Guidelines and Key Rules for Facebook Ads

For those of you who regularly work with Facebook, it is known that Facebook ad guidelines have become more strict than ever before. Facebook has increased scrutiny for monitoring and reviewing the content that is promoted by individuals and businesses on their platform. Facebook's Advertising Policies provide guidelines about which ads are acceptable and unacceptable on the site. When advertisers place their orders, their ads are reviewed based on these policies. 


It is important to have a solid grasp of what is allowed, as well as, what isn’t. Read this guide and follow the advice to ensure your ads get approved. Unnecessarily disapproved ads means more unnecessary work for you. So let's talk about the process and the rules. 

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Review Process

Before any ad shows up on Facebook or Instagram (both are under one advertising platform), they are reviewed, so Facebook makes sure they meet the Advertising Policies mentioned above. Typically most ads are reviewed within 24 hours, although in some cases, it may take longer. 


So what will Facebook check? Almost everything - your ad's images, text, targeting, and positioning, in addition to the content on your ad's landing page. Your ad may not be approved if the web page content isn't fully functional, doesn't match the product/service promoted in your ad or doesn't fully comply with the given Advertising Policies.


Sometimes it happens that your ad is not accepted and Facebook just does not allow you to run that certain ad. Most of the time you can easily find out why. Try to edit your ad, so that it follows the policies. If you are certain your ad does follow the policies, you can ask for your ad to be reviewed again.


You need to follow Facebook’s Community Standards at all times.

Rules


Images

Rule number one is that only 20% of your ad image can be text. So don't include more than 15% of text in any image (better safe than sorry). This does not refer to the headline or body content of your ads, it only refers to text that is applied over the image itself. 


Event posters, book covers, games or product images may qualify for an exception.


Facebook Ad Rules - Image Text
Facebook Image Text

If you are not sure if you are following this rule, you can use this tool to check it before you submit your ad for review. 


The images you use directly impact whether or not your ad is approved. Make sure that you’re not putting your ads at risk and generating extra work for you when they need to be redone. They should represent what you are trying to promote, and they should not show anything from the restricted or prohibited content that is detailed and explained below.

Written Copy Guidelines

Compelling copy is the most important part of your Facebook ads — nail it and see that users are more likely to convert. When you create a copy, it needs to align with Facebook’s restricted and prohibited content guidelines (down below) and be 100% relevant to the product or service you’re offering (the same applies for your images), as well as the landing page the ad directs users to after clicking. 


Watch your language! The ads you create must speak accurately and honestly about the product, service, company, or brand being advertised and have no grammar mistakes. Ads must not contain any profanity or bad grammar and punctuation. Symbols, numbers and letters must be used properly without the intention of circumventing the Facebook ad review process or other enforcement systems.


Targeting Guidelines 

When you’re serving ads to your audience, it's better to make sure the audience is interested in them and finds them relevant to their needs. This helps not only for better conversion rates, but to ensure that you’re in line with Facebook’s targeting guidelines. If you target the wrong audience, or serve them information that is intentionally misleading, your ads will be disapproved. 


Special Categories

You cannot use ads that discriminate against any group of Facebook users. There is a special category for advertising in the U.S. that is reviewed more strictly. In this category, there are ads that offer credit, employment or housing opportunities.  You must choose the category that best describes your ads. These are special categories for which audience selection tools are limited to help protect people on Facebook from unlawful discrimination. That means, for example, advertising of an apartment only to people who identify as white, or targeting people according to their color, race, religion, sex, nationality, disability or family status, will be considered predatory and because of Facebook's anti-dicrimination practices, will ultimately be disapproved. 


Note: Be careful what information you request via lead ads You cannot request information about someone’s political affiliation, race, color, religion, sex, disability, family status or national origin. 


Custom Audiences 

Creating custom audiences is one of my favourite tools in Facebook advertising. Make sure that any audience you create complies with Facebook’s Customer Audience Terms. This is especially important for EU advertisers, because they have to follow more stringent data collection policies.

