Revamping Your Strategy and Audiences for the Latest “Safe & Civil” Facebook Advertising Update

Your social advertising strategy and audiences may need a bit of an overhaul to align with updates to Facebook’s “Safe & Civil” Advertising Policies, especially if they fall within particular categories.

Last year, I wrote an analysis of Facebook’s swift changes to Housing, Employment and Credit Opportunities Policy. The Non-Discrimination Policy, as it became know, was born from a complaint issued by The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Part of the social network’s solution was to remove “over 5,000 targeting options to help prevent misuse,” in an effort to keep Facebook advertising “safe and civil” by promoting a positive social advertising atmosphere.

Fast-forward to 2019, Facebook announced that one of their “top priorities is protecting people from discrimination” on their Platform, and as a part of their settlement with the groups that filed lawsuits against them, they would be enacting changes to protect Facebook users. These amendments include:

  • Changes to geolocation targeting by the elimination of zip code targeting;
  • Changes to age and gender targeting; and
  • Limited detailed targeting parameters for housing, employment, and credit opportunity campaigns.

By August, the above changes became what is now known as the Special Ad Category. Every US-targeted campaign – yes, campaign – that corresponds to a housing, credit, or employment opportunity must have one of the three categories applied – a major change considering the previous iteration certified compliance for the entire ad account.

Campaign audiences also take a hit. On top of previously announced changes to gender, age, and zip code targeting, users could no longer target by multicultural affinity “or any detailed options describing or appearing to relate to protected characteristics In other words, Special Ad Category campaigns are meant to target the broadest audience possible.

You may be wondering “what about my Lookalike and other Custom Audiences?” Those were nixed too. Instead, advertisers can opt for Special Ad Audiences that are built in a similar fashion to previous custom audiences but ignoring age, gender, or zip code.

How do you choose correctly?

Choosing a Special Ad Category is pretty simple. Nine out of ten times if you have an inkling your campaign is going to be flagged, it will be. So, what options can you choose?

In Facebook’s Help Center, you can find a guide to choosing the correct category. The breakdown Facebook provides is as follows:

  • Credit Opportunity: Ads that promote or directly link to a credit opportunity, including but not limited to credit card offers, auto loans, personal or business loan services, mortgage loans, and long-term financing. This also includes brand ads for credit cards that include a specific credit offer.
  • Employment Opportunity: Ads that promote or directly link to an employment opportunity, including, but not limited to, part- or full-time jobs, internships, or professional certification programs. Related ads that fall within this category include promotions for job boards or fairs, aggregation services, or ads detailing perks a company may provide, regardless of a specific job offer.
  • Housing Opportunity or Related Service: Ads that promote or directly link to a housing opportunity or related service, including, but not limited to, listings for the sale or rental of a home or apartment, homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance, mortgage loans, and home equity or appraisal services.

How can I prepare prior to launch?

Our team at Tiger Pistol can say with certainty that any campaign that falls within this umbrella will require Special Ads certification and likely requires an audience update. To better prepare yourself, make sure:

  • Your audience does not include zip code targeting and targets a minimum of 15-miles (if you target an address or city)
  • Your audience targets Adults 18+
  • Your copy falls within Facebook Policies

If your customer is running a campaign that does fall within one of the three categories, it’s best to launch your campaign with a Special Ads Category applied prior to publishing. This will save you time and a headache resolving errors during the length of your campaign.

If your campaign gets flagged during its flight, first check your ad copy – something in there may have set off the Policy algorithm. An easy example would be “We’re hiring for all positions!” in your body copy, but you haven’t applied Special Ad Category: Employment. If you can say definitively whether or not your customer falls within a housing, employment, or credit opportunity, make sure you’ve applied the appropriate category, then adjust your audience to fall in line with Policy and republish. 

When in doubt, apply a category – it will benefit you and your campaigns in the long run.

Want to make sure your locations or customers ads are within Facebook Policy every time? Contact us today. 

Decision 2020: Changes to Facebook’s Social & Political Ads Process

In the wake of the 2016 US Election, Facebook made drastic changes to its policies regarding Political Ads and the way they would be handled. Among the changes are the Ad Library and the requirement of advertisers to be authorized. In some ways, this may be seen as Facebook’s move to keep Political Ads out of users’ News Feeds and to avoid renewed criticism experienced after the last presidential election.

