Dissecting Facebook’s Latest Promotions Guidelines Posted by Dave DiCola on July 11, 2011 Back in mid-May, Facebook announced revisions to its promotional guidelines policy. And as usual, the changes will have at least some effect on how businesses that use fan pages conduct their promotions going forward. We took a look at the policy in whole, and after dissecting this latest version, here are three key items your organization should be aware of:• One of the more impactful changes involves allowing marketers to require a purchase in order for fans or consumers to participate in promotions. This is an interesting twist; how many times have you seen the words, “no purchase necessary” for just about any kind of promotion or sweepstakes offer you’ve encountered in the past? Facebook was no exception – until the latest release of its promotions policy. What does this mean for social media marketers? They can now generate interest and sell products more effectively by tying participation in special offers or contests to live purchases.• Facebook has relaxed past limits on promotions involving prescription drugs, dairy items, firearms, cigars, cigarettes and chewing tobacco. In the case of guns, popular publications such as Guns Magazine have run “gun of the month” promotional giveaways on the Internet. It will be interesting to follow whether or not they extend their reach via future promotions on Facebook, given this new approach by the social media giant.• By making some subtle (and some not-so-subtle) changes to the way the legal wording is arranged in its revised policy, Facebook has effectively washed its hands of any legal liability related to user promotions. Now, state and federal Internet regulations – and responsibility for observing them – falls squarely on the purveyors of Facebook promotions rather than on Facebook itself. The lifting of past restrictions could be a potential gold mine for producers of everything from milk to liquor. However, for fans and consumers, these new developments are likely to lead to one inescapable fact. Just like they see every day on TV, advertisements for products like Viagra could very well become as common on Facebook as “Shares” and “Likes.” We doubt that very many subscribers are going to “Like” everything about these latest changes – but for the companies that rely on Facebook as a primary marketing channel, the new policy presents many new opportunities.