First off relax and take a deep breath. There are millions of pages on Facebook and being banned is a rare occurrence. That said, there are rules. Claiming you were unaware of their existence is a feeble excuse. Hoping nobody ever reports a violation is wishful thinking. Assuming that Facebook hasn’t the resources to monitor every page is taking an unnecessary risk.
Caution: in researching this topic I came across multiple blog entries on Facebook rules which were out of date – understandable perhaps given that those rules are changed frequently – so I do strongly recommend that you periodically refer back to Facebook’s own published pages terms.
On August 27, 2013, Facebook published an article on their ‘Facebook for Business’ site titled It’s now Easier to Administer Promotions on Facebook, outlining a significant relaxation of their rules.
Previously there were 7 rules. Now there are just 4:
- You are responsible for the lawful operation of the promotion, including the official rules, any offer terms and eligibility requirements, and compliance with applicable regulations.
- Promotions must include a complete release of Facebook by each entrant and acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or associated with Facebook.
- Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps. Personal Timelines must not be used to run promotions (e.g. ‘share on your Timeline to enter’).
- Facebook will not assist in promotion administration and if you use their service to run a promotion you do so at your own risk.
Facebook released a video explaining their new terms:
and made available a short Promotion Guidelines document.
Cover Photo Rules
According to AllFacebook.com, on July 1, 2013 Facebook scrapped its rule that cover images on pages could not contain more than 20% text, a rule which had caused a lot of confusion amongst page administrators as it was hard to measure.
The previous changes, which had come March 19, 2013, had greatly reduced the number of rules related to cover images but the 20% language was included. Prior to that March update, cover images could not contain price or purchase information, contact information, references to Facebook features, or calls to action.
The 20% rule may be gone but there are still things you should not do with your Facebook cover photo:
- Overcrowd the 851 pixel x 315 pixel space – any text should be understandable and legible.
- Overdo the sales pitch.
- Forget the power of a picture.
Parting Thoughts: Just Some Suggestions
Everyone can see your business page so make a good impression – personal anecdotes might be ok, personal complaints probably not.
Plan to post at similar times and with similar frequency – readers are creatures of habit.
Post about things that are happening – especially if they relate to your business, your industry or your particular demographic.
Keep your content fresh, don’t just post about yourself and inject some humour – reposting the same text, image or link is boring and readers will switch off.
Over-posting is the number one reason readers ‘unlike’ a page – 2 to 3 posts a day should typically be enough.
Talk to your readers – if they post on your wall acknowledge them, if they message you through the page reply to them, if they comment on your posts answer them.