Managing Promotions on Facebook (or, How We Spoke to a Live Person at Facebook)
CNN online ran an interesting article this week, “At Facebook, customer help from a real person can be hard to find.”
From our own experience in trying to contact a “live” person at Facebook earlier this year, I have to agree. But for us, we did find that there IS at least ONE way to snag a live person (even if it takes some time)…If you plan to spend at least $10,000 in advertising on Facebook, then you are assigned a sales rep who can answer questions, assist with your advertising efforts, etc. And while it’s not quite the same as for those seeking “general” customer service assistance, it does get you to a real person.
In our case, ND&P staffer Betsy Parkins was trying to secure Facebook-required approval to set up a promotion on our Facebook page. If you’re curious – she blogged about her efforts in a series (read Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four). The post below wraps up that series with what we learned when we finally got a live person.
ND&P Speaks to a Real Person at Facebook to Discuss Promotion Policies
How to run a “legal and approved” promotion on Facebook
(By Betsy Parkins)
$10,000 a month, minimum, and Facebook pre-approval. That’s right, that’s what it will cost you to conduct a Facebook promotion entirely on Facebook. But please, don’t quote Facebook on that, “per their request.”
Let me set the stage for this blockbuster. For several weeks this past summer 2010 ND&P pursued Facebook to secure approval of a contest for our Fan Page. We wanted to give away a board game.
We knew it was important to follow Facebook’s rules – namely – that any promotion run strictly on Facebook must be pre-approved by Facebook. So we made many online requests for a Facebook sales rep. Read about our odyssey.
Finally, we successfully arranged a call with a Facebook sales rep, “Bob” [name changed per Facebook sales rep’s request, no kidding], who agreed to discuss our promotion and answer any other questions we had.
We learned pretty quickly that Facebook’s promotions guidelines are a little unclear. In a nutshell, though, Facebook won’t allow any contests (prize giveaways) on Facebook – unless you get prior approval, you use a third-party application or you simply promote the contest on Facebook but run it elsewhere. We break it down for you further:
What you CAN’T do.
You can’t conduct a contest within Facebook without prior approval and an investment of $10,000. Bob let us know that if you are thinking about a promotion for your Facebook page you must first contact a Facebook sales rep, then submit a written document outlining the promotion (prize, what participants must do to win, etc). You then wait for approval which he indicated, usually takes a few days to a week.
You must also purchase either “home page” engagement ads or “rest of site” ads (ads appearing on pages other than the home or “news feed” page.) The minimum investment is $10,000.
Bob also outlined a number of other regulations. For instance, under no circumstance, can you ever ask your Fans to:
- “Status updates” – Comment on your wall to enter to win a prize
- “Upload” – Post a photo or video to enter to win a prize
You can’t notify or contact the winner of your contest using your Facebook page. For instance, you cannot post the winner’s name on your Wall as prize notification or ask the winner for his/her email with a Wall post or via “messages.”
The prize cannot not include any of the following:
(We asked about the “dairy” part since we saw Dairy Queen was giving away Blizzards – Bob responded: “We were advised by outside council [sic] to prohibit dairy products as prizes in contests, but an exception was made for ice cream.” Too bad for the “Got Milk” folks.)
Facebook promotions guidelines are found here.
What CAN you do then? The good news is there are several options.
You can promote a contest on Facebook so long as you:
- Send participants elsewhere, such as your website
- Administer the contest outside of Facebook
- Notify the winner outside of Facebook
You can use a third-party application to run the contest on your Facebook page. The apps are fee-based, and one, Wildfire, is low-budget. Options include (disclaimer – we are using Wildfire but have not used the others and we are not endorsing any of them):
No matter what you decide to do, stay in compliance with Facebook’s promotions guidelines. If you don’t, Facebook has assured us they may take down your Page.
We hope those of you with questions about setting up and conducting promotions on Facebook find our adventures helpful. And if you have tips or tales of your own to share (whether on Facebook promotions or simply reaching a "live" person at Facebook), we'd love to hear them.
(Shaun Amanda Herrmann)