Landing Page 

Facebook’s review is not only inside the application, it checks all landing pages connected to your ads as well. Make sure your landing page content is relevant! If it is not, your ad will not be accepted. The landing page linked to your Facebook ads must have a good user experience. It must be fully functional and be free of spyware and malware. 


Remember: Your landing page must be compliant with Facebook’s guidelines. That means it must include a privacy policy, clearly indicated pricing and billing where appropriate, an unchecked opt-in box, and information on how to cancel. 


What cannot be promoted?


There are some types of content that Facebook does not accept on the platform at all. 


  1. Selling any kind of adult content as well as adult products. Ads must not promote the sale or use of adult products or services, except for ads for family planning and contraception. Ads for contraceptives must focus on the contraceptive features of the product. Your ads should not promote sexually suggestive or sexually explicit material including nudity, implied nudity, content that alludes to sexual activity, excessive visible skin, or images focused on individual body parts is prohibited. 
  2. Language must also be respectful.  Not that we think you would do this, but let's be clear, hate speech or harassing language are grounds for an outright ban from Facebook. This includes any ad that involves discrimination or encourages others to be against a person based on their race, ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, family status, disability, medical or genetic condition. Ads must avoid discrimination, as well.
  3. Drugs and tobacco products are a no go. You cannot reference any illegal or illicit substances in your Facebook ads. Only pre-approved pharmacies and drug companies can run ads on Facebook. 
  4. Weapons, ammunition, and explosives are forbidden content.
  5. Unsafe supplements are not allowed either.
  6. Sale of body parts. Just don't do it. I am sure you will need them :)

Etc... etc., there are 32 content sections that are prohibited.


And that is not all, some content is restricted. For example:


  1. Alcohol and online gambling - Facebook will allow only ads for alcohol to age-restricted audiences in countries where it is legal. If you promote any of these, ensure that the correct country and age restrictions are set. Skipping this step will cause your ads to be disapproved. 
  2. Dating websites and adult friend finders 
  3. Weight Loss Products or Weight Loss Plans must be targeted to people 18 years or older.


Many things are restricted and most of the time, it is according to local laws- to read all the restricted content, check this page.


This article will help you get your ads approved quickly and easily. Just follow the rules above and you’ll be serving ads to potential customers in no time. The advertising policies are very complex and complicated, nevertheless the main points and most common rules have been introduced and we hope the policies won't make your life too difficult.

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5 Tips for Good Community Management

A strong community becomes a place where customers interact not only with the brand, but also with each other. This is a great source of positive and authentic reviews and it is also an opportunity to build a relationship with your audience. The best brands have killer community management strategies and this article explains the top 5 tips to help you better manage your community across all channels.

  1. Plan, plan, please, plan

People plan their meetings, their gym sessions, their tasks in general, why not just plan the content, then? Planning weeks or even months in advance gives you the ability to readjust your posts if needed. Set up your content calendar and approval flows. If you are doing the content alone, make sure there are no errors. Stay consistent and relevant. Planning your content ahead will help you to see the overall impression. Try it! It’s satisfying.

Scheduled Posts on Facebook
Scheduled Posts on Facebook

2. Represent your brand identity

Are you a real estate agent, owner of a flower shop or a barber? Representing your brand or business does not mean you should be boring. Be entertaining, so your audience feels good as part of your e-company. Give them valuable information, call them to action so they engage with you. Be consistent and you will become memorable. If it is not in your brand identity to behave cheeky, as for example, Netflix does, find another way to communicate in a friendly and engaging way. :)

Netflix Tweet
Outstanding Netflix Tweet

3. Track important metrics

As mentioned above, the realtor, the barber and the flower shop owner have something in common — they should not be boring. But they can have different social media goals. The realtor might be looking for new leads, because they don’t want to be dependent on one channel like e. g. Zillow. The barber needs more customers and the florist needs to be in the minds of all the guys who live near the shop, so once their special lady has a birthday, they know where to buy the best flowers! It can be difficult to determine how your efforts have contributed to sales and leads directly. Instead, it’s better to determine how you define your own success, depending on your goals.

Think about these points below:

Traffic: Is your community on your website? Do you see growth over time? Where is the traffic coming from?

