An Advertisers’ Guide to Facebook Stories (and How to Leverage Them at Scale!)

The way we share information constantly evolves, and, as advertisers, we’re always looking for fun, fast ways to tell our story and promote our business. Facebook’s standard placements are proven drivers of user engagement and great business results, but the social platform’s latest offering, Facebook Stories, offers prime real estate for your advertisement.

Facebook Stories bring your ads to life, and it’s easy to see why they secure more than 300 million users’ attention every day. Shown front and center on a user’s news feed, Stories are likely the first thing users see upon login. One tap accesses a user’s Stories Feed, and subsequent taps scroll through their friends’ stories. Stories ads are sprinkled throughout this feed, generating views and allowing in-feed engagement as they move from one Story to the next. The mechanism of accessing Stories creates a captive atmosphere for the ads to appear within, increasing a business’ potential reach to a larger and more diverse audience.

As Advertisers, why should we care?

With their full-screen creative format, Stories engage mobile audiences on a different level than in-feed ads. Mobile advertising is essential to driving brand recognition and determining campaign effectiveness, and advertising in stories has proven to drive valuable business outcomes. According to research by Ipsos, a global market research and consulting firm:

  • 62% of people said they became more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in a Story.
  • 68% of people polled said they use Stories on at least three apps regularly.
  • 63% said they plan to use Stories more in the future.

What are the Elements of a Successful Stories Advertisement?

  • Begin With Your Brand – Introduce yourself at the beginning of the creative and remind users who you are.
  • Keep Attention with Speed – It’s important to remember things move fast in stories, so make sure to deliver your message and showcase your brand quickly, we recommend within the first 5 seconds.
  • Creative is Important – Creative is a key factor in driving campaign effectiveness and must align with your business goals and objectives. Define your strategy and align your creative elements to support.
  • Enhance Your Story with Sound – Music can help enhance your message for your brand.
  • Design with Your Objective in Mind – Tailor the creative of your ad to the objective and ask yourself, what are you looking to achieve?
  • Test and Learn – Experimenting with creativity on stories will help identify what strategies work for your audiences, creative, and business objectives.
Leveraging Facebook Stories at Scale 

When it comes to localizing ads at scale, the Stories ad placement should not be ignored. Whether using localized dynamic video ads or static creative, advertisers can still reap the benefits of Facebook Stories’ unique real estate, mobile optimization, and captive elements within the Facebook Newsfeed. What’s more, localized story ads published from local Pages give you the opportunity to direct consumers exactly where to buy your company’s products or access your services at a location most relevant to them.

Localized stories ads give users a method to directly respond to an ad, whether getting a quote from a local agent or receiving turn-by-turn driving directions to a restaurant near them. 

Ready to see how you can advertise with Facebook Stories at scale?  Contact us today!

 

Amy Abell is a Client Manager at Tiger Pistol, where she specializes in supporting our Value-Added Resellers portfolio. When she’s not in the office, she enjoys walks on Austin’s Town Lake with her dog Finley, traveling to new places, and trying every new restaurant in town.

 

 

 

CHECKLIST: Avoiding Bogus Leads from Facebook Ads

“Leave me alone.”
“I’m not interested.”
“Who are you?”

Like a discordant refrain, these familiar phrases can feel like they’re playing on loop when following up with potential customers generated from Facebook Lead Ads. Bogus or misleading leads are a huge complaint among advertisers, but there are a few common and useful steps an advertiser can take when building Lead Generation Ad Campaigns to curb the occurrence of false leads.

Certain aspects are out of our control from the advertisers’ end, such as trusting Facebook users to enter correct and non-misleading information, but armed with this handy checklist, you can audit your lead gen ads, making improvements to stem the tide.

