When it comes to social media and especially Facebook there is one thing that is certain and stable. Always expect changes especially when it comes to rules on advertising.
We all recently experienced the “Special ad” category and in particular the broad term «Social Issues». According to the official FB explanation “Social issues are sensitive topics that are heavily debated, may influence the outcome of an election or result in / relate to existing or proposed legislation.” That’s easy to be understood by humans but try explaining this to the “bots” who take as “social issue” a local charity or sports event that raises awareness on an environmental or humanitarian cause.
As if this was not enough, since January 19th, 2022, a new advertising limitation came up focusing on the targeting.
From now on we cannot specifically target groups related to Health causes, Sexual orientation, Religious Practices and groups, Political beliefs, social issues, causes, organizations, and figures.
At a first glance, it looks like a fair rule as we don’t want to exploit people in those sensitive groups, especially health. Nevertheless, we again expect some problems when we get into action.
For example, what if I am a small business producing the special candles needed for the orthodox eastern? Now I cannot reach out to those who publicly state that they are Orthodox Christians and tell them “Hey guys I have those candles you will need for the Eastern night mass.
The official Fb announcement takes it a step further saying that you cannot even promote events like “Lung cancer awareness” and “World Diabetes Day”. That raises another question. What about the nonprofit organizations that create awareness on health-related causes? Now they can’t advertise their special days and fund-raising events?
As the rules on all social media pile up and get increasingly complicated with gray areas it’s inevitable that the bots will not have the intelligence to follow. At least not for the near future. That means that in many cases today’s advertising is far from just a simple “boost my post”. The campaigns and wording should be prepared carefully in order not to trigger a bot rejection and we all must be ready to ask for a chat with a human to prove that we are not the “elephants” the bot thought we are.
For those not having the time to deal with this mess the only solution to advertise to social media will be to ask help from professional Social Media Agencies