Well informed social media and online marketing managers will know that Facebook has a number of restrictions on how you can run competitions.

However, when we saw this post from Manchester United earlier today, we started to wonder if they matter:

The rules…

The current guidelines were written in 2009, and were designed to distance Facebook from any competition brands run on the site. Specifically, here’s a crucial highlight:

- You must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall.

– The act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant

– You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion

Simply, you need to use Apps such as Wildfire to run your competitions.

But…

Thousands of brands break these rules every day.  Just like the rules on Cover Photos are being largely ignored, it seems that brands are increasingly likely to push the boundaries.

Skipedia may…ahem…have pushed those boundaries ourselves, but when a page like Manchester United, which has 25 million Facebook fans and was allowed to create a Timeline before the new feature went live, breaks the rules, you have to wonder if Facebook consider it an issue.

Your view

We are interested to know if anyone knows any brand that has been told off/delisted by Facebook for breaking either competition or Cover Photo rules.

By Iain Martin