☐ Add additional qualifying questions

When trying to differentiate between the good, the bad, and the ugly, especially when it comes to your leads, adding an extra layer of protection goes a long way. One of the best and most highly recommended steps would be to add qualifying questions to your lead form. This helps ensure that the Facebook users who are responding to your ads are doing so in good faith, helping you easily separate leads who appear to have an actual interest in your product or service from leads that are clearly bots and window shoppers.

☐ Provide several responses a user can select from

This step ties directly into the first tip we just discussed, “adding additional qualifying questions.” By giving users a checklist of preset answers to select from when responding to your qualifying questions, you can help yourself later on down the road as you filter and prioritize leads who have shown interest but might not be ready to, “pull the trigger,” or for that matter, “load the gun.” Here’s what prefilled options could look like on a real estate lead gen ad form:

☐ Optimize your ad copy

Consider your ad copy your first line of defense against users who might just be “clicking to click” out of sheer curiosity.  Clear messaging that calls out variables like cost, location, or time-sensitive offerings can help ward away non-buyers and bots alike, instead drawing in serious prospects who you’d want to follow-up with.

☐ Narrow Your Target Audience Focus

Reduce your bogus lead rate with better targeting through lookalike audiences. This robust tool in Facebook’s advertising apparatus can help you help yourself right out of the gate.  Being able to hone in on the audience for your ad campaign clears the cobwebs before they’ve even been spun. Using your existing customer base and then generating a lookalike audience based on that list can focus in on Facebook users who are most likely to turn into offline conversions.

☐ Lead Follow-Up

While not pertaining directly to the ad structure, proper follow-up is one of the most critical and overlooked steps of all. Delays in outreach can cause users to rethink (or even forget) their interest in the product or service being offered. Rapid response to your ad’s hand-raisers can be the catalyst that propels an opportunity forward or severs the relationship forever.  The sooner you follow-up, the more likely a user’s attention stays focused, allowing you to gain valuable insight and build the relationship necessary to move the conversation along towards an offline sale.

Facebook’s release of Lead Generation Ads in October 2015 changed the game for advertisers who use their platform, and since launch, a number of best practices for Facebook Lead Gen Ads have surfaced. Having users within the targeted audience provide detailed information such as, a name, a phone number, as well as an email address greatly increases the seller’s ability to, “cut the fat,” so to speak, and focus their time on outreach to those who have expressed interest directly rather than just counting on data collected after a campaign has concluded. By following the steps outlined above, you won’t just be “cutting the fat,” but providing yourself with the leanest, meanest Lead Gen Campaigns out there.

Ready to learn more about running quality lead generation ads at scale?  Contact us today!

Justin Chavolla is a client success specialist for Tiger Pistol.  Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, he moved to Austin 4 years ago. Justin takes his passion for helping others and couples it with his constant curiosity of figuring out how things work. He brings his enthusiasm to Tiger Pistol, where he is able to help our clients succeed and better understand the platform.  As an avid fan of combat sports, when he is not at work you can catch him at the local boxing gym constantly trying to improve his skills.

How to Localize Social Ad Creative for Your Restaurant Brand

Recently, I published an article discussing the impact of running local social ads from local restaurant franchise pages. In it, I focused heavily on direct response calls-to-action, which may have left you asking, what about localized creative? That’s a fair point. It’s not enough to deliver the ad locally; the ad needs to feel local as well. Let’s look at how this can be accomplished through scaled social advertising – with dynamic campaign creative to fit your franchisee’s local flavor. 

Creative that’s On-Brand, Every Time

Risks like brand dilution make it challenging to relinquish control of creative at the local level. Tiger Pistol’s solution gives brands control of social advertising creative and messaging through templatized campaigns, alleviating brand-level worries about foibles at the local level. Tiger Pistol creates templates for your campaigns in single image, video, and carousel formats, ensuring all your creative is on-brand. Locations and franchise partners win with the flexibility to choose the right creative, offers, and messaging for their market.Brands win by gaining control through our predefined framework and the ability to publish ads to franchise and location pages at scale. What’s more, all campaigns run in A/B tests, auto-optimizing to the winner, and reporting is available at the brand and local levels. 

