Facebook Has a New Outlook on Low Quality Ads
October 19, 2018
Social media giant, Facebook, has taken a new stand on low quality ads, and it’s not good. The company has been penalizing those individuals and businesses which publish such ads. So, what exactly does Facebook mean by low quality? Well, it turns out that it has nothing to do with pixelated imagery or low definition frames, but rather the content itself.
Facebook recently started deleting accounts which posted fake or spammy updates, and this is now leaking over into the marketing side of things. Whether the ad is for a real product or service, it is irrelevant if the information looks like clickbait, or at least that’s what Facebook seems to be promoting as its latest defense against fraudsters.
Why the Sudden Changes?
Although Facebook has been updating these marketing strategies throughout the past year, much of these changes seem to have come out of nowhere. You might remember the great Cambridge Analytica issue the social media entity faced last year when user information was sold and possibly used in the Trump election. After the world discovered just what was at stake with personal information and social media, Facebook lost many users and watched as stocks plummeted and investors pulled out. Now, the company appears to be making up for lost time, taking a stand against any kind of “fraudster activity” it can to promote a more upstanding image to shareholders.
What Types of Content is Being Banned?
1. Posts Encouraging Likes and Shares for Profit: Businesses using Facebook contests and promotions to garner ads and shares might be in trouble, since these are some of the types of content being targeted with this latest change in policy. While these methods have proven useful to businesses, and may even be used in completely harmless and genuine ways, they appear spammy sometimes.
Of course, the benefit to this type of ad is that it feeds off the algorithms Facebook has put in place to rank users and businesses based on consumer interaction and feedback. Likes and shares initiate further likes and shares, which make users not only popular among themselves but with the site and its ranking as well.
2. Outrageous Claims and other Clickbait Language: Posts which appear sneaky are often cause for speculation, and once Facebook decides your post needs to be speculated on, it’s easier to ban it than investigate it. Outrageous claims such as, “you’ll never guess the CRAZY WAY she lost the weight!”, “this is ABSOLUTELY ASTOUNDING, and you’ll never see it again!”, or “we can’t believe the AMAZING savings!”.
These captions make users want to click and find out what it is that’s so CRAZY, ASTOUNDING, or AMAZING! Unfortunately, these titles seem too good to be true, which means they probably lead to nothing worthwhile, and this makes them spam. This doesn’t mean you can’t use grabby headlines to create more traffic, it just means they need to be used wisely. If your grabby headline does lead to a crazy weight loss strategy which isn’t common knowledge and might shock readers, then your title is 100% accurate and honest and it doesn’t fall within the guidelines Facebook is using to remove fake news and articles from the site.
3. Misleading Titles or Content: Like the above rule on clickbait, titles which capture your attention by alluding to something interesting and then not telling you what it is will now get you a one-way ticket to Facebook’s blacklist. This is pointing toward posts which use titles such as, “We can’t believe she put her hand in the …”, or “For younger looking skin just use …”
The user then needs to click on the title to find out what the secret ingredient to youthful looking skin is, or to learn about what the celebrity stuck her hand in on Oscar night. It makes the article appear as spam and is incredibly annoying to the user. Sure, it might get more clicks than a standard article about something not so racy, but in the end, the reader has a poor experience.
Flagged Advertisements and Penalization
Ads which are flagged for low quality content will reflect poorly on the poster, and as more and more ads are flagged, performance will begin to be affected. This means less and less users will find these ads fed into their newsfeeds, and some may even find their ads banned from circulation. This gets costly for advertisers who are spending money for a service which will now be doing nothing for the business.
Improving Content and Titles
The best way to avoid penalization is to create newsworthy, genuine sounding content with titles which are relevant to the subject matter. Don’t lie or try to impress readers, but rather, deliver what they’re looking for in an honest way. Facebook seems to be taking a page from Google’s book; by putting the user first and prioritizing content which makes the user’s experience better. This promotes a healthier image of Facebook and makes more users take the time to login and post or read.
To keep your ads from meeting “low quality” status, think of the user as you create and post any marketing materials. Will your ad frustrate users, make their Facebook experience less convenient, or send mixed signals which could be misconstrued as lies or false news? If you answered yes to any of these queries, it might be time to change your strategy and go for something more genuine.