Engagement: How many people are coming to your page versus those actually engaging? Which topics are they engaging in most often? This may determine your future questions, content and discussion starters.

Members or customers: How many new members do you get every week and how many do you lose? Is this consistent? If there was a drop or growth, find what caused it!

4. Use the data you collected

Analyse your posts, interactions and the feedback you get from your audience. Then OPTIMISE! You are the one who knows the data and your customers best. The value of data cannot be understated — you’ll end up with happier, more loyal customers, as well as more easily converted leads. Use the advantage!

5. UGC!

People trust other users experience more than the companies themselves. Did you know that reviewed a product’s chances to be sold are 80% higher than one without any review? Positively reviewed, obviously. Social media is all about interaction, sometimes the best content will come from your audience.

This is User-Generated Content, or UGC. It is amazing because it is authentic, and reflects what your customers think about your brand and… it’s free. It will show your customers’ experiences, and it drives the conversation forward in ways that you won’t be able to do by yourself. It is the gate to engage with people and get closer to them, making your brand feel more personal and approachable. UGC can be anything e.g. posts or tweets mentioning your brand or reviews.

Two examples of UGC campaigns:

  1. Calvin Klein asked its fans to fill in the campaign line “I_____in #MyCalvins.” Thousands of their followers took photos and posted their briefs, making the campaign go viral. In just a few months, over 500,000 photos were tagged on Instagram. Brand awareness: overloaded. Very clever :)
  2. TVNZ teamed up with World Vision to increase awareness around the 40 Hour Famine challenge and show support, while raising funds for the people of South Sudan, who were affected by extreme drought. Using the hashtag #40hfnz and sharing photos (with their hands outstretched) on social media, participants voiced solidarity. A nice project, isn’t it?

Calvin Klein
Instagram Post (Calvin Klein)

Instagram Post (40 Hour Famine challenge)
Instagram Post (40 Hour Famine challenge)

Remember: Everybody wants the response. And everybody wants the answers quickly or even instantly. Do care about your response rate and response time. It might seem that people take it for granted, but it really makes the user experience unique and enjoyable.

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Take Your Small Business to the Next Level with Marketing Automation Software

One of the buzzwords and a key trend in marketing is automation. Even though it may sound complicated and unaffordable for small businesses, the opposite is true – you only have to know where to begin. If you know what to focus on, choose the right software and analyze your efforts, marketing automation can truly get your business to the next level.


Marketing automation is, as the name suggests, a category of technology that streamlines your marketing activities. It gives you the power to focus on customers with the highest potential and saves your time by triggering messages (campaigns) across multiple channels without you having to start them manually. A miracle, I know.


There is always a buzz around new technologies. We recommend reading our article about the difference between Hype & Trend. Marketing automation, we believe, is a trend to stay. Jump on the train as soon as you can. No matter how big your business is. If you choose an affordable solution, your business can never be too small for this.


There are more arguments to start using a marketing automation tool:

  • It saves you time by automating manual effort.
  • If done well, it increases the revenue and saves cost.
  • It allows you to nurture your most valuable customers and focus on new customers with the highest potential.


Stop. Doing. Manual. Work. Period. Let technology help you automate. It's not as hard as it looks. You will find out soon, just bear with us…


Where do you start?

Let us guide you through the very first steps to start using marketing automation that will take your business to the next level.


1. Set your priorities

Be clear about what you want to achieve and how you'll track it. This is a prerequisite to get started. If you don't clearly set your expectations, you won't know where to go and you won't recognize when you get there.


Do you want to save time? Great!  Are you more interested in increasing your response rate? That's cool too. Would you like to generate more leads? That counts as well. Goals and expectations should come out of your status quo - no one will help you here, just you, so start by defining your goals.


2. Define the customer journey & touchpoints

Know the journey of your customer. You can only optimize if you know what leads your customers to purchase. We are fans of marketing funnels that help you (in a simplified way) understand the customer journey. Draw one for your business – you will get a better idea of where your customers get stuck.


Let us give an example here. Say you run your real estate business. Your primary selling point is your website with all the listings and offers. You run Google, Bing and social media ads to generate traffic. You might send some newsletters too.