Best-practice Localized Social Ad Creative for Restaurants

You eat with your eyes first, so your creative should draw diners in with high quality images of your restaurant, food, or drinks. To entice diners and drive the desire to visit your establishment, consider the following best-practices for restaurant creative assets. 

  • Optimize your images for mobile.  Most social scrollers orient their devices vertically, so be sure you’re cropping correctly. 
  • Match the creative to your brand. If your restaurant is airy and bright, don’t use photos that are dark and hard to see. 
  • Don’t just highlight your food. Enhance your local messaging with news of events, awards, and unique aspects of your restaurants, such as locally sourced/sustainable. 

Users want to feel engaged with your brand, and Tiger Pistol’s social advertising platform offers effective, localized social advertising to drive business and build loyalty, increasing the frequency of customer visits by serving social ads at the right time and right place to build your brand, share offers, and launch new locations. 

Request a demo today to see how Tiger Pistol makes it simple to distribute brand campaigns that can be locally edited and funded by your franchisees or locations. 

Jarrod Hitt is a Marketing Services Manager for Tiger Pistol. He specializes in helping national brands build scaled Facebook advertising solutions with an emphasis on local activation. Jarrod holds a marketing degree from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Outside the office, he enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and dog, fly-fishing, skiing, mountain biking, and practicing his photography. 

Infographic: Facebook Advertising Best Practices to Drive Leads

Your business needs leads, and one of the best ways to fill your pipeline is through Facebook advertising. Get caught up on Facebook Advertising Best Practices for Lead Generation with this handy infographic.

Ready to scale your social advertising and drive leads to your locations? Contact Tiger Pistol today.

Checklist Avoiding the Common Pitfalls That Can Cause Your Facebook Ad to Underperform

Checklist: Avoiding the Common Pitfalls That Can Cause Your Facebook Ad to Underperform

Running Facebook ads can be tricky business, and it really doesn’t take much for your ad to get bitten by the underperformance bug. Here’s a checklist of common problems, coupled with ways to adjust your ads to ensure they are running correctly. 

PROBLEM: Ad is not approved Sometimes the issue isn’t the ad, but rather its delivery. Luckily this can be an easy fix, so here are some tips to make sure delivery and performance are not related. 

  • Make sure it complies with Facebook policyFacebook policy is something a lot of advertisers struggle with, and if you are a busy advertiser with a lot of notifications; you may not notice your ad has been disabled due to a policy violation. Facebook also has the ability to retroactively reject ads, so we highly recommend checking the ad’s status and making the proper updates. Also, be aware of which policy violation may be affecting your ad and see if it is a valid disapproval. Facebook isn’t perfect and may wrongfully flag the ad. 

Check out these past blogs on Facebook policy changes to ensure you’re in compliance: 

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

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

Keep Your Agents Compliant: Facebook’s New Rules for Real Estate Ads

  • The 20% text rule Originally, Facebook often disapproved ads with images that contained more than 20% text (logos included) because it interferes with the user experience. Now Facebook will approve a lot of these ads but limit their reach. Save the text for your headline, body, and link description. That is what they are there for! Use eye-catching and custom creative to attract viewers. Facebook offers a useful image text tool to verify your ad follows this rule. 

PROBLEM: Targeting – Targeting largely impacts how your ads are performing, and we want to make sure you find the sweet spot to help your ads succeed. If your ad is underperforming, consider tweaking the audience. Audiences that are too hyper-focused or extremely broad tend to impede results. At Tiger Pistol, we recommend an audience of at least 50,000 to run a successful ad. Here’s some specifics to consider: 

