Interpreting the Likes and Dislikes of Facebook Advertising

The aim of this blog is to give you a bit of information on what has worked, what hasn’t worked and how to interpret the guidelines for Facebook Advertising. In recent weeks we have been working with a number of partners and affiliates on how to make Facebook Advertising work for you.


The biggest hurdle to overcome is interpreting Facebook’s guidelines and how to give your ads the maximum chance of being approved.

The population you can target on Facebook is huge- it’s all about how you slice it. Why just target age and gender? Why not target each available Facebook city with ads personalised to that location? Why not also use keyword targeting to carve out small-ish segments from the masses and test how they convert for you? Sound painstaking? It is. It’s this systematic dissection of the populace that can give you the edge within a hugely competitive industry.

In an ideal world you would create an advert that appeals to the biggest user group, so why just target age and gender? We can target by location so surely as an advertiser, we would use this to our advantage. For example, take “Over 40 Singles in Berkshire” for the ad title or ad text – this was not approved. Why? I really struggled to get my head around this, however by mentioning 2 details about a user based on Facebook targeting will often not pass ads. What would work just as well but only mention 1 detail about the user?

How did the partner overcome the issue with his first advert that was submitted to Facebook? If we assume that you have a good landing page, often the most significant element in any ad platform (this goes for Google, Yahoo and Bing too) is your ability to get the click. The click-through rate almost always affects your cost per click (and ad positioning in some instances). At its crudest, if your ad has a low CTR, the publisher or ad network is earning less running your ads than it might running a competitor’s. The major search engines also focus on delivering quality through relevance to the end user, and judge that by your ads’ CTR.

Partner X had combined clever keyword targeting with exhaustive ad creative split testing of image and text in his ads. Targeting of women, targeting of men, using a woman as the image, or using a couple – testing till he found a sweet spot. The result: a higher Click Through Rate (higher than his peers), more clicks for the same CPM, and good conversion on the landing page from his targeted traffic.

On top of this, through many ads submitted and declined, we also learnt another element that Facebook’s advertising team don’t like. Exceeding an undisclosed limit of disapproved ads on your account can often at the very least remove access to Facebook’s bulk management tools – in some instances, banning or deleting the account isn’t unheard of.

Navigating the Facebook advertising terrain can be a minefield. But the juice is worth the squeeze and you can have a lot of fun on the way. Over the coming months we will keep you updated with the latest developments and improvements to our Facebook advertising, the use of Facebook Connect and how we can make the most of the tools that Facebook make available to the advertisers.

Gary Taylor, Partner Manager

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