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  • Use the "Fan Album" for Legal Facebook Promotions

    Guest Post by Tommy Inglis (@TommyGuns)

    If you admin a Facebook Page you may not know about the fan photo album. A Fan Photo Album allows any Facebook user who has ‘Liked’ the Page to upload photos, with the exceptions of Page administrators. As an admin you are able to moderate fan photos but not upload photos. It is important to note that you, the admin, cannot create the Fan Album. Any photos that you upload will go into a new or existing album separate from the Fan Album.

    The Fan Album can be a valuable asset when running certain photo promotions on Facebook. Two examples of these promotions are incorporating a “fan of the month” photo into a Page’s profile picture, and utilizing an on-site photo prop directing fans to upload their photos to a Fan Page.

    Profile Picture “Fan of the Month”

    “Fan of the Month” is a great promotion all around:

    1. It adds interactivity and engagement to a Fan Page;
    2. You can really highlight your fans, making them feel valued;
    3. Most importantly, it follows Facebook Promotion Guidelines.

    One of many examples can be found at Equestrian Collections Fan Page with their Fan Album just shy of 3,000 submissions. (To see the “Add Photos” button you will need to “like” the page.) Equestrian Collection then selects some of their favorite fan submissions and highlights them within their fan Page profile photo.

    Featured Fan Photos

    Another way to encourage your fans to participate on your Page is to ask them to share photos in the Fan album that will be featured as photo of the month/week or any other designated period of time. You could also crowd source the design of the permanent profile photo on your Page. There is no physical prize in this contest, the “winner” just gets recognition of their photo or design.

    How to host this promotion:

    1. Post on your Wall that you would like Fans to share a photo.
    2. Explain that you will pick certain photos to be featured on the page, in the Fan album and/or on your profile photo.
    3. Ask fans to comment on photos, or click “like” to support their favorite photos.
    4. Once you have chosen a photo to feature, post on the Wall.

    An example of a similar promotion can be found on the Air Tahiti Nui USA Facebook Page. They asked fans to upload photos in certain categories, and then other fans voted on the best photo in each category. Technically they were violating Facebook’s rules by offering a prize to the winners. But we can learn from this example that you can utilize fan participation but by eliminating the prize portion, avoid violating Facebook rules.

    Both of the promotions are acceptable according to the Facebook Promotion Guidelines because there is no prize or giveaway. If you were to award the fan of the month or any user anything for uploading a photo then you would be violating the following guideline:

    “1. You may require that an entrant ‘like’ a Page, check in to a Place, or connect to your Platform integration before providing their full entry information for a promotion. You will not condition entry to the promotion upon taking any other action on Facebook, for example, liking a status update or photo, commenting on a Wall, or uploading a photo.”

    In both examples fan photos are being highlighted and displayed, both of which are acceptable in Facebook’s terms. These are “contests” without physical prizes. Another important piece to note is the semantics of the legal contests. They do not call these “contests” or “sweepstakes” or even “promotions” but just ask fans to participate in an activity. There is no “winner” but rather a “featured fan” or “featured photo.”

    One problem that you may encounter in creating these types of promotions is creating the Fan Photo Album. In both promotions, if you had a new page or the album has yet to be created you won’t have a link for Facebook users to follow. Below are the steps to create a Fan Photo Album.

    • Disable yourself as an admin of the Facebook Page or login as a different user who is not an admin of the Facebook Page;
    • ‘Like’ the Page;
    • Add a photo to the wall using the little photo icon found below the status update bar;
    • The picture will be placed in a Fan Album the URL will look as follows :

    However, if fans have uploaded photos to your Wall in the past then there already is an existing Fan album, which you can find in the Photos tab on your Page.

    Thanks for the guest blog post Tommy! You can reach Tommy via Twitter, @TommyGuns.

    Here are a few more resources for social promotions:


    1. Hello,
      First off, I love your stuff– its always helpful. I had a question about this whole facebook promotion concept. My company was planning on running a promotion using facebook, but we have found that facebook places a lot of limitations on what we can do. I have noticed, however, some companies running a contest similar to what you describe is this article– except with cash and prizes involved. I noticed that they are using Facebook applications, not Static FBML, as the actual vehicle of their contest, and simply link to it via their Static pages. Is this legal? If so, any ideas on how to get it to work?

    2. Hi, nice to see our Facebook Fan Page featured here. I just want to clarify how we choose our fan of the month. I basically look over the past month and find a fan who has contributed to our page with comments, likes, contest entries, etc. If that fan also has an equestrian themed profile picture, they are made our fan of the month. It is fairly random. There are no “entries” so to speak. Again, thanks for featuring our page!


    1. Quora says:

      What is the best way to run a Facebook promotion which includes photos?…

      You have to be careful running photo promotions because there is a high potential the promotion can violate Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines. Having a user like, share, tag or upload a photo to be entered into a contest does violate their guidelines. O…

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