With the 2020 election season on the horizon, Facebook added further requirements to the policy, asking even more of advertisers for the coming election season. This change also includes a heavy investment in people (read: an increase in policy reviewers) and improving its technology to “proactively identify abuse and help prevent foreign interference.” 

So – where do you start? You can tell a Political Ad from a normal sponsored post by the disclaimer: “Paid for By,” which states who has funded the ads. In a recent update, Facebook stated, “Despite [the] requirements, there are a number of cases where advertisers have attempted to put misleading “Paid for By” disclaimers on their ads.” 

In the wake of this latest round of Political Ad deception, Facebook chose to roll out further updates to the Political Ads process, requiring Disclaimer Approval and the submission of further information about the organization running the ads.

The good news? Nothing regarding the authorization process on a user-level has changed. “Confirming Your Identity” is still required for any user wanting to run political or social issue-related ads.

The not-so-great news? Your “Paid for By” disclaimer requires an extra bit of work. In addition to providing important business information such as an address, business email, and matching website, one of the following is required:

  1. A Tax-registered organization identification number (i.e. EIN)
  2. A government website domain that matches an email ending in .gov or .mil
  3. A Federal Election Commission (FEC) identification number

For SMBs or local politicians who aren’t credentialed in this way, Facebook does provide two other options when submitting Disclaimers for approval:

  1. Submitting a verifiable phone number, business email, mail-deliverable address, and a business website with a domain that matches the email; or
  2. Submitting no organization-related information. Facebook will not allow the usage of a registered organization name in disclaimers for users who choose this option.

When all is said and done, what does this do for your ads? For options 1-3, an “i” icon will appear in the upper-right corner that states this is a “Confirmed Organization.” For options 4-5, the “i” will instead read “About this ad.”

Ultimately, Facebook wants to provide users with more knowledge about who is influencing them within their social feeds. Facebook further states, “This will allow people to confidently gauge the legitimacy of an organization and quickly raise questions or concerns if they find anything out of the ordinary.

In addition to these five options, Facebook overhauled its list of social issues within the United States, narrowing them down to a set of 10. The original list was “meant to be fluid,” but was a pain point for many users who appealed wrongly flagged ads that were caught in the error net. Facebook says its authorization process will still be enforced, but ads that merely advocate or discuss social issues will not require further authorization –unlike previous iterations of this policy.

For a full list of social issues within your country, click here.

Now, you’re probably asking yourself “how does this apply to me?” If you’re looking to run ads relating to Social Issues or true Political Ads, we suggest budgeting an extra bit of time into your schedule. From experience, Facebook is reviewing every “Paid for By” Disclaimer submitted for legitimacy and will send it back for review if updates are required. The social network has even gone so far as to build a helpful one-sheeter, which can be reviewed here.

If you’re running ads outside of these categories but were flagged for social issues, our best recommendation is to appeal. If you can provide the Facebook Policy Team with legitimate reasons why your ads aren’t of a political or social nature (ie. you’re an electrician who specializes in alternative energy installations). They’re pretty good about reactivating campaigns. Remember, the Tiger Pistol team is always here to help!

Let’s talk about how our team of experts can scale your social advertising campaigns. 

Tiger Pistol Named Finalist in Street Fight Innovator Awards

Tiger Pistol Named Finalist in Street Fight Innovator Awards

Local Social Advertising at Global Scale for Fortune 500 Beverage Company Honored for Best Social Media Campaign

Tiger Pistol, Inc., the only social advertising platform that delivers local activation at global scale, today announced that it has been named a finalist in the Street Fight Innovator Awards for Best Social Media Campaign.

Tiger Pistol’s nomination was based on the incredible results achieved for a Global Fortune 500 beverage company. Among other benefits, the client’s use of the platform to drive traffic to thousands of locations worldwide resulted in a 60 percent decrease in cost per thousand impressions (CPM) in comparison to the brand’s national advertising efforts, plus a +50 Net Promoter Score among locations that participated in the program.

