Nov 12, 2009

Bringing Down the Blogging Wo(man)

If you are a blogger or own a company involved in social media for advertising (ie. Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, etc) you are probably aware of the recent changes that have been inacted that make things a little more difficult for us.  Last night I was able to join the tail end of a Twitter Chat on the new FTC regulations that have a significant impact on bloggers. If you are interested in seeing a easy to read break down please visit 3 Green Angels; in that post they also have a link to the actual FTC guidelines that go into effect December 1st.

The second piece of information important to us bloggers and social media (specifically Facebook) users is Facebook's new (updated November 4th) policies regarding Promotions.
Section 4. Publicizing a Promotion on Facebook

You do not need our prior written approval if you are publicizing a promotion that is administered completely off of Facebook. However, we may remove any materials relating to the promotion or disable your Page or account if we determine that you violate these Promotions Guidelines, the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities or any other of our policies. If you publicize a promotion in any way on Facebook, in addition to the other terms and conditions contained in these Promotion Guidelines, without limiting your other obligations you agree to the following:

4.1 You will not directly or indirectly indicate that Facebook is a sponsor or administrator of the promotion or mention Facebook in any way in the rules or materials relating to the promotion.

4.2 In the rules of the promotion, or otherwise, you will not condition entry to the promotion upon taking any action on Facebook, for example, updating a status, posting on a profile or Page, or uploading a photo.
I find section 4.2 a little tough to swallow.  One of the best ways we have of encouraging readers to spread the word about a giveaway is through social media, and I believe this will limit the potential reach we have.  I can't tell you how many blogs that I faithfully read, found only by seeing a friend post something about a giveaway on that site.  Anyway, if you are interested in reading all of their Promotions Guidelines (which I would suggest if you have Facebook involved in your giveaways in any way) you can access it here.

So what do you think? Are these good policies put in place to protect consumers or are they there to protect big business? I'd love to hear your take!


Allison said...

Being from a company that is starting to use Facebook for promotional purposes this was especially interesting to me. My understanding is that if a friend does see a promotion that they think is really great, they are free to post it on their profile. Facebook limits the use of any sort of mandatory action on the part of the friend to subscribe to a promotion. One example on a mandatory action happened in a Burger King promotion. This required friends to "unfriend" people to earn a free whopper.

I think this is what 4.2 is referring to. Please let me know if anyone else has another perspective.

Simplistic Mom said...

Wow, somehow I missed the BK stunt! In the cloth diaper and "green" blog world we tend to use Facebook as extra enties into a giveaway. For example: become a fan of so-and-so in Facebook, or set your status to such-and-such (tweets are real popular for this!). There are also some companies that to drawings based on how many fans they have (ex. once we reach ___fans we'll choose one to receive ___)