Facebook is Changing its Advertising Policies and You're Probably Affected
Facebook, ya done goofed. Worse, ya done goofed and got caught, and now we marketers are suffering.
Data collecting and buyer profiles have been a subject for debate for a few years now. You have those that abhor the thought of having their personal information stored for companies to purchase and manipulate, and then you have those like me who love data collecting. I love finding out about new products, tech, companies, and brands that are relevant to me. I think it's the future.
However, with the exposure of Cambridge Analytica, data collecting has had a bad light shone on it.
Last Friday, I came into work and Facebook was down. I couldn't get onto my News Feed and our Facebook Page was "unable to be found". I was concerned, but Facebook has been down in the morning sometimes.
But when I opened my work email and saw a message from our Ad Agency account manager "FB Ads Deactivated -- URGENT" my stomach dropped. My initial thought was, "oh God, did I do something?" "Did I get us reported?" "Did someone spam us so bad that we were removed?" "Shit." Not to mention, my bosses were both out of the office that day, so I was panicking a bit. It didn't get better when I called our account executive and she didn't answer.
I decided I would have to try and just wait it out. I looked at the Facebook Outage Map and saw that there had been almost 1000 reports of Facebook being down, with a heavy emphasis in LA and San Francisco. "Okay fine", I thought. "Let me not get all worked up about it". I made some coffee and tried to think about what to do.
I got back to my desk and Facebook was working! Phew. But our ads weren't running, which was weird. We have about 4-5 conversion and brand awareness ads running constantly and they account for almost 25% of our total sales. I focused my time that day heavily engaging with our audience and creating content. Since I wasn't able to reach our audience through paid media, I was forced to try and go back to basics--good, old, organic content and engagement.
Who is Affected?
I was pretty surprised that our entire ad account was shut down without warning within 24 hours. It took quite a bit of brainstorming and research to conclude the new policies. In my last post, I talked about how the company I work for was getting notifications about the demographics that were going to be removed from our targeting in September 2018. Welp, they completely stopped delivering all of our ad sets and now we're losing money, at the brunt of it.
Through some research and reading the new policies, Facebook os really cracking down not on what you're advertising, but who you're advertising to and how. For instance, you can't call out a person with a condition. In our case, it's pregnant women. I don't know why Facebook categorizes pregnancy as a condition, but alas. Another example of that, say you are a company that sells CBD items. You can't target people with anxiety, PTSD, etc. That's probably a big part of your target market.
Additionally, it's clear that Facebook is trying to repair the damage that was done during the 2016 election. They're hyper-vetting political ads. I read today that pro-life ads are getting rejected straight out. That may even be the reason why our ad account got deactivated; because they thought of us as a "pro-life" product, when in reality, we're really a product for the mother more than anything.
Be careful with your messaging. Be careful with your targeting. I'm currently developing a strategy for our brand to focus heavily on creative and minimal messaging in our future ads. It's a bummer because messaging and SEO are really two things that I'm passionate about and feel confident about, as far as my skills go.
What's a Marketer to Do?
I have a feeling if you've read my past posts, you know what I'm gunna say here:
Yup. Like those photos. Optimize those hashtags. Go on a liking, commenting, and following spree. That's how you get yourself up there on the popular pages and that's how you get known as a brand. Whether you're a company or Influencer, your brand is everything.
Need help establishing your own brand? Want to start monetizing your social media accounts? Contact me!
Host a Giveaway
Literally the easiest way to boost engagement and followers. For us, we usually do a 3-4 day giveaway for a free DNA kit. Sometimes we team up with an Influencer who is looking to grow their network and following.
This takes a bit of coordination, obviously. You need to come up with a plan:
- Giveaway timeline
- A prize
- Figure out who you're partnering with (if applicable)
- Media creation
- Messaging creation
- Rules creation
- Disclaimer (if applicable)
- A plan to choose a winner (I recommend using IG Random Comment Picker for randoming picking your winner from the comment "entries")
Create 🔥 (and Engaging) Content
Get those creative juices flowing and start creating! My favorite thing to do is create engaging content. Luckily it's easy in my demographic with things like "Bump Day" and "#momlife" memes. Moms love to be on Facebook and engage with one another. Pregnancy and raising a family brings people together, especially women. So all I have to do is start the conversation and keep it going by consistently engaging with those who respond to the content.
Respond to every comment and have a unique response for all of them. It can take time (depending on how many people respond; see some of my engagement-focused content below) but it is so worth it.
Thanks for checking back here! And remember to let me know if you need any specific ideas to come up with engaging content for your followers!