“We are honored that Street Fight has named Tiger Pistol as a finalist for Best Social Media Campaign,” said Paul Elliott, Tiger Pistol CEO. “The Tiger Pistol Platform is purpose-built to overcome the challenges of locally-activating social advertising campaigns at scale, and in the case of this campaign, the challenge was to engage with a decentralized, global network of independent retailers, bars, and restaurants. The result was a true win-win through local advertising – the brand achieved a higher ROI on its advertising investment, and the local businesses reaped the benefit of increased foot traffic and sales by publishing the branded ads through their local Facebook Pages.”

Street Fight magazine reports on the cutting-edge innovators shaping the future of local media, advertising, and commerce every year. The Street Fight Innovator Awards celebrate champions and innovators driving success in location-based technology, media and marketing.

Winners will be announced November 14 via streetfightmag.com, Street Fight Daily newsletter and various social media platforms.

To learn more about how Tiger Pistol, the world’s #1 social advertising automation platform for local, unlocks local activation at global scale for brands, resellers, and agencies request a demo today.

What Facebook’s New Campaign Budget Optimization Rules Mean for Your Company

From September of this year, Facebook began requiring all of its advertisers using native tools to utilize Campaign Budget Optimization. “CBO,” as it’s now known, is a feature that was first introduced back in November 2017, but has since been optional until now. It represents a fundamental shift in how budgets are managed on Facebook, moving them from the Ad Set level to the campaign level and contrasting with the original hierarchy that left budget management to the ad set level, where audiences and placements are set. With CBO enabled, Facebook will now automatically distribute budgets dynamically across ad sets within a campaign based on performance. 

Facebook highlights three key benefits to the change:

  1. Maximizes the total value of an advertiser’s campaign, as budget automatically shifts between ad sets in real-time based on performance.
  2. Helps lower the cost per result and increase return on ad spend.
  3. Saves advertisers time by eliminating the need to manually shift budgets between ad sets.

These benefits all pass the “smell test,” at least in terms of logic. No longer having to worry about shifting budgets manually? Putting more dollars into the best performing ad sets? It all sounds great in theory. 

In truth, Facebook’s CBO requirement only applies to advertisers working in Facebook’s native tools, Business, and Ads Manager. Tiger Pistol made the decision to shift all campaigns published through our tools to CBO in concert with the requirement to native advertisers. While the thought of any loss of control over campaign management commonly instills fear in digital marketers, Tiger Pistol has proven time and time again how ad automation nets out positively for advertisers. CBO represents another move toward further automation from Facebook.  

Worried about what CBO means for your campaigns? If you are a seasoned Facebook advertising veteran, it is likely you are no stranger to the tactics that underly CBO:

CBO is going to do what you’re probably already doing 

If you’re a regular at the Tiger Pistol Blog, you know one of our favorite testing automations that Tiger Pistol’s Platform provides is Audience testing. If you’ve been spending time running campaigns in Business Manager, you probably have been manually trying to mimic variable Ad Set budgets across your different audiences – checking every week and shifting dollars as CPX rise and fall. CBO is simply going to do this for you.

You’re probably guessing most of the time when you partition your budgets. 

Unless you painstakingly tested one audience parameter at a time and have a magic eight ball to account for seasonality and ever-changing user behavior, do you really know which among your stacked custom audiences, or that collection of interests you’ve curated, is going to outperform the other? More than likely you have a bit of data to know you’re audiences are relevant, but you don’t have certainty in terms of which is going to drive the best performance at any given time. CBO accounts for this, as it waits for performance data then simply shifts budgets away from underperforming audiences and more into the ones that drive conversions.

Humans are slower than computers. 

And of course, CBO, powered by machine learning, operates in real-time. Even in the most ideal of conditions, humans simply are not able to match an optimization computer that can take instantaneous action. CBO ultimately leaves the time-sensitive actions to the computer and frees up marketers to focus more on what they’re good at – strategy.

The move to CBO is another in a growing line of changes by Facebook to encourage advertisers to take further advantage of automation and machine learning. Automation being the core of the Tiger Pistol toolset, CBO has the potential to make what we already do better – create campaigns that respond and optimize to user behavior in real-time – while also enabling advertisers to glean new testing insights to further supercharge their campaigns. This is especially important as both social budgets and number of advertisers continue to grow. It will be those whom best take advantage of automation that will ultimately rise above the rest.

Ready to take advantage of Tiger Pistol’s CBO tools at scale? Contact us today! 

