Facebook marketing is becoming more and more crucial for affiliate businesses in many verticals as we speak. This is a well-known fact, but some things are not always as straightforward as they first seem. Sometimes, the initial excitement of getting good results from the biggest social network can lead us into launching campaigns that only look like a great idea, when in fact, are against Facebook’s rules, i.e. are “illegal.”

Well, when we say “illegal,” the truth is that there’s no such thing as really illegal with Facebook, so you shouldn’t be sweating all that much when launching something creative on your Facebook page. The worst that could happen is a temporary or a permanent ban. In either case, you can just launch a new page.

A couple of weeks ago our friends at Search Engine Journal published a list of 4 (originally 5) things that are forbidden on Facebook. Some entries are kind of surprising and have little to do with common sense, but still, rules are rules:

1. Promotions Only Through Canvas Pages or Page Apps

Facebook’s Canvas Page is an environment that allows you to run an app (and have it displayed on Facebook) that’s constructed in any popular programming language, such as PHP, Python or C#. As it turns out, it’s also the only place where you can create a Facebook-legal promotion.

In other words, all promotions like “share this status to win,” or “like this post to be entered to win” are illegal and if overused, will eventually get shut down. This goes for all free sweepstakes and giveaways, and virtually any other contest ideas you might have.

Facebook forcing us to use the Canvas Page means that we either have to understand one of the aforementioned programming languages, or use third party tools like Wildfire or Short Stack.

2. Facebook Features and Functionalities Cannot Be Used as Promotion Registration or Entry

This rule is somewhat similar to the previous one. What it basically means is that Facebook’s tools cannot be used in any way to indicate someone’s entry into a given contest, promotion, sweepstakes, or anything like it.

Again, for all promotions, you’re expected to use the Canvas Page.
3. Don’t Notify Winners Through Facebook

It seems natural that you’d notify the winners of your contest through Facebook since they entered the said contest through Facebook. This isn’t allowed, though.

Facebook simply doesn’t want to be associated with any third-party contests or promotions.

4. Make It Clear That You’re Not Affiliated With Facebook and Indicate What Data You’re Collecting

Basically, Facebook wants you to disclose what sort of promotion you’re running, what data you’re collecting through that promotion, what you’re going to do with this data, and how users can access it. Furthermore, Facebook wants you to make it ultra-clear that it’s you who collects data and not Facebook.

This is especially important if you’re running a serious affiliate promotion with a big budget and high stake prizes. You surely don’t want to have the whole thing banned because of a simple mistake.

If you’re in a reading mood, feel free to check these official resources on Facebook:

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