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 Common Online Marketing Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make

Do you want to squeeze more out of online marketing? That's always a good idea. Bear in mind these faults so your effort will not come in vain.

Avoid these 5 things that Entrepreneurs Make
Avoid these 5 things
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How Do Sponsored Social Media Posts Help You Reach WAY MORE People?

Have you already come across social media posts tagged with “Sponsored”? Do you wonder what they mean and on which principle they work? Good question! An even better one would be, how can these posts help you reach way more people than you do with your organic posts – the ones that you publish on your social media timeline? In today's post, we will uncover not just that, but also concrete steps to get started!

Truth be told, you can use these types of posts to reach many more people than you do today…

But before we jump into what a sponsored post means, let's look at what it doesn't. Say that you run an Instagram profile and add posts to your profile. So do we. This is what it looks like:

Instagram Feed

These posts are the ones that appear on your social media profile and most importantly, on the feed of your followers and friends. The ratio between the number of people you reached with your posts and the total number of followers is your ORGANIC REACH. The more people who follow your profile, the more people you can reach with every one of your social media posts. Therefore, it is important to build your audience.

But what if you want to reach more people? What if you want to expand your reach to someone who hasn't liked your page yet? Both answers will be clarified, go ahead and continue reading...


In regards to the organic reach, we have to tell you the cruel truth. The organic reach is constantly decreasing. What that means for you, is that you no longer reach the same number of people as you did before. 

We have covered this topic more thoroughly in this article, but to point out the importance of this decrease, see the graph below:

Facebook Organic Reach Decline

From 2012 to 2016, the organic reach on Facebook has sunk to almost zero…


Let's do some math to understand it perfectly. Say your page or profile has 10,000 followers. Due to the organic reach decline, your organic posts may reach between 300 and 800 people based on its performance – making your organic reach between 3% to 8%. Now the chance that some of these 300 to 800 people interact with your content is way lower than if you reached 3,000 to 8,000 people (call me captain obvious). It may sound logical and totally clear, but ignoring this fact and relying solely on your organic reach may cost you your share of voice or market share. In other words, you may lose your followers, fans and customers if you don't act.


Now that we've come through what organic posts mean, let's finally clarify what these “sponsored” posts are that serve you targeted content on your social media feed…


Refresh your Facebook or Instagram feed and scroll for a few seconds… Stop, there it is! A post that looks like any other one with one small difference. It is tagged with “Sponsored” in the upper part. Can you see it?

Vogue Business on Instagram

You will find plenty of these on your feed. And most of them will be perfectly targeted at you – based on your interests and preferences. Now the key is to leverage this feature for you and your business, isn't it?


Let's dive into how this sponsored content works. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tik Tok and other social media platforms allow you to run ads through their advertising interfaces. You sign up, learn how the platforms work and jump straight into promoting your content. These interfaces – let's call them the Campaign Manager Accounts for now – remain unknown to “ordinary” users. It's all the magic that “happens in the background”. 


Let's take Facebook as an example. Say I want to promote our post that has been (organically) published on our timeline:


Facebook Feed

Organically we didn't reach as many people as we'd like to. Let's promote the post then…


Either in Facebook Business Manager or tools like our own app, you can follow a few steps and create your campaign – sponsor a post. By defining your goal, marketing persona, budget and message, you can expand your reach and speak to people that have never heard of your business before or show your content to followers you'd not have been able to reach organically.


Going back to our example, let's say that we want to target small business owners in California. According to data from Facebook, we could reach 290,000 people, respectively 277 to 800 people a day for less than $10 a day. 


Yes, promoted posts are about investing something into expanding your reach. But as you see, you don't have to sit on millions of dollars in marketing budget to speak to more potential customers than you probably do today. You don't even have to sit on hundreds of dollars to achieve your goal of reaching more people… 


Not to say that when they purchase from you, your investment is back – with interests (or margin:)


This is what the set up would look like...


Facebook Ads Manager

With only a few clicks – in case you use tools that simplify this process – you are able to start your campaign (sponsored post). 

The best thing is, that you target your posts solely at people who are relevant to your business. In other words, you tailor your content to people that can become your customers, followers or fans.


Say you run an eshop with accessories. You sell watches, necklaces, small pieces of clothes, rings and other goods. You have two types of products: those made for men and those made for women. 


You manage your Instagram profile and post content about your customers’ satisfaction (reviews), newest pieces of clothes and inspiration as to how they fit with other outfits. This content can be interesting for both men and women. But what if you want to run a campaign targeted solely at men with the goal of selling all the men's watches that have been sitting in stock for a long time? That's when the sponsored post comes into play…


The process has already been described: you define your goal (sell more watches), marketing persona (men in California between 25 and 45 years old, interested in fashion), choose which channel you want this post to appear on (Instagram), set your budget and campaign length ($5 a day for 7 days) and finally, create your great content – the ad that your potential customer sees on his feed. Say your post looks something like this:

Example of an Instagram Post

Thanks to this campaign (while using the setting in the brackets), you are able to reach more than 7,000 people. And you've invested $35 in total. Awesome, isn't it?