After earning his Masters in Mass Communications in 2015, Chris Mayer worked at Facebook prior to joining Tiger Pistol as a Project Manager. He specializes in helping digital agencies and national brands build scaled Facebook advertising solutions with an emphasis on local activation. Outside the office, he enjoys, basketball, Formula One, and sharing opinions on film and television.

Proving That Local Social Advertising Works for a Global Brand

The intersection of social and local offers cost-savings, better ability to drive conversions, and increased relevancy with creative and targeting capabilities. So why aren’t more brands shifting their social ad budgets from exclusively enterprise to local? Tiger Pistol CEO Paul Elliott tackled this question and more at the Local Search Association Place19 Conference.

“One of the challenges we’re up against is that for many of these global companies you’re as much proving out a technical capability as you are a model. We see more need to pilot or have a proof of concept – not because they are questioning product or capability – but because they don’t know if the model is going to work for them. So you have to prove that local social advertising works for a global brand, and at the same time, you’re having to prove out why your platform is the best way to do it. Moreover, proving it is more than CPMs or CPCs. We work with the brand to uncover demonstrative connections to local value.”

Paul Elliott, Tiger Pistol CEO, Excerpt from LSA Panel Discussion

Read the full Local Search Association Article. 

eBook: Best Practice Facebook Advertising for Enterprise Brands

Facebook recently released their “Power 5” Best Practices. While these social advertising best practices are relevant to all types of Facebook Advertising, they can get harder to implement for multi-location brands. In our latest eBook, “Best Practice Facebook Advertising for Enterprise Brands,” we’ll cover how easy it can be for enterprise brands to locally activate their social advertising at scale – complete with impactful use cases. Tiger Pistol

 

Infographic: Facebook Best Practices for Choosing a Call-to-Action Button

The goal of every advertisement is to drive consumers to take action. Yet Facebook offers a wide variety of calls-to-action in its advertising. Choosing the right one depends on product, audience, and objective. These characteristics, among others, need to be considered in order to figure out which one will work for what you’re trying to accomplish. Non-committal calls-to-action, such as “Learn More,” may get you more clicks, but specific calls-to-action, like “Shop Now,” tend to produce higher conversion rates, since consumers who choose to click may feel more prepared to carry out the requested action. Choosing the right call-to-action can be confusing. Use this infographic of Facebook best practices to guide you.  

Ready to unlock social advertising at scale? Contact Tiger Pistol today.

How Advertising on Facebook & Instagram can boost your TV Marketing

We live in a world where mobile devices are an intrinsic part of daily life, and as such digital media consumption is no longer linear but far more multi-layered.

For the first time, digital ad spend has overtaken TV. Traditional TV viewership is on a steady decline while more and more users turn to alternate devices. However, television remains a multi-billion dollar industry, with many marketers still listing it as a key channel in their overall strategy.

What’s important to bear in mind is that modern TV-watchers simply do not have the same undivided attention as they once did. A whopping 81% of US viewers use a second device whilst watching TV, and Facebook sees a three-fold spike in usage during TV ad breaks. These viewers may be messaging friends about what they’re watching, or simply looking for a distraction during the ad breaks, but one thing is for sure – the television does not have their undivided attention.

So, how do you regain their consideration to make sure your TV marketing dollars don’t go to waste? You have to go where their attention is – Social Media.

By combining the unparalleled reach of television with the engagement and personalization of Social, you can create a cross-channel strategy that increases target audience penetration and creates a significant uplift in brand awareness. A study by the Advertising Research Foundation even found that adding digital to a TV campaign can produce a “kicker” effect of 60% higher ROI.

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While their attention may be spread across multiple platforms, today’s consumers are still hyper-visual. They don’t want to read a lengthy piece of content about a brand. Instead, they want to see the brand in action.

By incorporating Facebook and Instagram Advertising into your digital strategy, you can complement your television campaigns by distributing and re-enforcing the message to make it stick. Here’s some tips for you to get started:

  • Use clips, stills and messaging from your TV campaigns to create ads on Facebook and Instagram, creating cohesion across channels and increasing brand recall.
  • Leverage the Facebook Pixel to collect data of website visitors, and segment that data to remarket to those who have visited your site during ad breaks but dropped off once their show resumed.
  • For multi-location brands, consider localizing certain aspects of your campaign, such as copy and media, to drive maximum relevance with each of your target audiences.

