If you have even the smallest bit of campaigning experience on Facebook, you probably know how complicated its Ad Manager has become in the past few years. While the many possibilities offered are a blessing, the way they are presented and bridged to advertisers on the interface is confusing at best — and misleading at worst. That’s not going to change, though, since Facebook sees no reason to make any changes.
As if that wasn’t enough, now many small advertisers are reporting that matters have gone from bad to worse when it comes to the social media giant’s advertising policy. No one really knows why Facebook does what it does, but we’re not talking about a few disgruntled advertisers’ complaints here. The conclusion is therefore unavoidable — anyone who wants to keep doing business with (and through) Facebook must acknowledge that the rules have changed.
The term ‘fake news’ became common about five years ago, and it has changed our lives significantly — even if we don’t feel it. Facebook was not immune to this phenomenon, being extra careful with the advertisements approved — sometimes too careful, as some advertisers have reported. More and more ads are being rejected as being politically sensitive, even if their content is not political at all, since the algorithm is going for a ‘better safe than sorry’ approach.
Is this a passing phase? Experts are skeptical. Facebook is not going to change its approach, since the social sensitivity to ‘fake news’ is going to remain dominant. It can make changes in order to avoid these mistakes, but it seems not to be making an effort in that direction. After all, as long as this policy doesn’t hurt the big advertisers, only the small ones, why should it?
The virus, and especially the lockdowns and restrictions that were a result of it, have changed the way humanity does business. As a hefty portion of the market made a shift to the online world, so did the advertising sector. Many have become familiar with the advantages of advertising online, especially on social media, during these times, so it seems this change is irreversible.
Bottom line: There’s a much larger demand for Facebook advertising, and it seems sometimes that Mark Zuckerberg’s baby can’t handle it all, especially when it comes to its content screening policy. Many advertisers are being mistakenly punished and locked out for publishing inappropriate content, with no one to turn to as customer support is overflooded with complaints. Is that supposed to change? We can only hope. Facebook has the financial and technological capability to improve itself; it’s all a question whether it wants to or not.
However, even if that does happen, it seems the damage has already been done. Crystalead is a digital marketing platform specializing in lead generation. It offers marketers the ability to campaign on different websites for different industries in order to earn commissions for every successful lead. Jonathan Greenwood from Crystalead tells us that a surge in activity has been felt in the past year. “We have people coming to us and telling us they are looking for digital marketing alternatives,” added Greenwood.
Time to bid farewell to Facebook?
Having said all of that, there’s no need to worry for the future of Facebook. While a certain decline in demand was felt, it is not the kind that can and will matter to the web giant. First of all, we must remember that those influenced are mainly small advertisers, and definitely not the big money. Second, while many aren’t happy with Facebook recently, they did not and will not stop using its services — and for some it’s not even an option.
The solution naturally lies in proportion. Allocating your advertising budget in a way that blends the big social media platforms — not only Facebook — with other channels such as lead generation platforms like Crystalead may do the trick. As Greenwood put it, “boycotting Facebook would not be a smart move. Not relying on it solely, though, can do wonders for your campaigning.”