The Top 3 Ways to Get Your Fan Page Banned By Facebook

Facebook TOS

Ignorance is bliss, so the old saying goes. But when it comes to breaking the Terms of Service for using Facebook for businesses, ignorance could come with a high price.  If you're not willing to risk the price of possibly getting yourself banned by Facebook, read on.  

One of the biggest mistakes I see people making when using Facebook for social media marketing is related to their use of cover photos.  Newbies and seasoned marketers alike seem to be confused about the rules and regulations (aka the Terms of Service or TOS) related to Facebook business fan pages.  Surprisingly, even people calling themselves "social media professionals" are flagrantly breaking the rules when it comes to Facebook fan pages.  (Just a note – when you hire a social media professional, check around to make sure they're using techniques that are legitimate and allowed in their own businesses!)

Maybe it's inevitable.  Since Facebook has both business and personal pages, it might be natural to assume that any legal form of marketing on your business fan page is acceptable under the Facebook Business Fan Page Terms of Service.  And before Facebook went to the new timeline format, there seemed to be a lot more latitude regarding what you could and couldn't do when using Facebook for your business.

But not knowing the rules for your Facebook business page cover photo could have serious consequences.  It could get you temporarily or permanently kicked off of Facebook!  How would that impact your ability to market your business? 

The Top 3 Rules Broken on Facebook by Businesses:

#1 – Not using a Facebook Business Fan Page

Believe it or not, there are still people trying to use personal Facebook profile pages for their businesses instead of using a Fan page.  This clearly violates Facebook's terms of service, not to mention seriously limits the Facebook features available to you for marketing your business (no limit on friends/Likes, analysis tools to measure your traffic and engagement, etc.)

#2 – Contest Confusion

When it comes to contests, it's not anything goes.  You may not use any features of Facebook within your contest.  You can't run a contest where the most number of shares on a picture or post wins, for example.  Contests must be run through a third party app on your page, not using Facebook or its features itself.  You can't use features of Facebook as conditions for entering the contest (commenting on a Facebook post, for example).  And you can't use Facebook to notify the winners of your contest. 

#3 – Cover Photo

Your cover photo is a prime piece of real estate when it comes to the Facebook fan page for your business. Naturally, you're going to want to put lots of information about your company up there, but DON'T!  This is one of the most common violations of the Facebook terms of service by businesses. Facebook fan page covers must not include the following:

  • Deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone's copyright
  • Must not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines
  • May not include images with more than 20% text [Updated in Facebook’s Most Recent Changes]

If you're guilty of these 3 forbidden actions, please get to work and update your Fan Page now.  And if you're not sure – please contact me and we can talk about any questions you have about what's legal and not on your fan page.

If you found this information useful (or were surprised by it), please "Like" and "Share!" 

26 Comments

  1. Edmund, Thanks for pointing all these out. I see these mistakes being made all the time. Also to add the cover image restrictions, now you can only have 20% text on your cover image.  Love following your blog!

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  2. Thanks Edmund, such great points that everyone needs to be aware of and follow!  Thanks for the great article and great blog!  Always helpful!
    Sarah

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    • You’re welcome Sarah. Glad I could help!

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  3. FB is a bit awkward in my opinion, but necessary for a business none the less.  As far as I can tell I haven't crossed any lines I am hoping their new  search features will embrace rather than restrict. thanks for the info and I do enjoy your posts  lot of good info!

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    • Things are definitely changing at a rapid rate on Facebook. We’ll see what happens moving forward.

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  4. Great advice Edmund. Facebook is changing it's guidlens all of the time. Thank you for sharing the information and keeping us informed.

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  5. Great reminders! I am hoping the people who are not following all the Facebook  "rules" see this too.

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  6. Great reminder. I hope the guilty ones are seeing this post!

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  7. Wow! I didn't know about the contest confusion. Another great post full of solid teachings on using Facebook for our online marketing.

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  8. Wow! Grateful for all the info and tips you share Edmund! Always over-delivering! Thanks!

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  9. Great article Edmund! Facebook is great for marketing but trying to keep up with the changes can be a daunting task!

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    • Thank you Anita! Yes, that’s true. All the changes can be daunting at times, but that’s why social media is a daily thing. Changes happen all the time. It’s just a matter of adjusting with the changes.

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  10. There you have it – nice and easy ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a hunch many people will be very glad you wrote this simple and informative post Edmund. I've already pinned it to my Facebook board on Pinterest. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Thanks Dawn! The response has been amazing so far. I have a feeling that there will be less Facebook accounts being shut down or dinged moving forward because of this. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  11. Edmund thanks for the info. You do so much work you don't want to do something wrong and get kicked off.

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    • I completely understand Pamela. 1 small hiccup and all that hard work goes down the drain. Better safe than sorry ๐Ÿ™‚

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  12. Great reminder Edmund.  Thanks for sharing.

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  13. I agree! I see so many people still making these mistakes with their pages, especially the cover photos. Thanks for the reminders.

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  14. I am still seeing this mistakes frequently in action. Just today I noted a timeline cover in direct violation and ams till debating how to bring to their attention the violation without causing upset

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  15.  

    Thanks for  sharing this information about Facebook guidelines Edmund. Don’t want to be permanently banned by Facebook!

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  16. Awesome list and great reminders Edmund, thank you! Question: How would you suggest bringing to another small business owner's attention when they are violating the terms on their FB fan page? Any Good ideas to start that convo? 

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  17. Turns out, in its latest update on cover photo guidelines, Facebook is now no longer mentioning the 20% rule.

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  18. Perfect this will answer a lot of questions 

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    • Thanks!

      Reply

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