Yesterday, GalleyCat released an informative article about how Facebook is restricting contests on author pages. The reason why I wanted to point this out to you is to let you know that while this is not a new initiative, they are cracking down on this. Facebook first introduced contest rules restrictions back in November 2009 and they evolved a year afterward. Not following their guidelines will get your page canceled without notice. Why?
BlogHer has a really good article from 2010 called Keep Your Company and Your Blog Out of Trouble: The Scoop on Facebook Contests that examines what this means from a liability perspective.
So what is new? Two things: a release form and the further clarification has to be hosted on a tab or an app. What’s happening now, is that the popularity of Facebook (and the fact that it’s free) has caused many authors to flock to the tool. This time around, the changes in this policy are an amalgamation of what already existed.
What’s the bottom line? I would keep the new guidelines in mind. As I’ve mentioned numerous times before, you always take a risk whenever you use a tool you don’t own. While many free tools are highly-trafficked, in part because they’re free, you might want to consider looking at what you do have control over — your own website — first.
If you are looking for places to run contests besides your own website, there’s several excellent sites out there devoted to readers that would love an author’s support. I know Facebook is important to a lot of people, but there are other ways to reach your fans, too.
if you operate a contest, create content, or use functionality on a site you own,