  • Audience Too Broad –  Don’t use your budget on impressions that don’t matter. We have found local advertising to be extremely successful when concentrating on those who will take action and support your business. Think about who and where your customers are. If you are a local coffee shop, most people won’t drive more than 10 miles for their latte. Target strategically and think critically about your customers.
  • Audience Too Narrow – Narrowing your focus may cause you to miss some opportunities. Consider these tips to expand your audience to reach new customers and increase sales or engagement. If they are your ideal audience, chances are your competitors’ will try to target them as well. Also make sure to remove unnecessary targeting parameters and restrictions, like demographic and detailed targeting options that both reduce your audience size to under 50,000 and aren’t helping your ad. You may be certain no one over 35 will buy your product, but is there data to prove that? Often narrow audiences are the result of assumptions. Opening up your targeting and letting Facebook’s optimization worry about serving ads can likely result in higher quality ads. If you need assistance with your audience, the Facebook Pixel is a simple and direct way for you to build audiences with first-party data – i.e. your own web traffic. Learn more about how you can harness the Power of the Facebook Pixel!

PROBLEM: Creative – Both your words and your pictures impact your ad rank, so beat out your competitors by showing and telling your audience what makes your business unique. 

  • Does it Fit Your Objective and Audience? Make sure you are targeting your audience with engaging and eye catching images! 96% of users are looking at content on their phones, so you want to optimize for mobile. We have also found that with text, less is more. Great ads present their information in a succinct way with a clear call to action.

  • Check Your Image Resolution A blurry or distorted image will not capture the response you are looking for. Make sure to use high quality images that are related to your business. Using tools like carousels or video creative can help give viewers fresh and exciting content! Find some businesses that inspire you and find out what draws you in about their creative. 

Facebook ads are a complicated mix of traditional advertising creative and digital best practices. All of these different elements must come together to build a unified ad unit. Audiences need to be relevant and made up of interested consumers, just as the creative needs to be compliant and resonate with said consumers. So pay attention to the construction of your audience, the quality of your content you serve them, and most importantly –  when in doubt test it out – especially if you’ve eliminated any technical issues or simple fixes, such as removing text from your image. Here at Tiger Pistol, our platform is designed for continuous A/B testing, automatically pushing winning ads forward and surfacing insights on particular elements such as image, copy, audience, and even down to the CTA button. Harnessing the power of social requires both a trained eye to both develop and manage the right content, but also requires the ability to adapt based on consumer behavior and campaign data. You too can conquer all elements of your social media campaign; it just takes the right mix of proactive action and smart data insights.

Learn how Tiger Pistol can optimize the performance of your local ads at scale. Request a demo today!

Yanira Durant is a marketing specialist for Tiger Pistol. An Austin local with a passion for social advertising, Yanira strives to break through the noise in fun and creative ways. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the city, trying great queso, and managing her pug’s Instagram account.

Facebook Pixel Uses and Best Practices

The Facebook Pixel | Uses & Best Practices

According to Facebook, “The Facebook Pixel is an analytics tool that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your advertising by understanding the actions people take on your website.”

But what does that really mean?

The Facebook Pixel is a piece of code added to a website that tracks user data through cookies, allowing you to access useful analytics about customer website behavior. This data can then be used to inform strategy and find new potential audiences. Here are just a few concrete ways the Pixel helps advertisers: 

  1. You can now show social ads specifically to people who visited your website.
  2. You use your website visitors to build a Lookalike Audience to find and target new customers that have similar interests/behaviors/demographics as your current ones.
  3. You can utilize more more Facebook optimizations, such as Landing Page Views.

The Facebook Pixel is like a net that catches all user activity (referred to as events) and allows marketers to use these events to optimize and create more powerful ads. Facebook has seventeen standard events set up, such as  ‘Add to Wishlist,’ or ‘Complete Registration. ’ Custom events also allow users to add input their own categories.

This has clear and instant appeal for e-commerce, but the Pixel offers unique opportunities for all advertisers. The Pixel also gives retailers the chance to create custom audiences that can be useful in re-marketing efforts. Additionally, Pixel data can also be used at scale with the ability to share information across SMBs or rolled up into corporate systems. This way, brands can use location level data to help form more targeted audiences. 

