Whether you are using Facebook for personal use or as a business the requirement to click ‘I agree’ to the ever-changing set of terms and conditions is unavoidable, at least if you want to finalise your page setup. After that, you are at their mercy.
It is no surprise that most people don’t actually READ these rules, terms and conditions which results in many unknowingly breaking Facebook rules in some way, shape or form. We help many of our clients look after their Facebook business pages and doing it right not only reflects on their company but safeguards against losing one of their more vital social connections.
We totally understand. A wall of writing = snooze-fest. At Shell Graphix we are big on VISUALS and thought you might prefer reading some of the ‘rules’ our way.
[This is the Facebook official (and word-driven) way.]
Here is a condensed list of Facebook Rule Breakers:
Your cover image cannot include a visual/graphic prompt to ‘like’ or ‘share’.
Contact and company information must be in your ‘About’ section – it cannot be on your page cover image. This applies to phone, fax, location, email, website etc.
Cover images must not include any hint of advertising (price, prompt to visit a website, discounts, special offers etc.).
Your cover image cannot include a call to action such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”.
You can now set an official Facebook.com URL extension for your page which means it must reflect your registered page name or risk suspension or deletion. (Note: Once you set your page URL you cannot undo or alter.)
Your page name must exactly match the company you are representing. Your name must not consist solely of generic terms (for example cloud, fashion, pizza).
It must use proper, grammatically correct capitalisation, and may not consist entirely of capital letters unless your business name is an acronym.
(eg: Cloud Computers must be facebook.com/CloudComputers it cannot be /CLOUD or /Cloud.)
Facebook Competitions and Promotions
All promotions and competitions MUST use an application and not just fall onto the page wall/timeline.
If you collect information from your Likers you must include a disclaimer to state that Facebook is not collecting the information, that you/your company is, and ask for user consent to use any content supplied. You must declare that all competitions are not associated, sponsored or endorsed by Facebook.
Likers cannot be asked to ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ in order to participate in a competition. While becoming a liker may be required to participate in an app-driven competition it should also require personal consent and interaction via its own specific app page.
You cannot prompt others to post images or photos to your wall (or share them from this platform) in order to gain interaction and spread the word.
You cannot notify winners through Facebook – feeds, messages, chat or posts on profiles and/or pages. Many Facebook competition apps come with functionality that allows you to email winners directly.
You cannot ask a question to entice Likers to enter a competition.
[It is also important to ensure all competitions adhered to local promotion and competition laws. While Facebook may not monitor this aspect other local governing bodies may resulting in fines and penalties.]
You must not use Facebook’s offer creator to create a gift card, certificate, store or value card.
Wrap it up…
While many simply shrug it off thinking the Facebook rules don’t apply to them the truth is it does – and the risk is as great as losing everything you have worked hard to build up. Facebook tends to take an ‘act first, ask questions later’ approach resulting in countless page suspensions and bans. A plea of ignorance will not save you. In fact, finding someone to ‘help’ is a task in itself.
Think how much time it took you to gather your current amount of likers and how you would feel if it was deleted. Is breaking the rules worth the risk?
Don’t think it will happen to you? Recently two of the more publicised account removals were small businesses located in New Zealand with one losing 9,000 likers (Velvet Burger, NZ) and the other a whopping 20,000 likers (Hell Pizza, NZ). Ouch.
Individual members are also open to breaching rules by using fake names, adding too many friends in a short timeframe, posting copyrighted or restricted content/images/files/videos or posting offensive content. But, that’s an article for another day!