Facebook can be really strict when approving an advertisement. You may have encountered an ad disapproval before. The list of policies is quite extensive and who are we kidding, nobody reads it properly. We have done the work for you and bring you an overview of the most important rules for advertising on Facebook. What to avoid in promoted posts and what to do if Facebook rejects your ad?
The ad approval process
Let’s start from scratch. How does the approval process actually work? After you run or edit your ad, Facebook will submit it for review. You will receive a notification when the check is complete. At best, the scheduled ad is running, at worst, it’s been rejected. If it wasn’t approved, it means that you probably broke some of the rules.
Basic Facebook advertising rules
The rules of Facebook advertising that you as an advertiser should know are divided into three groups:
1. Community standards
Community standards apply to all profiles, not just corporate profiles. For the most part, you probably don’t need to be reminded of these rules – you should not engage in hate speech, promote any kind of discrimination, xenophobia, criminal behaviour or bullying, promote drugs, violence, weapons, pornographic contributions and the like.
2. Policies for pages, groups and events
This is a list of all the rules that should interest you if you are in charge of online marketing. We have summarized the most important points for you below.
3. Advertising policies
This point should be of most interest to you if you are in charge of advertising. In the Advertising Policy, you will find all the reasons why Facebook reserves the right to reject your advertising. In addition, the approval process, ad targeting, logo display rules, and lots of other useful information are explained here. So let’s take a look at the pain points that come up the most.
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The 5 most common mistakes in posts – what to watch out for
These are the five most common reasons why you may have inadvertently violated Facebook’s advertising policies.
1. Promotion of prohibited products
There are products that Facebook considers banned. These are, for example, tobacco products and medicines. The advertisement should not contain any weapons, erotic aids or similar. But it doesn’t have to be just a problem with the ad itself. Facebook also checks the content of the landing page. So if you’re referring in your ad to sites that sell weapons or ammunition, for example, expect it to be disapproved.
2. Unauthorized conditions of competitions
Contest terms are probably the most common issue with disapproved ads and blocked accounts. You can find them in the Facebook policies center for pages, groups and events as Promotions on Pages, Groups, and Events. There, you will read that:
- It is not allowed to use a personal timeline or connection with friends.
- The competition must have official rules.
- The post must include two paragraphs on Facebook’s exemption from obligations and a disclaimer that Facebook has nothing to do with the competition.
So sentences like “Share a post on your timeline and tag at least two of your friends!” probably won’t pay off in the end. In these cases, it often happens that Facebook not only rejects your advertisement, but also blocks your entire account, so you have to start building your fan base all over again.
3. Sensational content
Another thing that an ad on Facebook should not contain is so-called sensational content. That could mean controversial product photos or a label that encourages hatred. Another example that Facebook lists as banned is a pimple squeeze ad.
In addition, Facebook also does not like the abuse of crisis, political posts or the spread of misinformation. We recommend that you avoid this type of content when determining your communication strategy.
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4. Personal assumptions about the targeted person
This is also a very common problem. How many times have you come across an ad on Facebook like “Does XY hurt? We have a solution for you… ” or “Do you have a newborn at home? Then XY will come in handy.”? Instead, try to formulate your content so that it doesn’t look targeted: “Our product helps with XYZ, and it’s also a cool accessory.”
Tip: How to do content marketing? Read a quick guide for small and medium businesses.
Facebook doesn’t like it if you abuse its features. And this is especially true for reactions. Posts like “If you prefer summer, give this post a like. If you prefer winter, give it a heart.” are widespread and very functional in terms of engagement, but when it comes to approving ads, they are a bit of a gamble. The exception is if you use a complete series of reactions when voting (this is fine according to Facebook rules), or if it is an organic reach.
The error may not be on your end
If you encounter an ad disapproval, you should look for the incriminated post in the Ad Center to find out what’s wrong with it. If you find a problem, you can edit the post and resubmit it for approval.
But it often happens that approval bots are just hypersensitive or paranoid and you won’t find a mistake on your end – because you didn’t actually break the rules of advertising on Facebook. In this case, don’t be afraid and ask customer support for a content review.
When you request a review of a post, the ad will no longer be approved by a bot. It will get reviewed by a real person. You should then receive an answer within 24 working hours. At best, they will approve your ad, at worst, you have one last resort – write an email directly to support and wait for a response.
What’s the worst thing that can happen?
If Facebook determines that a policy violation has occurred on your part, it can punish you in several ways: reject the ad, block the account from advertising, block the company page, or even block your personal account.
Tip: Do you know your target audience? Learn how to target your posts to the right people.
What to do if your ad account is blocked?
If Facebook decides to block your advertising account, you can contact support, fill out the form, and wait if you get a pardon. But it rarely happens that they get back to you all. Expecting them to reactivate your account is then more like waiting for a miracle. But even those sometimes happen. If you have not received support and your account remains suspended, you can at least export and manage your ads from another account.
Tip: The new account should have nothing to do with the previous one. So you should create it from a different profile and with a different credit card.
If Facebook blocks your page, you have to start all over again
In the event of a strict or repeated violation of conditions, Facebook may block your entire page or even your personal profile. You can then request that the account be unblocked, but this will not happen in most cases. In that case, you have only one option – to start completely from scratch.
Bexare: If you request to unblock your account, Facebook will also want to scan the identity card of the person to whom the account is registered. According to the rules of Facebook, your profile must be registered in your real name. So if you happen to manage your pages from a profile called Funny Judy, you are screwed.
Read Facebook’s advertising policy and save yourself a lot of trouble
It is probably clear to you that it is best not to have to deal with blocked pages or accounts at all. Therefore, we recommend that you give Facebook’s advertising policy a proper read and take care not to violate it. If there is a problem, try to solve it with a calm head. Maybe it’s just an honest mistake.
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