Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn have strict advertising guidelines on what advertisers can do. If you have been advertising on social media for a while you may have experienced roadblocks in relation to what’s allowed and what’s not, particularly when it comes to Facebook and Instagram advertising. You’ll know the dreaded feeling of seeing “not approved” for promotion, and wondering what you’ve done wrong.
So why is Facebook so strict?
Facebook is a user-focused platform. It wants people to feel good and enjoy using the channel, that way they spend more and more time on it. No one would want to use Facebook. If every time you logged on to Facebook and found yourself inundated with adverts were upsetting or made feel bad about being overweight/shortsighted/unhealthy/too old…and the list goes on. It wouldn’t be too long before Facebook stopped being fun. To ensure you enjoy coming back to the social network, Facebook instigated an advertising policy. Summing it up in one sentence; Advertisements must be positive, fair and useful to users.
The danger for fitness professional (and this applies to those in the medical fields such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, doctors, dentists etc.) is that if we break these rules too often, you risk your account being suspended for a short period or even permanently. All your hard work will go to waste simply for breaking the advertising policy rules.
How Facebook screens its ads
When you create an advert for Facebook or Instagram, it will screen it to ensure it meets the policies.
Facebook has a set of automated filters that conduct a screening process. The filters search for banned words in text and audio, screens the background music, and even can test the image with something called the skin pixel – designed to check posts for nudity.
If the filters pick up a banned word or breach of policy, the advert will be automatically refused. If this happens, you can request a manual review, where the advert is looked at by actual person, but Facebook has the discretion to approve and disapprove any advert it wants to.
The system is not always logical and Facebook has been publicly recently criticised as its rules for what’s acceptable and what’s not are a little bit murky.
Now let’s avoid confusion here—you can post almost anything onto your business timeline (page), but if you want to promote that post or set-up an advert–that’s when these policies may prevent your advert from running.