Facebook Crackdown On Your Brand’s Timeline and What You Need To Know

Facebook crackdownNow that Facebook is a public company they have to start making money and keep their investors happy while still appeasing their 1 billion user base.  Like any start-up, eventually they need to grow into a real company. Going public was their first step and in recent months they’ve taken other steps such as more transparency in their new privacy settings. Now, what’s been labeled as the Facebook crackdown, Facebook is cracking down on fake profiles, cover photos, and text in ads. Read on to see what you need to know to make sure your brand page does not get taken down.

In 2013 Facebook will be enforcing rules on the following:

Cover Photos, Ads, Promoted posts, or Sponsored stories

  1. No use of other people’s copyrights. Your cover photo cannot deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright.
  2. No more than 20% text. Yep, your image cannot have more than 20% of text on it. And according to Ken Mueller over at InklingMedia, “Facebook will be offering a tool to help you determine whether your images are in violation.”
  3. No contact information. The text in the cover photo cannot have any of the following on it: your website URL, email, mailing address, or any other information that should go into your “About” section.
  4. No promotional information. You can’t have any promotional information such as “% discount”, or “get it now” or any kind of purchasing information. (Lots of restaurants in violation of this).
  5. No calls to action. The full intention of the cover photo is to be an image, so you cannot use the words such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing to any of these features. (how many of you have this?)

When it comes to ads, promoted posts or sponsored stories, although your post may contain more than 20% text, you won’t be able to promote that post or use it as a sponsored story if it has more than 20% text. (I can’t wait to see how they are going to implement and actually enforce this, but it’s in their ToU guidelines.)

Fake profiles or your business as a profile.

In an updated filing by Facebook recently they estimated that 45.8 million users are duplicate accounts, and 2.4% are user misclassifications, meaning they’re personal profiles that someone made for companies, groups, or pets. The company says those should actually be Pages.

Ah, yes, if you created your business as a personal profile rather than a page, you risk losing your Page and the community you’ve spent so much time building. If you are in charge of a personal profile that has something other than a human name, then you essentially could have your Facebook profile shut down by Facebook.

As an alternative you can convert your profile to a Page, but be warned that some people have had major problems with this feature. Facebook says in regards to name changes and migrations:

We will only process name changes and migrations that do not result in a misleading or unintended connection. For example, we will allow local to global migrations, such as “Facebook France” to “Facebook”, but will not allow global to local migrations, or location to location migrations, such as “Facebook France” to “Facebook Russia”. Additionally, you may not request a name change or migration that would result in re-categorizing a product Page to a brand Page, a generic or opinion Page to a brand Page, or a Group to a Page. All migrations are at our discretion and are final.

So there you have it. In the past Facebook was more lenient on these violations, but starting in 2013, they claim they will be more vigilant about it. So make sure you have your ducks in a row.

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.