New Rules for FacebookOut with the old and in with the new.

That’s what happens sometimes when a new year rolls around.  We take stock in what worked and what didn’t.  We review what changes need to be made and then get ready to implement those for the new year.

Facebook is one of those companies that will be doing just that.  As a matter of fact, their new rules will go into effect on January 15th.

It seems that when they chose to take the public offering last year their stock kind of took a nose dive. We are all aware that Facebook is a business after all so now they not only have to keep their users happy but their investors too.  Now that’s a huge challenge.

So like the rest of us, Facebook obviously decided that once again some things needed to change.  Here are some of their new rules.

Timeline Cover Photo

When Facebook first changed over to the timeline feature there were certain stipulations that were in place.  Those are still there but it seems that a lot of business pages are now breaking some of these rules.  Facebook has decided to really crack down on the cover photos that businesses are using so here is what they will be putting into place.  You might actually recognize some of these already:

  • No call to action which means you can’t ask people to like your page, download it now, share this with your friends, etc.
  • No promotional information which means you can’t include anything pertaining to price, purchases or discounts.
  • No contact information which means you can’t include your web address, your phone number, your address or your email.  Any of the information that should be in the “About” section.
  • No copyright violations and the jury is still out about this one.  The way I interpret this is that Facebook would prefer you having your own unique photo as your cover.  Not just some photo you got off the web or bought through some service that provides these covers for everyone.  Tread lightly here and I guess we’ll soon find out if this is the case or not.
  • No more than 20% text which means they prefer the cover photo to be an image.  If you include too much text on your cover photo you’re taking a chance of having it removed.  Luckily, Facebook will be offering a tool that will help you determine whether or not your image is violating their terms.

To read more of Facebook’s rule regarding their Timeline Cover Photo check out Facebook Guidelines.

Advertising on Facebook

So we just learned that Facebook will have a 20% text stipulation in your cover photo.  Well guess what!  This also applies to the images you use in your Facebook ads or your promoted posts.  Now that doesn’t mean you can’t post images on your wall that have more then the allotted percentage of text. You just can’t use those for ads or your promoted posts.

Facebook Contests

Facebook implemented some pretty strict rules last year about promoting contests on business pages. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses as well as marketing companies continue to ignore those rules.  This is what Facebook doesn’t allow when running contests:

  • You cannot tell people to like a page
  • You cannot tell people to like a status
  • You cannot tell people to comment on a status
  • You cannot tell people to comment on an image

If you are running a contest without the help of an approved third party app, you are violating Facebook’s terms of service.  Now none of these things are new but Facebook will be cracking down on anyone who violates these terms from this day forward.

Personal Pages As Business Pages

This rule pertains to personal pages and what Facebook will be cracking down on are those people who are using their personal pages as their business pages.  In other words, if your personal page is not your real name then you’ll be shut down.  You cannot have a business name or any other name other then your real name on your personal page.  If you’ve been building an entire community around this then you can kiss that goodbye.

Facebook Is Cracking Down

I think that when some of the rules came out last year Facebook gave people the benefit of the doubt. They weren’t as hard on them as they probably should have been.  I can only assume that now that they have investors to answer to, they’ve decided to step it up.

You have been warned…

Facebook is still a free community for us all.  If we want to continue using this platform we have to follow their rules.  If we don’t then be ready to have your entire community disappear.  They aren’t going to play nice anymore.

I have a feeling that this is only the beginning so don’t be surprised if we start to see more changes coming as the year progresses.  Facebook is here to make money and if they continue to have people abuse their rules then they’ll have to pay the consequences.

This my wonderful blogging friends is why I continue to say that your blog is the only real estate you own (if you have a self hosted blog).  This is “your” community so build it here and not on the social platforms.  Meet people but get them interested in what you share here.  Don’t be one of those who has taken the time to build up your social sites and have ignored your only real estate on the web.

Will These New Rules Affect You

Are you violating any of these rules?  Will these affect you in any way?

I would love to hear your thoughts on what Facebook is rolling out now.  Social media is not going away so if we all want to continue playing we have to buckle down and play by the rules.  There really is no other way.

Looking forward to hearing your comments on this topic and please be sure to share this post with your friends.  Not sure if they are aware that this is coming and we certainly want them to be sure and change whatever is needed before next week.

Let’s help them out shall we!





Business Developer

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