The Pixel also offers the ability to create Lookalike Audiences from custom audiences. This creates a brand new audience which mirrors the preferences and values of the original. In “The Power of the Facebook Pixel,” Chris Mayer writes how Lookalike audiences are a great way to find new customers without relying on dwindling 3rd party data:

The lookalike process is anonymized: you won’t know exactly what traits the hash aggregates, but that’s okay. The resulting Lookalike Audience generated will include users with similar characteristics whom have not yet visited the website.

Clothing company Wren + Glory used value-based, international lookalike audiences on Facebook and Instagram to expand the company’s sales outside of the US.  They received 62% more orders compared to the previous period. 

In a world where data is crucial, the Pixel helps establish clear results. In fact, Gold’s Gym used data from their Facebook Pixel to learn that their recent Facebook ads produced a 2.2X lift in free trial sign-ups. Geoff Tobey, their Director of Digital Media mentioned that by “being able to jump into a Facebook testing opportunity, we learned that ads in Messenger Stories were more successful in driving an incremental lift in leads, and lowering cost per conversion, than we’ve seen on other channels.”

Whether you’re looking to test new optimizations, employ re-marketing strategies, or find new customers, social media advertising allows customization and proven results. The holidays may be a whirlwind, but the Pixel can help you stay on track along the way. 

Learn more about Facebook Advertising Best Practices from Tiger Pistol’s experts. Browse our resources now.

The Retail Q5: Secrets to Maximizing Holiday Social Advertising Campaign Impact

The Retail Q5: Secrets to Maximizing Holiday Social Advertising Campaign Impact

The holiday season has arrived which means a deluge of mega sales, cyber deals, and the like. For small and large retailers, this time of year is often a boon to their bottom line, as everyone gets out to shop. And while everyone has read a headline (or two, or three…) about the “death of retail” with the advent of online shopping, in actuality, retail sales are expected to grow during the holiday period this year. The National Retail Federation forecasts a sales increase of 3.8% and 4.2% for retailers in the November-December period. Additionally noting that that despite what you might expect, retail sales have actually averaged 3.7% annual increase for the past five years.

The heightened emphasis on shopping is also a boon for advertisers, of course, as brands flood all of our social feeds and airwaves with hot deals. Not to mention the ever present cadre of e-commerce offerings also trying to break through. In fact, spending on digital ads is also expected to increase as more advertisers shift their efforts to social media advertising over television and print. Naturally, much of this social media spending will go to Facebook. It can seem especially difficult, especially for SMB retailers, to break through the noise. But there is hope, if you know how to game the system, to be able to maximize the impact of your Facebook ads. There is this concept of the “Q5” which references the ~15 day period during just before and after the holidays where the lead time on ground shipping makes shopping online difficult. You’ll hear differing definitions on the exact time frame, and there is a regional element too, as not everyone lives within 1 or 2 day shipping distances. 

Q5 is of particular import for retailers, but it is also an important consideration for advertisers. For smaller retailers looking to maximize their impact, this period represents an incredible opportunity to get noticed. Larger CPG brands, even if working a more long tail holiday advertising strategy, can also seize on this moment to further enrich their campaign strategy. Think about what “Q5” means; if you’re a retailer, you’re the only game in town in a lot of regions, due to shipping constraints. Secondly, with all the traditional emphasis on pre-holiday shopping, it is easy to discount post-holiday shopping, where many consumers are still off work and now also equipped with gift cards and gift receipt returns. Advertisers should not leave this potential revenue for their retail clients on the table. The third advantage of the Q5 period is that pre-holiday campaigns will also have ended, presenting the potential for lower rates on digital ads. 

