Facebook’s New Competition Rules for Pages, and What They Mean for Your Business

Jasmine Batra


Many small businesses have been put off running competitions on their Facebook pages, due to the long list of rules and regulations – the biggest of which being that competitions needed to be run through an approved third party app. This made running a competition an expensive exercise and resulted either in businesses running no competitions, or running them contrary to Facebook’s rules. Page owners were not supposed to request their audience to like, share or tag friends, yet many small organisations did this without penalty, often without even realising they were in breach of the rules.

This competition doesn’t abide by the old Facebook competition rules, as participants are required to ‘like’ the page in order to enter the competition.

There have been a number of changes to the page terms, but the biggest is that page owners can now run competitions easily and for little cost using comments, likes and messages as a voting mechanisms and/or entries. However, in a bid to avoid filling our newsfeeds with spam-like content, the rules state that a company cannot encourage its audience to enter by posting on their own personal timeline. They also can’t ask their audience to tag themselves or their friends in images relating to the company or competition.

Here’s the changes at a glance:

  • You don’t have to use a third party app to run your competition, but you are welcome to if you want (for lead generation etc).
  • You can ask your audience to comment or like a post to enter the competition.
  • You can ask your audience to post photos or comments to your page.
  • You ask your audience to vote using the ‘Like’ button.
  • You cannot ask your audience to ‘like and share’ a post in order to enter.
  • Competitions cannot be be run or entered via personal timelines.
  • You can not ask people to tag themselves in a post or image if they do not feature in that content (e.g. if you post a picture of your new product, you can’t ask people to tag themselves to enter the competition).


What not to do: ‘like and share’ competitions are still off limits.


What do you think of the new Facebook rules? Will they change the way you operate your competitions, or have you been running them like this anyway? We’re sure the new rules are an exciting development for many small businesses, and we’re expecting to see a rise in the number of competitions being run on Facebook.

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