Calling All Brands: We Want Your Contest Back On Facebook!

Last January 2010, we blogged about the Facebook Rules for running contests. As we now know, most of the changes were designed to make a clear separation between the promotion and Facebook itself, and to prevent the promotion from compromising the Facebook experience. They later also added requirements for a minimum ad budget which locked out a lot of smaller businesses from running Facebook contests.

Now Facebook has issued very exciting new promotional guidelines that truly make life simpler and more democratic when it comes to running contests. 360 Social took a close look at the recent changes – here are the key takeaways:

1.Companies can now host promotions ON Facebook (i.e. you don’t have to host the contest OFF anymore) and an ad buy is no longer required to host a promotion. This is great news for smaller companies that may not have big ad budgets.

2. Facebook does not need to approve the promotion before it goes live (but you still have to stick to their promotional guidelines and platform rules.

3. You can only host the contest on a separate application tab, however, and cannot administer the contest on the Wall (this rule isn’t new, but worth re-emphasizing.) Seems like a smart idea as it keeps the News Feed clean.

4. You CAN require that an entrant like a page, before they enter a contest (you just can’t ask them to take other actions for entry – i.e. post a status update, comment on a wall, etc.).

Check out the full guidelines here on the Facebook site.

Question for you: what do you think motivated Facebook to change their rules to allow brands to run promotions on their Facebook page? Do you think it was a victory for customer service or is it prompted by the competitive environment – Twitter getting more savvy about running promotions?