Corporate Eye

What Do the Facebook Promotion Policy Updates Mean for Brands?

winLast week, Facebook updated its promotion policies for businesses, and every brand marketer should understand what the changes are and how those changes affect future Facebook marketing initiatives.

In a blog post, Facebook announced that promotions no longer have to be administered through apps. Instead, businesses can run contests and other promotions directly on their Facebook Pages. For example, a business could run a contest and people could enter by posting on the brand’s Facebook Page or commenting on or liking a post on the brand’s Facebook Page. They could also message the brand’s Page to enter the contest, and brands can use likes as a voting mechanism.

In addition to the removal of the requirement that brands had to use a promotions app, Facebook has also added a few restrictions to its promotions policy. Now, Pages cannot tag or ask people to tag themselves in posts, photos, or content they’re not actually in as part of a promotion.

Overall, the Facebook Promotion Policy updates open the doors for smaller brands with limited marketing budgets and resources to create contests and promotions on their Facebook Pages quickly, easily, and affordably. However, these types of promotions are a nice short-term addition to boost engagement for big brands but they’re not necessarily scalable. For example, a promotion launched through a post would drop down people’s timelines very quickly. Furthermore, if a large number of people responded, tracking entries and managing the promotion would become logistically challenging.

For big brands with large audiences, apps will remain the promotion tool of choice on Facebook. The ability to create custom promotions, collect entrant email addresses, monitor engagement, track performance, and extend the duration of the campaign beyond a single post make in-app promotions far more effective for brands that can afford them.

Bottom-line, the changes aren’t as impactful for big brands as they are for small business brands. The reason is simple, the new Facebook promotion policy updates won’t change the large-scale marketing efforts that big brands with deep pockets roll out on Facebook. However, the new Facebook promotion policy updates do offer another way for big and small brands to engage with consumers, and that is something no brand should ignore.

Image: Presentation Process via sxc

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.