Social media has become an indispensable marketing tool for almost every business.  Facebook has been increasingly embraced by the commercial community and a Facebook “company page” is a ubiquitous advertising medium through which businesses relay information about new products/services and gain new customers.  However, as many business owners are realizing, Facebook “company pages” may be unceremoniously and indefinitely suspended if Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities are violated in any way.  Such action may have lasting negative effects on a company’s sales and associated customer goodwill.  Therefore, it is imperative that businesses become well-versed in Facebook’s rules and policies upon creating their respective “company pages.”  This blog post will discuss some of the most common reasons that Facebook pages are suspended/deactivated and how to efficiently remedy the situation.

Why was my Facebook Company Page Suspended?

The easy answer to this question is that your Facebook page may have violated Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, which all users are required to abide by upon creating and maintaining a Facebook page.  However, in truth, Facebook takes some violations more seriously than others.  By way of example, in our experience, Facebook treats company sweepstakes and contest promotions quite differently than most other commercial offers.

Sweepstakes sponsors have, for many years, required prospective sweepstakes entrants to “like” those sponsors’ Facebook pages in order to access the applicable sweepstakes entry pages (or as a means to enter the Sweepstakes themselves).  This practice is commonly referred to as “like-gating,” and can be an effective way to generate significant traffic and notoriety for businesses’ Facebook page.  Historically, Facebook has discouraged all types of “like-gating,” and has recently amended its Platform Policies to prohibit this practice for all mobile applications (“apps”).  The new policy is set to go into effect on November 5, 2014.

What to do when your Facebook Company Page is Suspended

Many of the millions of Facebook users throughout the world are not aware that it is almost impossible to contact Facebook directly.  Apart from the contact form provided to users along with the suspension/deactivation notice, there is no publicly listed phone number or reliable e-mail address available for users to contact Facebook directly for purposes of pleading their case.  This almost always leaves users at the mercy of Facebook to decide if and when to restore their pages to active status.  It does not help that Facebook is notoriously unreliable in its response time, with reactivation ranging from a few hours to several weeks, even for the most harmless of infractions.

One of the most reliable ways to promptly get through to Facebook is to retain counsel that interacts with Facebook and other social media platforms on a regular basis.  Experienced social media counsel will most likely have contact information available to reach Facebook personnel directly and, if you are lucky, formed working relationships with Facebook technicians that will give you a leg up in having your Facebook page restored in a timely fashion.

The rules governing social media websites like Facebook are in a constant state of flux.  While Facebook and other social media websites can serve as valuable marketing assets, that will, ideally, foster customer growth, goodwill and loyalty, potential risks abound for businesses that do not stay abreast of the evolving rules governing their use.