Is this the only option to increase your organic reach, you may ask? It's definitely not. Marketing is all about synergy. You may want to combine more tactics to achieve the best results. 


Let's go through some tips & tricks that can work perfectly with (or without) promoting your posts.

Create engaging content that can't be ignored

Again, this may sound obvious, but is not always completely understood. Creating super engaging content comes first, along with understanding your audience! If you don't know who you're talking to, your speech can never really resonate, right? 


It's like in life. Imagine you go on a date with a pretty and intelligent woman who is into fashion and yoga. You spend the whole time speaking about the Super Bowl! How would that date end? You probably know the answer... 


The same applies to your social media profiles and any content that you publish. If you create something that no one's interested in, you decrease not just your reach, but also engagement. 


Start with defining your marketing persona and create content that they find interesting, educating, funny or shocking – anything that goes with your brand.


If you do so, your followers will like, comment, share and recommend your content and products. Thus, you can leverage the real power of social media: the snowball effect that happens once people share your content.


Leverage other channels and platforms

Let me share one secret with you. Your followers are not only on Facebook or Instagram. They also use other platforms like Youtube, Pinterest, LInkedIn or Tik Tok. In fact, an average American Internet user has more than 7 social media accounts. That being said, you should definitely leverage the potential to reach your audience where they are (and where your competitors probably aren't… yet)


Platforms like LinkedIn or Tik Tok have a much higher organic reach now. They are where Facebook was a few years ago. That may change as they grow and decide to monetize their audience, but till then, you can build your follower base and successfully grow your business! Go for it...


Are you also suffering from a continuous decrease in organic reach? Do you reach less people than you'd like to? Try some of these tactics and let us know how it has helped :)

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No Professional Stuff. Be Natural. Leverage INSTASTORIES.

I know, I have been there too… You are about to create a piece of content — a nicely done cappuccino in your café or a beautifully pictured house that you want to sell. But how the heck do you begin? With no professional equipment or experience — you want to produce the best content for your social media profiles, business website or email campaign, right?

Well, how do you go about it? The key is you don’t have to be perfect, in fact, that’s part of the magic of this medium! Be natural, be spontaneous, and be active. Your new audience will expect funny, educational, engaging and UNPROFESSIONAL content. In a world where marketing aims for the ideal, your audience wants someone or something that they can relate to. A picturesque cappuccino is nice to look at, but what about a customer savouring their morning drink, only to burst out laughing because they have foam on their upper lip? Capture it and share it! Sometimes less is more. And something is always better than nothing

In this article, I will show you how you to use a (relatively new) medium that not only allows you to share your unprofessional and spontaneous content, but REQUIRES IT! This medium is called Instagram Stories aka Instastories. As the name says, it can be used on your Instagram profile (both personal and professional). Below see an example of what an Instastory looks like:

AirBnB Instastory
AirBnB Instastory

Let us first clarify what Instastories are. They are vertically shared pictures, videos, animations that were originally used by Snapchat. After some period of time, Instagram and Facebook implemented them and extended their platforms. Instastories disappear after 24 hours which makes them an instant, spontaneous and engaging piece of content.

But why should you actually care about them? How are they relevant to your business? As we regularly discuss in other articles, webinars and private Facebook groups, ask yourself a question before you get started: Can I reach my audience on this channel? Instagram is used daily by one billion users and Instastories by more than 500 million people. That truly means 500.000.000 people. Every. Single. Day.

Going back to where we began. You are probably asking yourself: “Do I need professional equipment, a best-of-breed creative studio with the best of the best?” Not at all. Be natural, be spontaneous, and certainly, go ahead, and be unprofessional! This platform requires it. Your audience expects you to be natural. They expect to see what’s going on behind the scenes and what your daily updates are — share with them the best moments that can describe you or your business. Tell STORIES! Because that is what this platform is about.

Let’s break the stereotype: You do NOT need to be a professional to create great, engaging content for Instastories.

Let’s get practical. How do you really begin?

  1. The premise is: You already have your business/ personal Instagram account (if not, get one).
  2. Visit the Instagram app and tap your icon (with the + sign) on the top panel/ or simply swipe right.
  3. The interface where you create Instastories will open up. Choose either to make a picture, create a video or choose any of your pictures/ videos in your gallery. The options you have when it comes to content creation are hundreds (check out all the features like Boomerang, Live Stream, polls or uploading Gifs to your story).
  4. After you are done, click “Send to” and choose either your Instastory platform (yes, this is the one) or send it to some of your friends/ followers.
  5. Done. Your Instastory will now be public. Make sure to check the results afterwards. You can see who watched your story (within the first 24 hours of posting it) and how they reacted.

You know how to get started. Get inspired before you jump into the content creation. See a series that shows some examples of really nice — BUT STILL UNPROFESSIONAL — Instastories which you can do within a few seconds.

