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Facebook contest policies suck

Do not shoot the messenger on this one. We're about to give you very specific instructions on using your Facebook Business Page. You might not believe us. If you choose to ignore this Gold Nugget, we will simply laugh and point a finger at you when you get zapped.

Was that blunt enough for you? Please give us some attention for this one.

First, understand that Facebook needs to make money. They have a mostly free system, but somehow they have to pay their bills. From our point of view, their rules are put in place to prevent you from making money with their free system unless they get a cut of the profits.

In November 2009, they announced a set of new rules that totally distorted the ability for businesses to use contests to gain new fans and to protect their branding.

Here's a very strong list of what you should not do. If you get caught... well, we told you so.

1. You cannot run any contest that requires a user to take action; e.g., you cannot require them to upload a photo, or post a status message or click your Like button.

2. You cannot reward someone for asking their friends to Like you. That's an action.

3. You cannot give away anything free, not even a $25 gift card to someone who posts something on your Wall; e.g., you cannot ask them to post a guess of the upcoming football game score. Again, that's an action.

4. There are a few variations of the Facebook logo. You are only allowed to use the "f" logo on your website. This is the single letter "f" in a rounded corner box. The full name "facebook" on the blue background is trademarked for use on only.

5. You are not allowed to alter the "f" logo at all. Wherever you use it, it must be the original you get from their website.

6. When you tell someone to find your personal account on Facebook you need to use the expression "friend me on Facebook." But when you want someone to find your business page you need to use the expression "Like my page on Facebook" or "Become a Fan on Facebook."

7. You are not allowed to notify a contest winner through the Facebook system. That means you cannot announce it on your Wall, nor send them an email. You must know their real email and notify them directly.

We already know many jewelers breaking some or all of these Facebook terms of use. Some people lead a charmed life and get away with everything. Some don't. Don't expect to ask for forgiveness on any of these if you get caught, mostly because there is no one to talk to unless you have a paid advertising account with them.

You might also be wondering how you will get caught. After all, there are about 600 million users and only 1,000 Facebook employees. How will they find you?

Take a close look at every page, every screen, every user account. They all have a "report this" link at the bottom left. Users are policing other users. All you need is one mad customer to go to your page and click that link.

Worried about bad reports on Yelp? Don't be! A single bad report on Yelp is nothing compared to you losing months of social networking because your mad customer reported you to Facebook.

Although we don't know for sure, we assume that it requires human involvement to review the reported accounts.

Our staff has several ideas how to combat all 7 of these issues listed above. Give us a call for details.

And one final note, albeit a bit ironic; if you liked this Daily Gold Nugget, please post a comment or click the Facebook Like button.
AT: 10/22/2010 11:11:07 AM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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