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Stephanie Winans

Is Radio Above Facebooks Rules?


In May of 2011, Facebook released (quietly, of course) new guidelines for brands using the platform. Here at The Randy Lane Company, we notified our clients of the new rules, and tried to help you understand them.

Fast forward 15 months, and youre still asking about it. Not only are you asking about it, but youre still violating the rules. Often.

Before I keep talking, know two things:

1. I dont make the rules. I just tell you about them.
2. Personally, Im a rule breaker. So when I tell you to follow the rules, its because the ramifications are serious and I want to protect you. (Wow, I sound like such a Mom right there. Let the record show I dont wear Mom jeans.")

Now that you understand where Im coming from, and what kind of jeans Im not wearing right now, lets take a look at some of the rules and how radio stations and shows are violating them.

Rule 1: Promotions on Facebook must be administered within apps on, either on a Canvas Page or a Page App.

How Were Breaking It: Were running quick contests on our Timeline as often as we change underwear, without hiring a third-party app to build it legally.

For an example of a legal contest using an App, click here to check out the 102.9 K-Lite Match Game.

Rule 2: You must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your app. For example, you must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall.

How Were Breaking It: We break it with our fun caption this picture to win contests. We break it with our comment on this post contests. We break it with our The first five people who like this post win contests

Rule 3: You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotions registration or entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant.

How Were Breaking It: We run on-air contests that tell listeners well draw one Facebook fan as a winner. The only requirement for entry is that they like us on Facebook.

Rule 4: You must not notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles (timelines) or Pages.

How Were Breaking It: We post status updates to notify listeners that theyve been chosen (probably for a promotion run illegally in the first place!) as the winner.

The rules can be found here in their entirety, under section E. But remember, dont shoot the messenger! I just want to make sure youre aware of what the rules entail.

Notice the simple threat below the rules: We reserve the right to reject or remove Pages for any reason. These terms are subject to change at any time.

That threat is the reason you should be wary of these rules. Should Facebook take notice, they have the right to shut your page down without warning. That would mean that you lose everything youve worked so hard to gain -- your fans.

Is it worth the risk?

Stephanie Winans is Social Media Specialist and Content Curator for the Randy Lane
Company and Stephanie Winans Digital. E-mail:

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