Think about the strategic possibilities Q5 brings for awareness or reach campaigns in the few days leading up to the holidays to catch any procrastinators who need last minute gifts as they shop for others. Then subsequent campaigns in the week leading up and through the new year to capture folks who now have extra time and gift money to shop for themselves. Getting local is key to this strategy, even if you are servicing a larger CPG brand who sells through big box retailers. You will need ads that are locally relevant to get noticed and ensure you reach consumers within reasonable travel distance to shop in-store. 

Last year, Tiger Pistol ran holiday campaigns that covered the Q5 period for a beverage brand to drive consumers to the nearest retailer or restaurant to enjoy their products. Our technology produced thousands of local ads, each individualized to the brick and mortar location, powered by the brand’s creative resources. Consumers who were near a particular location would see ads pointing them to the nearest stores. Not only did our CPM’s beat national averages, which made the brand happy, but it was also a win for the locations too, who were happy at the potential of increased foot traffic during a period where their traditional advertising efforts had slowed.

Whether it’s through coordination between global brands and their independent retailers, or concentrated effort between a global CPG brand and big box retailer, the benefits of strategizing to the Q5 period are there for the taking. It’s just a matter of leveraging the right tools to ensure you can get in front of consumers where they are already spending most of their time (i.e. their Facebook and Instagram feeds) and serve them relevant creative. Most importantly, these local ads must represent the path of least resistance between the consumer and the on-site purchase. You can do this through the use of hyper local geo-targeting with integrated geo-navigation to the nearest location. Even better, you can also  further incentivize them with easily redeemable offers and specials from their mobile devices. So while we all want to start planning execution strategies for the new year, don’t sleep on the end of the year, as you might miss the chance to impress your retail clients and the opportunity to start 2020 off with a major win for both you and them. 

Ready to simplify social advertising, and enable local activation at global scale? Contact Tiger Pistol today.

Tiger Pistol Wins Digiday Tech Award

Tiger Pistol Named Digiday Tech Award Winner

Tiger Pistol’s Social Advertising Automation Platform Wins Best Social Marketing Tools/Platform

Tiger Pistol, the only social advertising platform that delivers local activation at global scale, today announced that it has won the prestigious Digiday Technology Award for Best Social Marketing Tools/Platform.

Joe Nathan, Director Client Management, and Talia Wachtel, VP Client Management accept the Digiday Technology Award for Best Social Marketing Platform/Tools at the Digiday Awards Gala in New York City.

Tiger Pistol stood out among industry competitors based on the remarkable social advertising results achieved for a Global Fortune 500 consumer product client. 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 advertising cost 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 Digiday has recognized Tiger Pistol as the leading social marketing platform to manage and scale social advertising efforts,” said Paul Elliott, Tiger Pistol CEO. “The selection of Tiger Pistol over other leading social advertising tool providers is validation of our category leadership position and that our global-to-local approach outperforms comparable brand-level campaign executions.”

The scale and efficiency provided by the Platform consistently gives Tiger Pistol clients a game-changing competitive advantage, increasing localization, personalization, and relevancy with the ability to publish global campaigns from local social pages, improving campaign effectiveness while reducing advertising costs.

“While every client is unique in their particular use case, the global-to-local approach is the future of social advertising, allowing brands to scale their marketing efforts by utilizing and empowering their locations to foster consumer connections via social advertising,” said Elliott. “Brand campaigns still have their place, but locally-executed campaigns stand out in their ability to dial up relevance through localization and personalization, and more relevance usually equates to better performance. Ultimately, it will be those brands who evolve to a more global-plus-local approach that will unleash the next wave of innovation in digital advertising. Tiger Pistol’s platform enables that shift.”

The Digiday Technology Awards recognize the technology modernizing media and marketing, bringing efficiency and effectiveness to brands and agencies worldwide.  Winners were announced November 14 at the Digiday Technology Awards Gala in New York City.

See exactly how Tiger Pistol, the world’s #1 social advertising automation platform for local, unlocks local activation at global scale for brands, resellers, and agencies, visit Tigerpistol.com/request-a-demo.

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.