While multi-screen strategies are still hard to measure, it’s fair to say that by getting in front of your audience where they spend most of their time can only benefit the efforts of your television marketing.

Stay tuned for our next Blog about navigating your way to Facebook ad acceptance.

World’s First Complete Multi-Location Solution for Facebook & Instagram Advertising

As a Facebook Marketing Partner since 2013, we have been focused on driving meaningful results for local businesses for almost a decade. Our success in delivering and fulfilling social strategies for some of the world’s biggest brands has led to our new purpose-built location enablement features for centralized and decentralized brand networks, which were made available in our Platform on October 9th.

As the leader in local Facebook & Instagram advertising, we’re excited to announce that our clients now have access to an innovative set of features that empower multi-location brands to enable their networks with best-practice, brand approved, hyper-local campaigns. Brands are expected to spend over $33.8b on Facebook in 2018, and until now, there has been no real way for brands to realize and capitalize on the benefits of Facebooking advertising at a local level.

The updates come at a critical time as brands continue to shift their spend locally. “While the major platforms have begun to offer advertising objectives that align with local needs such as calls or visits, none offer the tools to activate or manage this at scale, especially for those with multiple locations” said Tiger Pistol advisor and former Facebook exec, Scott Hannan.

For the first time ever, brands can create and distribute Facebook & Instagram campaign templates to hundreds or thousands of locations, and can determine how much control individual locations have over ad content, duration and budget. “Brands want to take advantage of their networks and empower teams at this local level, which is why these tools are increasingly in demand and driving real results” Hannan stated.

We asked our CEO & Co-Founder, Steve Hibberd, why Tiger Pistol sees these new features as an important part of a location-led marketing strategy. “It’s clear that mar-tech has a long way to go to support the intricacies of franchise and decentralized brand networks and how they manage local advertising efforts”, Hibberd said, “and the good news is, we’re solving one piece of the puzzle – providing brands that are already spending millions of dollars on social, a more efficient, local-centric way to spend those budgets, resulting in better outcomes for brands, their locations and most importantly, their customers.”

The new Location Control features provide an easy way for corporatemanagement to define every aspect of the campaign, including objective, localized targeting, media and dynamic copy. From there, corporate can determine how much control each location has over changing the content of the campaign, from editing copy to selecting from pre-approved media or even uploading their own images and videos. New funding features enable corporate to determine whether they pay for the campaign spend from a centralized budget, if they want to allow the location to add budget to their campaigns, or require the location to pay for the campaign budget completely. Campaign templates are distributed in seconds and locations are automatically notified to take action.

“We continue to see a significant increase in results when brands shift their budget from broad awareness objectives to local direct-response ads. Asahi Premium Beverages, for instance, generated a 710% year-on-year increase in sales quantity via a local campaign strategy for the launch of Estrella Damm in select retailers”, said Troy Townsend, our CCO and Co-Founder. “We’re excited that we’ve been able leverage a decade of experience, our partnership with Facebook, and our integration with Yext, to build something that truly does enable our clients to drive better results, maintain brand consistency and collaborate with their locations.”

Email Us for more information or for a demo of our new features!

LJ Hooker’s Facebook Success Story Highlights the Power of Agent Enablement

Facebook has recognized the innovation of Aussie Real Estate giant, LJ Hooker, for their great work over the past 12 months leading the industry on how to scale and drive real value for their agents and customers.

The new Success Story highlights how the group boosted customer consideration with Local Awareness, Lead Gen and Traffic Ads. Leveraging our purpose-built real estate features, and alongside a custom integration to automatically configure Listing Ads, LJ Hooker Boost was launched to free up agent and support staff time, so that agents can focus on doing what they do best – driving exceptional service to help convert leads generated from the campaigns. Read all about the success of LJ Hooker Boost here.

Tiger Pistol has published over 15,000 Facebook & Instagram Real Estate campaigns, and leverages learnings from these to continually drive better results for real estate brands across the globe. Learn more about our Real Estate solution and request a demo to start enabling your network of agents today.

Not a Real Estate brand? Don’t worry – we can help you enable your centralized or decentralized network of locations using our world-first Facebook & Instagram ad technology for multi-location brands. Help Center to find out more.