Direct-response Facebook advertisers know my pain…
I received this message from Facebook a few weeks ago:
Not only was this account and another one of the accounts I manage deactivated, but I was warned that if I violated the ad policies again, my accounts would be shut down for good.
To me, this is absolutely ridiculous, considering that Facebook doesn’t tell you exactly why your account has been deactivated – it just tells you that you’ve violated their policies.
But whatever…Facebook’s playing field, Facebook’s rules – I’m not a complainer, I’m a doer and a figure-out’er (if that’s even a thing).
I was determined to figure out how to stay kosher with Facebook’s policies.
Now, just to give you a bigger picture – Facebook ads make up a lot of my livelihood. They’re what keeps food on my plate. I’m make money for myself and businesses through creating digital marketing funnels that start with engaging users and generating leads through Facebook advertising.
I manage a $100,000 monthly ad budget on one of my accounts, so you can imagine how earth-rattling a message like this was.
So, I’ve been working round the clock these last few weeks with Facebook ad representatives, Facebook ad ninjas & my own Facebook insiders to find out what truly is acceptable in an ad, and is not.
If you don’t want to wake up one day and find your ads have been shut off, your funnels are stagnant, your lead generators are off, and your business is at a standstill, take heed to the following shoulds & should nots I’ve developed.
(Please note: These suggestions are on top of the obvious tips, like “don’t make the image in your text more than 20%,” “don’t use the Facebook logo,” “don’t use age-restricted material,” etc.)
- Make users scroll a bit on your landing page. Facebook does not like pages that have a high exit rate. If your page is short (like a lot of landing pages are), you need to add some depth to it and make the user spend more time on the page.
- Add a navigation bar onto your landing page. Give the user options. Don’t make the only option be to opt in (and then have a subsequent exit pop up when the user tries to close the page).
- Make ad congruent to landing page. Make your ad and image relevant to your landing page. No gimmicky pics.
- Make the ad-to-landing page process a positive experience. You can’t use negative phrasing like, “If you don’t get this free report on how to improve your health, just give up now.” Instead, use, “Get this free report on how to improve your health and learn the 7 simple steps you can take today to create a better future.” (I know, the second phrasing is lame, but we have to be careful).
- Review your landing pages. You can’t use any negative phrasing anywhere on your landing pages or videos, so carefully revise everything.
YOU SHOULD NOT
- Make claims. Such as, “You will not believe your eyes!” or “Proven to put more cash in your pocket today!” or “Discover and eliminate the deadly trap that’s holding you back from financial freedom!”
- Autoplay videos. Self-explanatory. Facebook hates this.
- Trap the user. Add a navigation bar. Facebook does not like when users feel like they have no choice.
- Use the following words/phrases in ads or pages (words like these are flagged by Facebook’s automation bots):
- click here now
- make money
- millionaire lifestyle
- get it now
- Identify a user personally. You can’t say, “Hey man, I know your parents are divorced. It says so in your profile…here’s how to get over it >>>” That type of advertising is terrible anyway, but you can’t single out users individually.
Now, keep in mind that even if you follow all of these rules and don’t have bad intentions, Facebook bots may flag your account or disallow you to post certain ads simply because of the phrases you use.
For example, in one of my private Facebook groups for a non-profit organization I’m a part of, I recently wrote:
“Thank you to ______ for his kind donation. The constant generosity of your time and money never ceases to amaze me. You’re going to make this a great event.”
The post was blocked.
Why? Because I used “make” and “money” in the same post.
I had this same thing happen to me in an Instagram post I recently tried with similar language (Facebook owns Instagram, so no surprise there).
The overwhelming idea and change here is that Facebook is hugely cracking down on advertisers and removing the bad apples – it’s a shift similar to what Google did a couple of years ago on Ad Words.
For a while there, there was a ton of crap, MLM-type advertising on Facebook, but kudos to them for taking the steps to remove this stuff. But along with removing the bad apples, Facebook is also getting rid of some of the good players, and a lot of it happens through automated bots who search for key phrases or keywords.
Marketers (like myself) often roll their eyes at these types of move from Facebook, but there’s a lot of validity to the moves – Facebook needs to cater to the user. They need to make it the best possible experience for them. They need to know what will result in more engagement and get them to spend more time on the sight, which will increase the chances of them seeing your ad.
So, moral of the story: Cover your ass.
Use the suggestions above and also get in contact with your Facebook ad representative (if you have one) so they can review your ads and page copy before you publish a campaign – it’ll save you the time, money and headaches afterward.
What strategies to you use to stay kosher with Facebook’s ad policies? Let me know in the comments below!