Your primary goal is to generate leads and close them, right? There are multiple touchpoints throughout the customer journey (before you close the deal). Here is what a customer journey may look like:


3. Find out what can be automated

Now that you know how your customers behave – you've identified the touchpoints, let's slowly start automating. Or better said, let's find out what can be automated. Tools like Hubspot, ActiveCampaign or Keap are mostly focused on email marketing, social media ads, search & display ads, SMS, widgets and pop ups on the website. These represent the channels that you can use to get in touch with your audience. Let us expand on our example above. The touchpoints where the communication can be fully automated are now marked in red:

4. Choose the right automation software

There are plenty of tools to choose from. Going back to your potential question: “Are these tools affordable for small businesses?”, note that you don't have to pick Marketo or Hubspot to automate your efforts. These are tools mainly for enterprises that operate with big marketing budgets. Not in our case. We go small. But effectively…


Let's list some of the tools you can use to start automating your communication:


  1. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign gives you not just marketing automation software, but CRM on top. Its pricing starts at 9 USD (if paid annually) and offers not just email marketing, but also SMS, Facebook targeting, subscription forms and personalised content on your website. It's a great tool.


  1. Keap (by Infusionsoft)

You will have to go deeper into your pocket here. Plans start at 49 USD, but they offer you a sales pipeline plus invoices & payment management on top of what ActiveCampaign gives you. If you lead a sales team, this can be a great choice.


  1. Drip

As well as other automation tools, Drip focuses on campaign orchestration – creating a single view across multiple channels. We worship the 360°customer view and so does Drip. Their focus is ecommerce and they offer great features, like personalised product recommendations.


  1. Mailchimp

It started solely as an email marketing tool, and is now moving into the automation platform. Mailchimp offers features like landing page creation, social media ads and soon-to-be-launched marketing CRM. Pricing starts at 9,99 USD plus they offer a freemium to play with the tool and use basic features.


  1. Zapier

We love Zapier – the glue of the internet. It allows you to connect two platforms that, by themselves, do not communicate with each other. Say you generate leads on your Wix website and need to send them to your Drip account. Zapier helps you do that – automatically of course. With more than 1,500 platforms, they are the real glue of the internet...


  1. groost

As much as we love Zapier, we adore our own solution – groost. The name itself says that it'll grow & boost your business. We do it by automating and simplifying your campaign management. If you need to generate more leads, increase website traffic or get more post engagement on your social media profile, you probably run paid campaigns – knowing that organic reach is constantly decreasing – which can be overwhelming. Learning how Google Ads, Facebook Business Manager, LinkedIn Campaign Manager or Bing Ads work takes ages. Not with groost – a single platform for all your marketing efforts. We do offer freemium too to show your business on both Facebook and Instagram – try it out!


5. Analyze your efforts after some time & improve

Make sure to come back and analyze your efforts. As Peter Drucker said, if you can't measure it, you can't improve it. Analyzing what works and what doesn't is crucial. We recommend running continual AB testing to optimise every step of your funnel and every touchpoint with your customers. All tools that have been listed above allow you to do so easily.


These are the 5 easy steps to get started with marketing automation. Some of them might seem obvious, but believe me, there is no shortcut. Set your priorities first, define the customer journey and touchpoints, find out what can be automated, choose the right tool(s) and after some period of time, come back, analyze and improve.

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How to Define Your Buyer Persona

Do you know who you should have in mind as your ideal buyer? What are their needs, what do they desire, how and when do they like to consume content, and through which channels? To answer these questions, it's extremely helpful to create buyer personas. The personas are developed based on a combination of customers' behavior and your understanding of their motivations and challenges. In the process of creating these personas, you’ll gain insights into how your audience thinks and discover what they want. You will find out the communication style that works for them, and the ways in which they like to consume content. Also, you can find out the ideal price they are most likely to pay for your product or what features the product should have.


For your business, it is crucial to define your buyer persona (aka marketing persona). What are buyer personas? Imagine them as a representation of the demographic where you can find your ideal customer. Creating them helps you understand your customers' needs, while online marketing gives you the ability to target groups or individuals according to specific aspects you can define by creating the personas. Your result? A more efficient and effective marketing campaign.


