So you’re Facebook ad account got banned again? Maybe you’ve been shut down entirely? Maybe you’ve been hearing news about everyone getting shut down? Is there any point in relying on Facebook ads anymore?
In this post, I’ll be going in-depth based on what I know is going on and what you should do about it. I’ll also show you a new way of obtaining traffic that’s working GREAT for me right now.
WHY IS IT CREATING A STIR WITH BUSINESSES
You go to a coffee shop and find someone you’re attracted to. You then decide to go up to the person and ask them on a date. Then suddenly out of nowhere, the coffee shop owner comes up to you and tells you that you are no longer allowed to enter the coffee shop again and that you should leave right now.
Ok, fine. Let’s say you come back to the same coffee shop, but this time under a disguise. All this under the prying eyes of the coffee shop owner who stares at you incessantly at a distance like a tiger staring at a prey through the bushes.
You now decide to not cold approach that attractive guy/girl and instead decide to compliment a random person in the shop (probably a friend of the one you’re attracted to). Then all of a sudden, the coffee shop owner pounces out and tells you that he’s seriously offended by what you just said and that you should never come back to the coffee shop ever again and that you should leave right now.
Well, that’s exactly how businesses feel dealing with Facebook ads right now. Businesses (in this case, you!) feel like their treading on a thin line with Facebook (the coffee shop owner) and are not able to reach their target audience (the attractive guy/girl).
It’s been like this for a while, but very recently, Facebook has become a lot stricter and have clamped down on a lot of businesses that rely on Facebook ads for a living.
SO WHATS THE DEAL, FACEBOOK?
The pandemic has been especially tough on small businesses. With everyone going into lockdown, businesses everywhere around the world are being forced to shutdown due to lack of customers. And to further rub salt on fresh wounds, businesses that used to rely on Facebook ads for a living are punished, banned and told never to come back again without ever really knowing why. It doesn’t matter whether they used to spend $5 a day or $500,000 a day. It seems everyone is getting banned left, right and center.
Browsing through Reddit, there’s a huge influx of this cold hatred towards Facebook right now. There’s this general consensus that no-one from Facebook really cares about their ad paying customers.
WHY ARE ACCOUNTS GETTING BANNED?
These are all mostly hypothetical guesses based on the information I’ve read online. There hasn’t really been any official announcement from Facebook related to this (at the time of writing).
Facebook is under a LOT of pressure – Facebook are now prioritizing giving their normal users the best experience possible. They’ve been facing tons of lawsuits related to privacy-related stuff. From what it seems, it looks like Facebook only wants to support real long-term businesses rather than those here now, gone tomorrow type of businesses. That’s right, they don’t want dropshippers and affiliate type of businesses to be associated with Facebook.
Less staff working on Facebook due to COVID-19 – With less staff, there’s a huge reliance on AI. The AI is not perfect and can ban for any minor issue. The AI is so complex and confusing that not even Facebook would be able to answer that question. The algorithms were created by many of the world’s smartest people. Yet, we still haven’t reached that phase yet where AI can look at an ad and properly tell whether it’s giving user’s on the platform a poor experience. Thus, it can mistakenly block or ban accounts for even the tiniest mistakes. Algorithms are not as forgiving as humans. Since there’s not many human staff working at Facebook now due to the pandemic, it’s cheaper for them to just ban accounts.
Elections have caused a tightening of the algorithms – To prevent people misusing the ad platform especially closer to the election, Facebook probably doesn’t want people taking advantage of it for malicious purposes. The tweaking of the algorithm may have just broken the entire ad platform. This is quite normal if you’ve done programming before. One little spelling mistake in a program code could potentially break an entire application. Since the elections are pretty much over, things were expected to go back to normal but doesn’t seem to be that way.
Rules have become stricter for the “Risky” categories – By this, I mean, any campaign where you try to promote health, wealth, drug, adult and/or gambling type of products and services. This categories were always a no-no from Facebook (at their discretion) but people still found ways around this to keep advertising in these categories. Perhaps this triggered something from Facebook to be even stricter with those categories.
WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT
Let’s put it this way. People are STILL using Facebook ads even for “risky” type of products. Yep. They’re running them right now as we speak. So, how do they do it?
Well, here’s a mini step-by-step you can follow if you find yourself in this situation. 1) Take a deep breath (or a few).
2) Go for a short walk. Check out the sky and the trees (for once!).
3) This is the hardest step. The most recommended way is to request a review. To do this, just go to your business manager, then click Request a Review. If you’ve been banned at the ad account, you’ll need to go the ad account level and request a review. Then type in a message something like “I apologise for….” (this is assuming you legitimately have ads that followed their policy).
4) Create more profiles and business managers. I don’t really know if this is some kind of blackhat type of thing or not. If you can somehow keep creating more business managers and ad accounts, you could theoretically move them around different Facebook profiles and keep your ads running. Bear in mind, each business manager can have a maximum of 4 ad accounts and each new profile can only have a max of 1-2 business managers. You could get more if Facebook trusts you a bit more. If you’re a small business and starting out, get your friends and family to create business managers and send them to you. Of course, I’m making the assumption that your friends and family don’t do business on Facebook. If they aren’t, they’re wasting a number of business managers and ad accounts that could go to a starving business.
5) If you really do rely on FB ads, then look to build organic traffic via Facebook. Build FB groups and advertise there. Join existing groups and advertise there. Grow your list of likes, friends, etc the normal way.
6) If you really must use FB ads, then run super safe offers. Run ads to a lead magnet that people want and use email marketing to later promote your risky offers without FB ever knowing.
Alternative traffic sources
In case you weren’t aware, there are traffic sources out there that aren’t Facebook. If you’re a work from home specialist (like myself!), then you’ll probably have a bit of time to discover other traffic sources out there. Here are some of them
YouTube ads – The closest thing right now to Facebook ads. There is a higher barrier to entry. You need a video. If you have a skill for video editing and production, make your own. Otherwise, hire someone on Fiverr or Upwork to create one for you. To be honest, you don’t need super flashy video with cinematic production values. You can get away with a video of yourself taken from your phone, just as long as you are presentable and your audio is clear. Your title, ad copy and descriptions are literally your own voice. Use it wisely!
A number of others. Check out my blog post on a detailed review of each of them.
The stable way to get traffic
This is probably the best way to get recurring income online in general.
Here is the secret: Be everywhere!
That’s right. Be everywhere your target audience hangs out!
Join in on forums, subreddits, Facebook groups, any kind of online community.
Try and promote your product that way, or if that feels too sleazy, offer them something in return for an email address. Believe it or not, email converts way better than Facebook!
Write articles that appear all over the internet. Get press releases about your product (the good old fashioned way to get stable long term traffic).
Create videos about your product and post them on YouTube. Learning the YouTube algorithm is another challenge of itself, but in general, keep your videos engaging and make your viewers watch your videos for as long as possible.
You may or may not know how effective retargeting ads are. It’s because you follow the prospective customer everywhere until they’re eventually convinced enough to buy from you.
Well, if you appear everywhere without advertising, that looks even better! You’re instantly seen as an authority and people will trust you due to your omnipresence. Plus you don’t need to pay anything for advertising month in and month out. Just pure profit. But it does require a time investment initially.
It’s like having your poster everywhere, including that coffee shop. In that case, the one that you were attracted to would actually be more inclined to be attracted to you!