Facebook recently revised its Promotions Guidelines to make it easier for broadcasters (and just about everyone else) to run contests on Facebook. 

Perhaps the biggest change is that stations are no longer required to use an app to administer a contest (although they may continue to use apps and Page tabs if they wish).  Instead, stations may create and run a contest directly on their Page Timeline.  Also significant is that Facebook now allows contest promoters to require users to like a post and/or comment on a post in order to enter a contest, or post something (such as text or a photo) directly to a Timeline to enter.  It’s also ok to use likes as a voting method and announce the winner of a Facebook contest on a Page or in a Timeline.

As before, Facebook still requires “A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant” and an “Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.”  We recommend that stations incorporate both this release and acknowledgement into a contest’s official rules.  (Which, incidentally, we recommend posting or making available via Facebook.)

There are also a few “don’ts” to keep in mind.  Contests cannot be administered on a personal Timeline, and stations can’t tag or encourage people to tag themselves in pictures or other content in which they are not actually depicted.  In addition, Facebook doesn’t allow contests that require users to share a post or photo in order to be entered.

Now that administering contests on Facebook is easier than ever, stations should be even more cognizant of the FCC’s contest rule.  That rule requires broadcasters to (among other things) “fully and accurately disclose the material terms” of contests broadcast on-air.  The rule applies equally to contests conducted wholly on-air, and those conducted primarily online but mentioned or promoted on-air.  In other words, if you encourage listeners or viewers to submit entries to an online contest on-air, you must periodically broadcast the contest’s material terms on-air. 

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