Over Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and Christmas, e-commerce retailers and consumers are expected to set new world records for transactions and money spent on advertising and buying. Among the most popular platforms for advertising, Facebook and Instagram are preferred by the majority of businesses.
Even though FB and IG are considered to be great and profitable platforms to advertise, they are also the riskiest and unpredictable platforms when it comes to bans. Facebook policy algorithms scan accounts, Business Managers, and profiles around the clock. They can detect minor and major policy violations and suspend your account or ads without notification or warning.
We have spent the last three and a half years tracking Facebook’s algorithmic changes, resolving policy issues for thousands of desperate advertisers, and bringing big companies back to Facebook marketing after being banned repeatedly.
In this article, we want to share our insights, dispel common policy and bans misconceptions, and provide you with a few tips to make your holidays profitable and Facebook account bans free.
Firstly, let us dispel the misconceptions surrounding Facebook and Instagram account suspensions. By understanding how and why they occur, you can better plan your advertising activities and minimize the risk of being banned.
Why does Facebook ban advertisers?
One of the most common questions about Facebook and Instagram advertising policies is why does Facebook ban advertisers? Why do they block businesses and ad accounts? They would lose money, wouldn’t they?
It might surprise you, but we believe that Facebook actually saves and earns money when it restricts users, ad accounts, etc. So here is another way to look at Facebook bans:
There is a conflict of interest between advertisers and Facebook.
As an advertiser, you would like to get your ROI, ROAS higher as possible.
Facebook and Instagram want to help you in your mission, but they have another interest as well: users’ time on the platform.
The conflict of interest between Facebook and Advertisers
While advertisers aim to convert, Facebook’s interest is to ensure that users feel comfortable and happy after viewing and interacting with ads. Users who feel safe and aren’t offended by ads are more likely to click on ads and make purchases in the future, resulting in more revenue for Facebook and advertisers.
For example, if your funnel is too aggressive, you might see great marketing results, while simultaneously, you will expose your business to an account suspension.
So, when Facebook bans your ads, it is defending its most valuable asset – the users. Moreover, Facebook is also bound by international consumer laws. So if your funnel does not comply with the latest rules and regulations, you might be banned as well.
PRO TIP: don’t get too aggressive with users when advertising on Facebook. Make sure that you comply with rules and regulations in your niche.
Why doesn’t Facebook provide any prior warning?
Here is another point of confusion among marketers. Unfortunately, advertisers often tend first to publish their ads and then get banned.
Take a look at this quote, taken from Facebook’s policy:
“Keep in mind that violating our Advertising Policies, Community Standards or other Facebook policies and terms may lead to restricted use of your profile, Pages, and ad accounts.”
PRO TIP: Before you click on the “Publish” button, you must learn Facebook’s advertising rules, regulations, and standards.
Note that Facebook’s policy algorithms are designed to ban content and search for low-quality content or experiences.
As disappointing as it is, but you will not receive a complete report of all the violations Facebook found in your marketing funnels. Instead, you will receive either a regular “you violated our policy” notice or a reference to their policy paragraph.
Even if your marketing funnel contains at least ten policy violations in both cases, they won’t disclose their algorithms. You can’t expect Facebook to give you a full report as much as you expect Google to provide you with a full SEO report – both the SEO algorithm and policy algorithm are hidden and considered a Trade secret.
Understanding Your Policy Score
Keep in mind that Facebook measures all of your online activity on the platform and gives it a score. In this article, we will refer to it as ‘policy score.’ Whether it’s a post on your personal account, a group you manage, or a new landing page on your website, Facebook keeps track of your online activities and searches for violations of its policies or bad user experience.
Although ads and accounts are the main assets that usually get blocked, it can also happen with your other assets besides ads.
When an asset violates Facebook’s policy, your policy score will be lowered, and you are more likely to be blocked. Consequently, if you own an ad account that runs ads and it has a good policy score, but you also own a few fake profiles, you could get banned.
Thus, to maintain a high policy score, you must be familiar with this Facebook’s advertising policy and understand how it operates.
An Approved Ad Doesn’t Mean That It Aligns With Facebook’s Policy
Most advertisers believe that if their ad is approved, they are on the safe side. This assumption might be valid in some cases, yet if you don’t follow or are not sure you actively follow Facebook’s policy, chances are your ad will be scanned in the future and lead to a ban.
As the algorithm scans your ad, a policy violation can be detected, which can happen days, weeks, or even months and years after the ad was approved. Therefore, you should be aware that policy violations will affect your policy score and make the algorithm scan your future ads more carefully.
Another common mistake is that you won’t get blocked if you advertise with good intentions and if you don’t try to circumvent the system. Unfortunately, as harsh as it sounds, your good intentions do not matter in this case.
If Facebook Accepted Your Appeal, It Does Not Mean That Your Ad Followed the Policy
Once you receive Facebook’s message regarding an account suspension and you think there has been a mistake, you may appeal. If your appeal is accepted, a message of apology will also be sent- this is an automatic message. This does not mean you have advertised correctly.
If you are banned twice or more in a row, it is likely that the algorithm has been locked on your account and that any appeal you make will result in a permanent ban from advertising.
You must identify what triggered the policy algorithm and solve the issue.
Creating a New Profile Is Not a Smart Solution
As soon as your ad, business account, or even a private profile violates Facebook’s guidelines, the algorithm scans all of your online assets and remembers you.
When users are banned or blocked, they often create a new profile or business account and re-advertise. Remember, your ban was caused by violating the policy in the first place. By promoting again without modifying anything, you will end up in the same situation, or even worse.
How to Improve Your Policy Score?
1. Two-step verification
Apply Two-Step Verification login, which confirms you have verified your identity in two different methods. By doing so, you help keep your (and your clients’) accounts secure, and it’s much safer than using just a password.
2. Verify your account’s business managers
This action also helps in reducing suspicions towards your activity.
3. Avoid multiple profiles
Do not open multiple profiles and allow anyone to access your profile; multiple profiles might also result in policy violations.
4. Find the ‘why’
If your ads have been banned, find out why and fix them. It will assist you in future advertising and prevent the accumulation of violations resulting in a restriction of your entire ad account or Business Manager.
5. Check your old ads
If one or more of your past ads has been blocked, check the reason and fix it. Otherwise, delete them.
6. Log out of any unused or old accounts
7. Don’t rush into opening new accounts
Once blocked, do not open a new account and re-advertise. Instead, you should contact Facebook’s help center to understand the reason you have been blocked.
8. Make sure you don’t use the same assets
If you get banned, make sure not to advertise the same content, whether ads, websites or landing pages.
How to Make Sure Facebook Approves Your Holiday Ads?
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, this time of the year is the perfect time for businesses to advertise on social media and increase sales.
It is also the worst time of the year to get blocked or restricted from advertising on social media. To prevent it, here are some handy tips:
- Do not offer exaggerated discounts. Keep the holiday price in a normal range.
- Avoid inserting hyperlinks in your ads.
- Keep external landing pages friendly and straightforward. Facebook is not fond of too many CTAs.
- Use authentic pictures and don’t make unrealistic promises or describe unreasonable features of your product or service.
- Disconnect from banned accounts if you or your coworkers are connected to them.
Proper advertising on Facebook and Instagram is all about knowing the policy and constantly following it. Some many more criteria and parameters are taken into consideration when calculating one’s policy score.
To make sure that your ads are inlined with the policy- we offer an audit of your Facebook Business Manager accounts. This action will make sure you can advertise confidently and effectively during the holiday season and all year round.
About the author:
Tamir Farkash is a compliance and policy consultant to global advertising agencies and high-budget advertisers.