Would you ever go behind a wheel if you don’t know how to drive? No, of course not. That’s insane, and something that only might work in the movies.
But if you want to do anything in real life, then you need to have a good understanding of how the process works, particularly if you want to do it well and get results. At Australian Internet Advertising, we get to talk to a lot to people utterly disappointed in Facebook marketing. “Tried it, didn’t work” is a phrase we hear all too often from our clients. But most of the reasons why the ad campaigns they created did not generate any good results or even got denied stem from not knowing what Facebook’s policies are.
Luckily for you, we have a very useful guide. Here are Facebook advertising guidelines 101.
Facebook created its ads services, well, to get more money into the company, but also to give businesses a chance to promote themselves to a wider audience. But because they couldn’t just let everyone do what they pleased with this tool, the platform created a set of fairly strict guidelines advertisers should respect.
Violating Facebook’s guidelines could mean anything from not getting the results you want to having your ads rejected or even getting the account penalized for more serious offenses.
All the submitted ads go through a review process that generally takes 24 hours to be completed, although it can take longer in some cases. The social media platform will look at your ad copy, visuals, targeting, positioning, landing page, and other elements of your ad to see if everything checks out. If the ad is fine, then it goes live.
But sometimes, ads have a certain issue that violates these guidelines, and the system tells you that the ad is denied. If you want to avoid this situation, then you’ll need to understand what their advertising policies are.
What’ll Get You on Facebook’s Blacklist
Facebook has a pretty extensive list of topics they give more attention to than others. There are two types of ad content to consider here: prohibited (a definite no), and restricted (a sometimes no, but it depends).
Prohibited content includes:
- Content that violates community standards;
- Illegal products;
- Discriminatory practices;
- Drugs and tobacco;
- Adult products or services;
- Anything with the word “Facebook” in it;
- Sales of body parts (yes, that a real thing).
The list goes on quite a bit, and if your ads contain anything from the prohibited section, then don’t expect to get your ads approved. That is content that Facebook will, under no circumstance, allow to be promoted. As you can see, a lot of the topics are also illegal, so you can understand why they’re so strict about it.
The matters aren’t so black and white regarding the restricted content,. These ads may be approved as long as you follow up with Facebook’s policy and how these ads should be constructed.
For instance, Facebook says that any branded content must tag the third-party product or service featured in the ad. So, you don’t need it to promote your product or service on your own page. But if you have a partnership with another company, and want to use your page to promote them in exchange for money or other compensation, then you have to use the branded content tool.
Other Rules to Follow
Apart from prohibited and restricted content, Facebook has some guidelines about how the ads should behave:
- Video ads should not be disruptive;
- Image ads should not have more than 20% text in them (unless they’re posters, book covers, product photos, or from the gaming industry);
- Grammar is important, and your ads won’t go through if the copy has a typo or error;
- There are some things you just can’t ask for in your lead ads (like the person’s criminal record);
- You are responsible to respect the laws of the country you’re from; if your ad is in violation of national laws, Facebook is not accountable;
- Your target audience can be considered discriminatory.
Yes, there are a lot of rules to follow. Like, A LOT. But Facebook has these guidelines in place to ensure the ads businesses create don’t offend anyone and contributed to the overall positive user experience the platform wants to offer.
We get that for advertisers all these different rules can be frustrating. The smallest mistake like writing wat instead of what can mean the ad is rejected. But, in perspective, it does make sense that Facebook runs a tight ship.
Made a Mistake? Here’s What to Do
It’s human to make mistakes. It can happen without even realizing it, but you should know there are ways to fix it. Let’s say your ad gets disapproved. Facebook will generally send you a notification or an email with the exact reason why the ad isn’t up to their standards. The ad you wanted to promote was a picture with some text on it, but it violated their 20% text rule. To fix it, you can simply edit the ad and add a new photo with less text, and try again as if nothing happened.
You should also know that Facebook can also make mistakes. The review process is automated, and sometimes the program makes a bad call and denies an ad when it shouldn’t have. Keeping the earlier example, if you say the photo does not have more than 20% text, then you can file a form and request another review. This process can even be done manually if the system cannot conclusively give a result.
Then, wait for the final verdict and go from there. If it’s still denied, then you’ll need to take a closer look at the ad and change it.
Back to You
It’s like the terms and conditions section to any app or service: who actually reads the Facebook ad policies?
Most of us will only even consider checking them when we have an issue with one of our ads or campaigns, but it’s obviously not exactly leisure reading. However, as marketers or business owner planning to promote their product or service on Facebook, you might want to look into them at some point.
Or, you can always call us. We don’t claim to know the Facebook ad policy by heart, but we are more than familiar with all its requirements. Contact Australian Internet Advertising today!