If you are promoting any small business or ANY B2C business, then at some point you've created a Facebook page for that business. If you take that business seriously and want to generate leads and drive attention, then you are using Facebook ads. ESPECIALLY since they changed their algorithm to stop Facebook pages from popping up in your timeline. If you didn't hear about this, then you are NOT a professional marketer and you are lucky to avoid the stress (but I want you to feel our marketing manager pain, so check out this article from Fast Company explaining the effects of the change in the algorithm). As of now, I basically see the same 5 friends, 5 funny meme accounts, Tasty recipe videos, local news, and 2 Mommy Facebook groups in my Facebook timeline so that's all I respond to which means that's all I see because of the algorithm (it's a nightmare, #ThanksFacebook ::insert sarcastic and very disappointed tone). But, I digress... sorry!
So imagine this...there you are, happily checking your email when you see a notification from Facebook that says your ad account has been permanently disabled for a policy violation! This was my sad reality on April 5, 2017. Backstory: I have been using Facebook advertising for my my various blogs off an on since 2014 and have NEVER been suspended or had my account disabled.
I basically see the same 5 friends, 5 funny meme accounts, Tasty recipe videos, local news, and 2 Mommy Facebook groups in my timeline so that's all I like and that's all I see because it's all I like (it's a nightmare, #ThanksFacebook ::insert sarcastic and very disappointed tone).
When they disable your ad account (I pray you never have to deal with this), there's a link to follow if you want to dispute the status. Naturally I selected this option and said, "I have no idea what policy I violated and why ads were approved if they were against policy. Also why there was no warning... please let me know what's going on."
Before sending this email I reviewed my ads and then reviewed Facebook's policies, and sure enough, I hadn't violated any. Here was their response:
Basically they said I was some advertising fraud person, who was tricking people into clicking my ads (read: clickbait). I can assure you I would NOT do this! Also, this is the most vague explanation for such a serious punishment (to remind you the punishment was A PERMANENTLY DISABLED ad account). So naturally I followed up, because I was so confused...
If you are familiar with Facebook ads or promoted posts, you know there's an option to hide the ads or stop seeing ads from a particular account or person. I often do this when there's a picture of a huge spider or animal cruelty or something racial... When you select that option, Facebook will ask you why. One of the options is to say the account is SPAM or misleading/inappropriate, etc. and Facebook uses those complaints to manage accounts. This is why I was so pissed! There was nothing in any of my ads that could have even been misinterpreted to be something bad.
After my very passionate response, would you believe this was the response I received in return from Charlotte?!!
First of all, F' you Charlotte, you suck! Second of all, how is this the response!!? What are you carefully reviewing? This reminds me of all the times I typed out a very detailed email to a coworker with bullet points and bold text only to have them email me and ask me questions about things I explained to them in the email... Anyway, I wasn't backing down without a fight, because I had honestly done nothing wrong...
Did you know that if you end up in Facebook jail, that your one Facebook advertising account is done for good with that credit card as well?
Then suddenly and without any other explanation Charlotte came to her senses (e.g. she did the damn research and realized I wasn't crazy or a criminal or spamming people) and sent this...
There was NEVER an apology, never a Facebook ad account credit for all the trouble, and never any actual explanation of what the hell I did wrong in the first place. So basically this was the longest story ever to tell you to not ever end up on Facebook's bad side A.K.A Facebook jail, because even being innocent may still cause your Facebook ad account to be suspended.
Did you know that if you end up in Facebook jail your one Facebook advertising account is done for good?
I have 1 tip, not as a Facebook advertising pro, but purely from experience and out of research and that's to get the Facebook Business Manager account. It's free, and you can create an ad account for each of your businesses/blogs (this is especially good for marketing managers and freelancers like me!). This way, if your account is disabled, it doesn't shut down your entire operation.
I lied, my 2nd tip is to read the Facebook advertising policies, and then read them again. Just like you know you are not speeding, but you see a cop put on his lights and you panic and check the speedometer. Same here, you will start to think you've done something wrong. Advertise with confidence by staying informed. You can find the Facebook advertising policies here.
I wrote a post about making Facebook ads that work. You could end up spending a lot of money and seeing no results without some guidance. Don't spend thousands and only make pennies. Check out my post for the best tips on making Facebook ads that count.
Also, if Mark Zuckerberg and team could find Charlotte and fire her, that'd be great. She's the worst. #FireFacebookCharlotte