Are you a Facebook Rule Breaker?

Facebook has a lot of rules if you’re running a page…and just about every page out there is breaking them.  After reading this great blog post about what Facebook should be doing to improve the platform for brands, it got me thinking about how we run our page at Thrifty Foods.  Is it worth following Facebook’s rules?

Many, MANY businesses do not adhere to Facebook’s promotion guidelines.  For those of us that do, we live in fear of Facebook shutting down our pages; all the fans we’ve painstakingly amassed, gone forever and having to start over.  At the bottom of the promotion guidelines Facebook clearly states: We reserve the right to reject or remove Pages for any reason. These terms are subject to change at any time. GULP.

So what about all those people who are breaking the rules without consequence?  Facebook has driven businesses small and large to spend money on advertising as the way to grow their audience, but breaking the rules is an easy out to continue growth with no ad spend.  Those of us that (mostly) follow the rules lose, but Facebook loses too with loss of ad revenue.  Hard to imagine they will let this go on much longer.

Many marketers, myself included, continue to spend money on 3rd party applications to run promotions to stay within the guidelines; watching as their competitors break the rules and run similar campaigns for free.  Not to mention many of these 3rd party apps are clunky, can malfunction, are expensive, and most don’t work on mobile phones.  It can be very frustrating.

Are you running a cover image with more than 20% text or sale info such as “50% off”? Have text that says “Like” or “Share” in the cover image? How about a promotion that requires your audience to like or share a piece of content to enter?  Are you running 3rd party advertising on your page? If so, you’re breaking the rules.

How about the fake pages that are impersonating celebrities and doing giveaways?  This fake Ellen Show profile giving away iPhones has been making the rounds.  I wonder if those winners will ever see their phones….hmmmmm.

I’ve never heard of anyone getting their page shut down by Facebook.  We recently danced on the line with a campaign on our page, and I only risked it knowing many similar campaigns on other pages had been run with no consequence.

Are you a Facebook rule breaker?  I’d love to know if you’ve ever heard from Facebook about your rule-breaking ways (don’t worry, it will be our little secret).

Sarah Roberts

Sarah Marlayne Roberts is a public relations and digital media strategist based in Victoria, BC. She has extensive marketing, social media, public relations, and special events experience from her work in television (CTV Television, Canadian Idol, Juno Awards, The Bachelor Canada) and with some of Canada’s most vibrant brands including The Edmonton Oilers, the legendary Hudson’s Bay Company and now, Thrifty Foods. Her focus at Thrifty Foods is on the company’s digital presence including the web and social channels, working to reflect the in-store experience online. In her spare (?!) time, Sarah also blogs about pop culture and other stuff you shouldn’t live without at STUFF by Sarah and works with small business clients on maximizing their online presence.

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  • It’s time for Facebook to clamp down. Rules without consequences are not rules, but merely suggestions. It’s the wild west and something needs to happen.

    http://thenextweb.com/facebook/2012/10/05/facebook-confirms-it-shut-down-the-cool-hunters-facebook-page-over-copyright-infringement/

  • C1n1m1n

    Think the only time a page has to worry is if they have a competitor who will report them, because I see tonnes of smaller attention pages breaking ALL the guidelines. Though, they do now screen post photos on promotions for the more that 20% text rule, or it won’t get approved.

  • I still see so many examples of illegal contests everyday. I just now sent a private message on FB to a local page with 5,500 fans that just posted a “Like our Page to Enter” contest.