Facebook Frees Up Contest Platform for SMBs

Facebook has opened the spigot to small businesses. The Palo Alto, CA-based company’s year-old rule that brands must spend $10,000 to run contests and sweepstakes on the social site has been lifted. Now, no spend is necessary.

Annie Ta, Facebook spokesperson, told ClickZ in an e-mail that contests and sweepstakes will also no longer require Facebook’s written approval or an account manager as long as marketers abide by the social site’s promotional guidelines. “These changes will be made on the site soon,” she said.

Mike Lazerow is CEO of Buddy Media, a New York-based company that has run numerous brand client contests on Facebook. Lazerow characterized those campaigns as stellar efforts in terms of building “likes” for large companies and SMBs alike.

“We just ran a contest with LeWeb,” he said, referencing the European Internet conference. “They gave away five free tickets to the conference via a fan-only contest and saw a 25 percent increase in ‘likes’ to their page in just 24 hours.”

Facebook’s new SMB-friendly contests rule follows up last week’s removal of a policy that restricted analytics to Facebook page administrators with 10,000-plus “likes” or more. All companies are now privy to the same information via the Pages dashboard. Administrators for small businesses can view the statistics retroactively to June 25, 2010.

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