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Facebook Rule Breakers - Are You Guilty?

Written by Emily Wilson on May 14th, 2012.      0 comments

Zeald Blog on Facebook Social Marketing If your company is on Facebook, make sure you do your homework and abide by their ever-changing page rules; or you could be severely punished for failing to do so. Just ask kiwi brands Velvet Burger and Hell Pizza.

Velvet Burger, a gourmet burger bar started in Dunedin, built its loyal following of Facebook Fans to nearly 10,000. And just like ‘that’ they were “goneburger” when Facebook HQ deleted their page for breaking their rules.

You may have also heard Hell Pizza went the same way, losing its page and 20,000 fans along with it. Hell managed to get the page back through someone-who-knew-someone who worked at Facebook, but sadly, in most cases, if this happens to you, you’ll be starting at the drawing board.

These were both New Zealand companies, who yes do have a large following of fans, but that won’t stop Facebook from deleting your 200 or 800 strong fan page either. So how do you avoid the same fate? Well it pays to know the rules, and keep an eye on the rules too, as they can change as regularly as clockwork. And unfortunately for you, because you ticked a box agreeing to the terms and conditions, ignorance of the rules is no excuse.

As Facebook says: “We reserve the right to reject or remove Pages for any reason.” And they’re not kidding. Don’t think you’ll get a warning either! Poof! One day it could just be gone.

So what are the rules? There are Facebook rules that page admins break on a daily basis, included in the list of what you CANNOT do that follows are no doubt many rules you’ve been guilty of breaking.

Cover Photo

Previously, Facebook was pretty strict on not using your cover photo as an advertisement. However, since March 2013, they have eased up. Their wording has become a bit more lenient, which means more wriggle room for you!

The Rules

The cover page rule now states:
"All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. Covers can't be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else's copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines."

So while you still cannot upload copyright, or encourage your followers to add your cover page to their own timeline, there is much more use for marketing your brand. Perfect, right?

So now, you could:
  • Include Calls to action in your cover photos
  • Advertise sales and competitions
  • Include links to specific offers e.g. coupons, sale items, supporters clubs
  • Ask people to like or comment on your page
Use a unique image that represents your Page. This might be a photo of a popular menu item, album artwork or a picture of people using your product. Be creative and experiment with images your audience responds well to.


Facebook drastically changed its rules on promotions/contests lately. Now a business can run a promotion or contest on their own homepage without the use of a third party app. 

The Rules

  • Promotions on Facebook must now include the following:
    • A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
    • Acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
  • Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend's Timeline to get additional entries” is not permitted).
  • Facebook also updated the rules around tagging. Now you cannot ask people to tag themselves in something that they are not in e.g. a product page. 
  •  What that means for contests and promotions, Facebook stated, is that it’s fine to ask people to submit names of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize, for example, but not OK to ask people tag themselves in pictures of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize.

So what do these rules mean for you?

  • Can collect entries by having participants message the page
  • Can collect entries by having participants post/like/comment on the page/post
  • Cannot ask people to tag themselves in photos they are not in e.g. a product photo
  • Cannot ask people to share content on their timeline
  • Cannot ask people to share content on another persons timeline

Zeald Blog Social Marketing Rule Book Data Collection

If you collect content and information directly from users, you will need to make it clear that you (and not Facebook) are collecting it, and you will provide notice about and obtain user consent for your use of the content and information that you collect. Regardless of how you obtain content and information from users, you are responsible for securing all necessary permissions to reuse their content and information.

You cannot collect users' content or information, or otherwise access Facebook, using automated means (such as harvesting bots, robots, spiders, or scrapers) without Facebook’s permission.

If you are developing applications for Facebook make sure you comply with Facebook Platform Policies.

Page Name

Page names and Facebook Web Addresses must accurately reflect Page content. Facebook may remove administrative rights or require you to change the Page name and Facebook Web Address for any Page that fails to meet this requirement.
Page names must:
  • not consist solely of generic terms (e.g., “beer” or “pizza”);
  • use proper, grammatically correct capitalization and may not include all capitals, except for acronyms;
  • not include character symbols, such as excessive punctuation and trademark designations; and
  • not include superfluous descriptions or unnecessary qualifiers.

Facebook Ads

Before you run Facebook ads, have a careful read through the Facebook Advertising Guidelines here. There are so many that it deserves its own article.

