Pick the item that can have your page shut down on Facebook:
- Enter everyone that likes your page automatically into a giveaway for a free oil change.
- Notify your winner by a wall post, saying “Congratulations Mr. Smith, you won a free oil change!”
- Have people post a status update of “My auto dealer rules!” in order to win a free oil change.
And the answer is: ALL THREE.
Facebook has rules in place that make sure any contest you run could be run on a more traditional website. You are not allowed to use any of the cool functions that are Facebook specific to facilitate your promotion.
All contests must have a disclaimer, releasing Facebook from everything having to do with the outcome, entry, or qualifications of the promotion.
Your Facebook promotion must be in a third party application. For those less informed, that means it has to be on its own tab, not built by Facebook. Pages like your wall, info, or photos are pages that Facebook built for you. In order to be compliant, you need to add your promotion onto your site using the “New Apps” section of the “Edit Page” feature.
Understand, these rules are in place to protect Facebook. The last thing that Facebook wants is to expose themselves legally because a company used Facebook to promote a contest. They do not want lawsuits against them. Imagine sitting in a courtroom, and hearing “Well, on FACEBOOK, Company X said I’d get new car if I “Liked” their page. FACEBOOK shouldn’t let Company X say that if it’s not true. Therefore, FACEBOOK should have to give me my Porsche now, since that’s where I read it.”
Does this mean that the Facebook Police are going to come after you if you break their guidelines, or close down your page? Chances are, unless you have a large following, or break them in a major way, your indiscretions will not attract their attention. I recommend against gambling on the fact that you can get away with breaking them.
For a complete list of the rules, click here.