Facebook has decided to change an important rule around brand-sponsored contests. Changing rules is not surprising since Facebook is consistently evolving. However, there are implications to how success and failure of contests may have been measured in the past.
Up to this point, contests have been a great opportunity to gain Facebook “Likes.” Often times, one of the rules to enter a contest was to first “Like” the brand page. First “Liking” has not been required, but if trying to gain an audience, this was one tactic to capture potentially interested people for your message.
Since “Liking” a page was never required, although often recommended, potential “Likers” could learn about a brand contest through their friends and decide for themselves if they wanted to “Like” a page. This approach can lead to a more authentic audience. Possibly a more engaged audience.
Facebook has decided to no longer allow brands to require “Liking” their page before entering a contest. Contests can still happen and information can be collected of contestants, but contestants will decide if they want to “Like” the brand.
Contests will continue to be a great way to raise awareness and this change ensures that “Likes” are deserved rather than paid for. It is important to know of this change if contests are part of your social media strategy moving forward. At the very least, rethink success measures to fit the new rules.