guidelines, but it is one if the fundamental things brands need to bear in mind when thinking about a promotion on Facebook.

Facebook promotion guidelines state that brands cannot use any “native Faceboook Apps” to conduct promotions, they also state that no promotion can announce winners on the wall or through Facebook.

Facebook’s updated Terms of Service and promotion guidelines have restricted brands even more into what promotions are considered above board. This move does not come as surprise as Facebook try to prove to investors that the are moving more and more towards ads and stories.

Have you encountered any of the above when trying to run a promotion? Are you guilty of breaching Facebook’s terms of service? Let us know in the comments.

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This post was written by Rob McNair

Rob has experience advising some of the worlds most iconic brands. He thrives on helping improving social media knowledge within organisations with the ultimate goal of making theirs brands more social, transparent and accountable.