Facebook has a strict set of rules and guidelines that pages and brands must follow, yet we see pages breaking these rules almost daily, usually due to a lack of education. If caught breaking these rules, Facebook has the right to remove your page, without any warning, and you can lose your entire community in an instant.
Here, we will visit some of the main rules that govern pages.
With the recent release of Facebook Offers in beta version, there is a whole new set of guidelines to be aware of, if you are choosing to make use of this feature. These include:
- You must include terms and conditions with your offer, to cover all restrictions you wish to impose
- You cannot use offers as gift cards or store value card
Some companies have been using offers to run competitions, rather than offering a discount to all who claim it. As covered in the following section, all competitions on Facebook must be run through third party apps, and must not make use of Facebook functionality.
Running competitions and promotions on your page is one of the best ways to gain fans and create interest in your page, however many types of promotions pages run are against Facebook’s terms and conditions. The main points to consider are:
- You cannot use any Facebook functionality as an entry mechanism. This includes liking a page, sharing a photo or status, liking a photo or status, or commenting.
- All promotions must be run within a third party tab app, or a canvas app.
- When announcing winners of a promotion, you must contact them outside of Facebook, via email for example. You cannot private message them, post on your wall, or on their wall.
When Facebook pages switched to timeline, a new set of rules regarding what is allowed in a cover photo was released. The main point of these rules is that the cover photo is not advertising space. The rules include:
- No contact details are to be displayed. This includes website url, phone number, email address etc.
- No calls to action. There is often a fine line between what can be considered a call to action. In general, if you are telling your users to do something, it is against Facebook’s rules.
- No pricing or purchase information. If you are selling a product, you cannot mention any prices, discounts, or where to buy the product.
- Requests to like or share the page
Facebook ads follow a number of rules, many of which are common sense, including:
- No harassment, hate speech, sex/nudity, or shock value.
- You cannot word your ad to sound like you are endorsed or related to Facebook in any way
Ads have a lot of guidelines, many of which are specific to a brands product (eg alcohol, dating services). For a full list, click here.
The most important part of the Facebook guidelines is the final line, which states “We reserve the right to reject or remove Pages for any reason. These terms are subject to change at any time.” It is important for brands to stay on top of the rules, and keep an eye out for any changes that Facebook may make.