The challenge of current operating businesses is whether or not to take time out of your already busy day in order to spend time on a persona project. But so much information and knowledge can be gained and your marketing can really improve by doing it flawlessly. And remember, personas are also crucial to getting your 5 marketing Ps right


How do you start? 


1. Ask questions!

To elaborate your personas you need to determine what their goals and attitudes are. You have to ask yourself, what do they know? What do they respond to? What are their behaviors? What do they need? Where are they?


Do qualitative research to gather this knowledge. Ask them. Watch them. Follow them. 


Try to create one or more buyer personas. Developing personas helps you understand your buyers as much as possible. It can provide insights into the different roles in companies or families, as well as into an individuals' life.  This information may eventually factor into a customers’ decision to make a purchase. 


Basically, personas are a comprehensive kind of map of your customers’ minds and personalities, helping you see the world from their perspective. With this X-ray super power, you can find and tailor your ideas to fill in the gaps, meet their needs, and ensure that your content is interesting and relevant to them.


2. How do you get this information? 

Well, you are an entrepreneur, you know nothing is easy. The best source of information is interviews and surveys! Do you see your customers in person? Ask them! Do you have a sales or customer support team? Ask them about the customers. Once you determine your personas, you can schedule user interviews that last about 20 minutes or send them a survey. Make sure they get a little reward afterwards :)


A good source of information is also statistics and reliable broad research done by companies. 


I am sure you have heard that some companies even hire trained anthropologists to watch what people do and how they behave. Your research can be as deep as you want. Just do not bother your clients for too long. 

3. How do you create the personas? 

Once you’ve collected your responses, comb through your research to identify the common threads, concerns, hopes, desires, and challenges people face. Sometimes, you may notice a common theme or even phrase in your responses. These are incredibly valuable.


Have you gathered all of your data from research? Now you can start developing your unique segments. Divide the people by:


a) Demographic

b) Location

c) Interests

d) Behaviour

e) Whatever is relevant for you e. g. job title


4. Finalize them!

Once you have your “rough” personas, it’s time to polish it all. Make sure you have a name for each, and circulate your personas for feedback from relevant people (e.g., your sales team). Once refined, memorialize these in a Google Doc or Excel spreadsheet that is easily accessible. Use these finalized personas to brainstorm content. Going forward, you should be able to identify: Which persona will be interested in your product, service or idea. Why will that persona be interested in it? Make sure to regularly review and update personas, as well.


The more detailed your personas are, the better your marketing targeting can be. You should be able to imagine them or draw them. You should be able to simulate an interview with them, to know what tone you should use, and what their interests are. Imagine that you are selling something to them personally and play with your new imaginary customers. 


You know you did a good job if your personas are: Divergent from each other, feel real, and are easy to explain. Create files for each one, so you don't forget anything about them, hang pictures of them around the office, so you feel they are present. If you have coworkers, they all should know these personas perfectly. Your aim is for the company to culturally adopt the concept of talking about these personas as real people.

How can personas help create content?

Audience insights: 

Your created personas will help you understand your audience’s concerns, preferences, and goals. When you know these, you are able to create content your buyers will find engaging, relevant, entertaining and valuable. Personas help you determine that very sort of content you will need. If you divide your current content down by persona, you can simply see which personas are getting enough content - they are nurtured, and which personas need more or a different kind of content.


Communication styles: 

Because you already know who you are talking to, set the tone, style, and delivery strategies for your content according to your personas. For example, some buyers respond best to a friendly, conversational voice, with some jokes and questions, while others trust a more formal tone and serious negotiation. By creating your personas, you’ll determine the best tone and style for your content. You can even target the topics you should be writing about for each persona. 


Content preferences: 

At the end of the day, personas tell you where buyers prefer to get their information. Are they like bookworms? Do they like to sink their teeth into 100-page guides, or do they prefer short, concise texts and easy graphics? This information will help you set the way you create your content for each persona and how your buyers will discover it. It's the same for your creatives. Some people won't watch a video, some will only respond to a colorful picture and some only to a call to action post. Create content that will engage your buyers more effectively. 

