Has Facebook been nudging you toward advertising?
Maybe after you share a post, this pops up:
Of course you want to reach more people, so you click “Boost Post.” You boost it for $4 to the people in your neck of the woods, and you wait for it to be approved. (Most ads are reviewed within 24 hours.) Then you get the verdict:
Thanks, Facebook. So what happened?
There are actually dozens of possible explanations, and they’re all listed on Facebook’s advertising policies page. For the sake of brevity, we’re going to dive into two common causes of confusion, and then show you how you can edit your post.
The Facebook Commandments
Here are two big “thou-shalt-nots” of Facebook that might trip you up:
- Text in images: Facebook’s policies used to prohibit ads with text that covered more than 20% of an ad’s image. They’ve since implemented a new solution that allows ads with more text to run, but the post’s delivery could still be affected.
WHAT TO DO: First off, make sure most of your text is in the text box instead of directly on the ad’s image. Reduce the font size, if you can, and keep the text in a small section of the image rather than spreading it out.
- Personal attributes: You can’t make an assertion (or even an implication) about a person’s race, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, medical condition—the list goes on.
WHAT TO DO: Make sure your post describes the promoted product or service, rather than alluding to specific characteristics of the targeted group or individual. Wondering what this looks like in execution? Read on.
The policy that our social media managers wrestle with the most is “personal attributes.” It’s certainly not intuitive, so here are some examples of generic posts that might be denied, and how to edit them for approval.
It’s Not Me, It’s YOU
- “Are you having trouble sleeping?” DENIED
- “When people have trouble sleeping…” APPROVED
In this instance, the problem is not with “trouble sleeping”—the problem is “you!” You can talk about insomnia, you just can’t imply that the person reading the post is an insomniac. (How dare you be so presumptuous.)
- “Meet other seniors in your area!” DENIED
- “Meet seniors in your area!” APPROVED
Don’t use the word “other” to reference a personal characteristic. Your post can be directed at seniors, but be careful not to isolate them with the word “other.” For more advice on abiding by the personal attributes policy, read it here.
There are many more reasons why your boost could be denied: issues with video ads, target audiences, positioning, Facebook’s brands. Of course, there’s also prohibited and restricted subjects, but we’re going to assume you’re not posting profane or controversial content. (If you are—cut it out!) If it’s a simple, well-intentioned social media post, there are steps you can take to get your ad approved.
Editing And Resubmitting Your Ad
Getting your boost denied is pretty annoying, but at least you have the opportunity to edit and resubmit your ad. Here’s what you can do:
- Ask Facebook what the deal is! Facebook will email you with details that explain why your post wasn’t approved.
- Once you find out the cause of disapproval, you can now edit your post and create a compliant one.
- Save your changes and resubmit your ad for review.
If you aren’t able to edit your ad or you believe its disapproval was a mistake, you can appeal the decision with this form.
We know Facebook advertising and boosting posts can be confusing, so we hope this blog shed some light on the subject. If you’re still mystified, get in touch—GetPhound can give you a “boost!”