Facebook has changed its platform policy for promotions. They can now be administered not only in featured Apps, but on the Page timeline as well.

Competitions such as "Like to win" or "comment to win" are now OK and so is the LIKE button as a voting mechanism. With this quite incredible move, Facebook aims at driving a brand's Page traffic and engagement (and go against what they professed until just yesterday).

Like this to win on Facebook

What will happen to my current promotions and Facebook applications?

Nothing. "This policy update will not affect any current promotions that are running and Businesses can still use Page tabs and canvas apps to administer promotions". In the future, based on the campaign, you should decide if featuring an app or just a status/picture with a "Like or Comment to win" the competition is the better alternative.

Do I still need Facebook apps?

Absolutely. And here are a few reasons why:

  1. No app would mean no Like Gate or, as we call it, no Like Page. If you do not use Facebook apps, every participant of your competition can be just a random user that saw the pic on his news feed. Your competition might end with 1000 participants and 0 new likes to the Page. What you should aim is that 100 % of participants will also like your Page. For that, you need a fan-gate inside an app.
  2. Having no app also shortens the time engaging with the brand. How long does it take to like a picture and go away? With a Facebook app users spend time with your brand, increasing your brand awareness.
  3. Only in applications you can have precise analytics to follow up on ROI.
  4. No marketing leads. More of this below.

[Tweet "Are users engaging with your app on Facebook? It's called #BrandAwareness."]

How do I collect entries if I don't use a Facebook app?

Collecting entries is now possible "by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post" and "by having users message the Page".

For a small brand with no newsletter or mailing list, this might be a good and inexpensive solution in order to reward a random Facebook user, but a bigger enterprise cannot collect manually every single entry and use those entries as marketing leads. You can only collect user data if you have explicit consent from that person. Therefore, Facebook Apps will still play a unique role of collecting marketing leads on Facebook.

Like to vote but don't tag yourself

The LIKE button can now be used as a voting mechanism and this is a positive change, it will increase stories created inside apps and on the Page and it's easier for users to understand.

However, it’s not anymore OK to ask people tag themselves in pictures in exchange for a chance to win a prize.

The good, the bad & the ugly of changing in policies for promotions on Facebook

The good part is for sure the possibility to use the Like button as a voting system.

The bad is that one point might create confusion in marketers: you can use like and comment but not share.

  • "Like and Comment to win" is OK.
  • "Share to win" is not ok.

The grey area is thin and easy to fall in.

The ugly is the risk that our news feeds will be spammed with pictures that have been liked and/or commented just to enter a competition.

As a marketer, I would like my fans to spend time with my brand, like my page, come back tomorrow for new and exciting content.

I don't want them to leave my Page after just one like to a picture. The time engaged with a brand in that case is so little that I just can't see it as an advantage.

See public official releases from Facebook:

1-sheeter pdf: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BxVxbs-S2Kp5bk1xZl81RnZXUGM/edit?usp=sharing
Facebook blog: https://www.facebook.com/facebookforbusiness/news/page-promotions-terms