There are plenty of cool features that you can use to make your content visually more appealing. Amongst them, there are live streams (even shared streams with other coworkers, partners, and followers), galleries of Gifs, options such as slow motion or boomerang effects, coloured backgrounds, many text fonts, polls, quizzes and questionnaires (ways to engage with your audience), chat windows and tons of emojis. Again, choose what correlates with your business image (branding). I may be repeating myself, but less is sometimes more…

Key takeways:

  • Instastories offer an opportunity to reach out to your audience — potential customers/ followers.
  • Be yourself! Be natural and spontaneous, when creating Instastories.
  • Do not insist on the best-of-breed equipment — less is sometimes more.
  • Follow the 5 steps stated above to get started with Instastories.
  • Inspire yourself with our Series of great examples of Instastories.
Read >>

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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Show Others How Much Your Customers Love You (Leverage User Generated Content)

If you run a social media profile, you've probably thought of what to put on your content calendar. You want to create and publish something that truly brings value to your audience and resonates within them, right? User generated content can help you not just fill your content calendar, but truly bring something that gives a new perspective to your business. 


User generated content, as the name suggests, is content that is voluntarily created by your best customers – brand advocates – and shared so that their audience can see it. It is basically the best thing your customers can do for you – refer their friends to you/ share your product(s) or speak about your service(s)!


Imagine you are an owner of a gym that is visited by dozens of customers daily. What if some of them posted a photo to their social profile, exercising in your gym and saying something nice about your place. Wouldn't that be great? Could that bring you new customers? Absolutely.


79% of users say user generated content has a high impact on their purchasing behaviour. That simply underlines what we've stated earlier.


In 2014, Starbucks came up with a White Cup Contest which, guess what, is focused on user generated content… You can read more about the contest here. The only thing we will say is that they collected over 4,000 pieces of content! That just goes to show the true power of brand advocates. Your business can do that too – probably on a smaller scale, but you can. Remember that every one of your best customers can bring you another one. Your brand advocates grow as your business grows…


User-generated content brings in authenticity

If you say your product is the best, some people might believe you straightaway. But isn't that statement much stronger when made by someone who is already a loyal customer and has no other interest in regards to promoting your brand? User generated content brings true authenticity into your content and, thus, gives others another perspective of your business.


Social proof

People love seeing the product they aim to buy has great reviews! It gives them proof that their purchase won't be a mistake. Social proof – proof by someone other than the business itself – is a strong weapon and we encourage you to use it in your content calendar. Look at Amazon. Their products have thousands of reviews, which makes it far more valuable and far more worth it to buy for new customers.

Amazon reviews

Let us look at some other examples of great user generated content shared mainly on Instagram:

Get your audience on board. Talk to your best customers and motivate them to create a good product review, unboxing video or simply a happy picture while using your product or being at your cosy place (café, gym, etc…). Those who love your product will happily help you get it in front of other customers, trust me.


Micro Influencers

The use of influencers is a trend that has been here for some period of time. Brands work with people who gather an audience that fits their plan. Simple as that. They often collaborate with celebrities who are followed and trusted by millions of people, experts in a given industry, or gamers that record their gaming sessions. If you can find someone who has your target audience, team up!


The fact is that you don't have to work with widely known influencers, pop stars or famous athletes. Find so-called micro influencers who help you reach a smaller audience, but with higher precision. The cooperation won't cost you a fortune and results will follow, as well!


Micro influencers, in most cases, generate higher engagement with their audience and are more passionate about increasing their audience. If you start cooperating with them at the beginning of their journey, your business relationship can grow into something that constantly helps you achieve your business goals and to build a wider (and more relevant) audience.


The best collaborations, nonetheless, are the ones that are natural and not “too obvious”. Give some micro influencers in your surroundings your product, let them play with it and tell you whether they like it or not. Those who do are your best fit. They will happily (and naturally) promote your product within their audience.


In this post we've stressed the strength of your customer base and your audience – motivate them to tell the world about your stuff and let them bring you new business. Find new alliances with micro influencers, let them fall in love with your product and enjoy the fruits of your (hard) work!

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How to Publish Articles (Natively) on LinkedIn Like Pro

If you're wondering where you can get your articles published, so that it reaches a broader audience, we have great news for you: LinkedIn allows you to create and publish articles natively on their platform. Not only can you leverage the wide user base that LinkedIn has, but you can also use their analytics to see how your posts perform.


Like Facebook did with Instant articles, LinkedIn has switched from being a solely networking-based platform, focused on professionals, to a content-based platform that allows its user to educate themselves while spending time on their platform. That's also what both LinkedIn and Facebook (amongst other platforms) desire – to keep you, me and other users on their platform for as long as they can.


Does this feature represent the potential for you to share your knowledge among other people? You bet it does - if “done well”. Let's jump right into how you can publish articles natively on LinkedIn like a pro.


To get started, click the “Write an article” button. Can’t find it? It's right there, have a look:

Write an article — LinkedIn


Isn't this one of the features that has been in front of your eyes the whole time, but remained undiscovered? 


Once you hit the button, magic happens. You are redirected to an interface where you can create your native LinkedIn article. Having said that, you can now configure the content: add a headline, background image, write the article, add engaging or educating infographics or other visuals and finally, publish!


We won't leave you without any tips and tricks to get started (just keep reading), but we recommend you play around with this feature to get a better idea of what all you can do.

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