Note: The delivery strategies for your content may or may not be the same for all your buyer personas. It is also okay to have only one or to have many buyer personas, it's up to you!


How can you target those personas via online advertising platforms?

Besides demography e.g. age, location and sex, each platform gives us a different way to target the customers. 


LinkedIn, as an employment platform, allows us to target people based on their job title, their knowledge, education, abilities, their current employer, as well as companies they have been employed by or their level of seniority. 


Facebook is more informal and fun, so you can target people according to their interest, pages they like, devices they use, travel plans or according to an upcoming birthday in their friend list. There are a vast number of options you can select to describe your persona(s) as precisely as possible. If you take an interest in this topic, you can read more about Facebook targeting according to interests , as well as location


To sum it all up…

Create a comprehensive list of your personas. 

One campaign should target one persona, for a more effective strategy.

Smaller campaigns, with an in-depth target, are more effective with an individual persona.


Having said this, buyer personas are something you REALLY need to run your business and use the online platforms effectively. Got any questions? Don't hesitate to contact us! 

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How to Build Your Personal Brand

We’re all used to connecting the term ‘brand' with relationships to companies and products. However, that’s not what we’re going to talk about right now. A personal brand is kind of like a stamp that defines your persona and how people see it. In the past, personal branding used to be only about business cards, logos and websites. Today, it’s much more diverse. (Although websites are still useful for anyone building their brand and if you'd like to know more, you can read about this topic here.) Anyone who has access to the internet and social media can showcase themselves as an expert, build an audience, and attract clients that might be interested in their business. It’s a connection between how you see yourself, how you communicate with others and how they see you. Now, where do you start and how do you build a brand for yourself?

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How to Market Real Estate on Social Media

One of the main problems of real estate agents, is getting listings. To make it work, you shouldn’t just focus on your website. Social media and the online world, overall, could be a marvelous extension of the brand you present yourself as offline. If you take advantage of its options, you’ll reach more people, build trust and most importantly - sell.


Here are a few things you should know about social media marketing for real estate. 


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40+ Tools for Creating Visual Content on Social Media

It is well-known that visual content is the basis of success on social networks. It’s easier for users to consume pictures and videos, than text. It’s also more visible in a mess of other content. According to some studies, tweets with pictures receive up to 150% more retweets than plain text posts without pictures. So, it is clear that the importance of visual content is steadily increasing and you definitely shouldn't ignore it.


You don't have to worry, you don't need to hire expensive agencies right away. You don't even have to learn to work with complicated and expensive tools, like Photoshop. Fortunately, today there are plenty of free online and mobile apps available to create visual content in just a few clicks.


In this article we will introduce you to 40+ tools that are available on the internet for free. We use these tools on a daily basis, so we can highly recommend them.

Canva

By far the most famous online tool for creating all kinds of visuals, and not just for social media. Canva allows you to create literally everything you can think of — from nice Facebook covers to Instagram Stories to beautiful Infographics. You can choose from dozens of templates and it all works for web browsers or mobile apps.


Vizzlo

Whether you need a simple pie chart or a complex business graphic, Vizzlo's portfolio offers you a broad range of different visualization choices. It works for browsers and it is easy to use. You can enter your data using the simple sidebar, and then choose to import spreadsheets from Excel or Google Sheets. Add the result to your slides and documents or directly share it on all your social media channels.


Graphicriver

An endless collection of various templates, fonts, logos, flyers and much more. Graphicriver is where you can find ready-made graphic designs for almost any digital content. You don't need to hire an expensive agency and create all visuals and graphics from scratch. It is often enough to modify existing templates. This saves you not only a bunch of time, but also money, because the prices of the templates are very low.


Tip: If you are not familiar with editing graphics, try to outsource it via Fivver.


Landscape

Size matters! At least when it comes to social media. Landscape has hundreds of recommended dimensions, sizes and ratios across different platforms and devices. It is easy to get lost in these constantly changing numbers. So try to use Landscape by Sprout, it helps you resize multiple images for your profiles automatically.

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