You should also read through the guidelines for yourself  and decide if you are breaking the rules; this post is just a guide and a mere tip of the iceberg.
Topics: Social Media

Subject Lines - The Key to Email Marketing Success

Written by Emily Wilson on May 14th, 2012.      0 comments

Email marketing is a great cost-effective way to get your message out to your clients. But there is no point in spending time building a database, creating a special offer or filling your newsletter with enticing pieces of information if no one reads your message.

That is where the all-important subject line comes into play. You need to craft your subject line. It needs to stand out from the clutter of the inbox; while still being relevant to the message in the email. Many a marketer has tried to use a trick subject line to increase their open rate; but with spam filters hot on the heels of unsolicited mail, you may find that your message goes directly to the trash bin.

To avoid this you want to consider making your subject line useful and valuable to your reader. This means you will have to know your target market. Like a trailer to a movie, be specific about what is coming in the feature: the email message. What you have said in your message should be interesting, so make sure your subject line reflects this. Your reader is often time-poor so you should create a sense of urgency so they feel compelled to read your message now. However if every message is perceived as urgent: none will be. So use urgency with care.

Beyond subject lines; the key to good email marketing is building a relationship with your customers. You need to earn their trust. They should know that what you provide is good content, exclusive offers or whatever they have signed up for. If you emails are constantly about selling your product and offering no other value you will soon have a long list of unsubscribes.

Over time, the most compelling thing about an email message should be that it’s from you. Even before they read your subject line, your recipient needs to know at a glance that you’re a trusted source. Some email marketers choose to put the same identifier in the subject line every email, for example [Zeald] Top tips for crafting subject lines. This can both help and hinder your message, as some people will set up a rule filtering you into another folder where your message will go unread and unheard.

Be mindful of trigger words. These are the words that prompt a spam filter to put you in the trash can. Below is a list of words that often set the spam filter off, however if you use some of the words sparingly, not paired together, not all in CAPITALS and your message is content rich then it is ok to use them in your subject line.
$$$ 100% free Ad
Affordable Amazing stuff Apply now
Auto email removal Billion Cash bonus
Cheap Collect child support Compare rates
Compete for your business Credit Credit bureaus
Dig up dirt on friends Double your income Earn $
Earn extra cash Eliminate debt Email marketing
Explode your business Extra income F r e e
Fast cash Financial freedom Financially independent
Free Free gift Free grant money
Free info Free installation Free investment
Free leads Free membership Free offer
Free preview Guarantee ‘Hidden’ assets Home based
Homebased business Income from home Increase sales
Increase traffic Increase your sales Incredible deal
Info you requested Information you requested Internet market
Leave Limited time offer Make $
Mortgage Rates Multi-level marketing No investment
Obligation Online marketing Opportunity
Order Now Prices Promise you
Refinance Remove Reverses aging
Save $ Search engine listings Serious cash
Stock disclaimer statement Stop snoring Thousands
Unsubscribe Web traffic Weight loss
With that said is there a secret formula to subject lines? It may sound simple but subject lines have to ultimately describe the subject of your email. You will often find that the simplest subjects such as May Newsletter, will win every time, over Get a free offer inside. When it comes to email marketing, the best subject lines tell what's inside, and the worst subject lines sell what's inside.

Topics: Email Marketing

Set Goals and Discover Your Leads

Written by Casey Hartigan on May 14th, 2012.      1 comments

You are the only one that can tell which kind of goals are right for your business. This is why there are so many options for creating your own goals. Here are a few goals that you can setup right away that we think will be useful to a lot of businesses.

If one of the objectives of your website is to generate leads or enquiries then chances are you have one or more forms on your site that your customers are asked to fill out. We find that while these forms are useful they don't offer a true indication of how well your site is functioning as a lead generation tool. Often people can't be bothered filling out long forms, or they don't provide enough information and you can't reach a potential customer - subsequently your website records low enquiry numbers.

What your website doesn't record is the number of people who click straight onto the "Contact Us' page and give you a call or an email directly. Previously you had no way to know how many people were contacting you after seeing your website. By setting up a 'specific page was loaded' goal you can get a great idea how many people are going to your contact us page. If they visit this page chances are they're looking for your phone or email, so the number of visitors will give you a great idea how well your site is generating leads.

Tips to measure "contact us" page loads...

Get more Leads with Free Zeald Website Consultation or Audit
Topics: Measure

About Zeald

Zeald was formed in 2001 by three young guys from the small New Zealand town of Mangawhai Heads. Now, Zeald is the largest SME website design and digital transformation agency in New Zealand and has clients throughout both New Zealand and Australia. This is the Zeald story …

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