Facebook promotions used to be somewhat of a hassle, but as of this week, that's no longer the case.

Facebook recently announced that page administrators no longer have to rely on third-party services or apps to run contest promotions. Although some small brands may have been skirting around this, they risked having Facebook ban their page, which is something no page administrator wants hanging over their head!

This new Facebook Page Term change means that nonprofit and ministry brands may now administer promotions directly on their Page Timelines. However, placement on personal Timelines is still prohibited.

You can now use your ministry or nonprofit Page Timeline to:

  • Collect entries into a contest or promotion by simply asking a user to post on your Page, comment on a post on your Page, like a specific Page post, or send a message your Page.
  • Use Likes as a voting mechanism.

You still, however, can't ask someone to "like" your Facebook page for an entry.

Why is this something to get excited about? A lot of social media industry experts are somewhat meh about this, but for nonprofits and ministries, Facebook Timeline promotions are a low cost, simple way to boost fan engagement. You don't have to be a complete social media whiz to come up with a fun and relevant contest that resonates with your fans, such as a book or concert ticket giveaway. It’s relatively easy for a page administrator for a nonprofit or ministry to incorporate contests now into their social media calendar. The downside is this method doesn’t allow you to collect data, such as email addresses for building lists, and it can sometimes be difficult to contact the winner (which you'll have to select manually.) But overall this is a great way to run very simple contests, engage with your fans (especially for smaller pages), and actively keep your posts present in your fans’ news feeds.

Another Facebook change includes prohibiting page administrators from tagging people in irrelevant content, which is essentially spamming Facebook fans. So if you see a free ticket promotion from an airlines, for example, the company can't tag you or any other followers of their brand page unless you are included in the graphic or photo included in the brand's contest post.

Here's the official scoop on Facebook's blog.

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