Facebook can no longer be ignored. Whether you sell fidget spinners, luxury sedans, or legal services, you have probably sent Mark Zuckerberg a few dollars – potentially thousands. Facebook’s advertising platform grew exponentially once the news feed was introduced in 2006, but along with this growth came a litany of advertising guidelines and rules. In the past year these guidelines have become increasingly strict due to concerns of personal privacy and issue-based advertising. While these rules aim at mitigating political (issue-based) advertising, some rules created hurdles for attorneys trying to reach potential claimants.
Implying Personal Attributes:
A common policy cited when Facebook ads get rejected is the personal attributes policy. It is against Facebook’s guidelines to imply something particular about your audience in ad content. Explicitly, it states that ads must not contain content that asserts or implies a user’s race, ethnic origin, religion, beliefs, age, sexual orientation or practices, gender identity, disability, medical condition (including physical or mental health), financial status, membership in a trade union, criminal record, or name.
It’s easy to imagine the different areas of law that are affected by this policy. As a FDCPA attorney, you may not be able to ask your audience if they’re “being harassed by creditors” because it implies a user is in financial turmoil. A personal injury ad could be rejected if it asked, “Were you injured in a car accident?”. This policy prevents Facebook users from being completely privy to the demographic information that was used to target them, while also requiring your legal ads to be universal in approach. Consider using an unknown fact about bankruptcy, or how many successful car accident cases your firm has handled, instead of copy that might be seen as implicating an individual.
Another policy that may be causing more legal ads to be rejected is the policy against sensational content. Facebook’s sensational content section states the following: “Ads must not contain shocking, sensational, disrespectful, or excessively violent content.” It probably doesn’t surprise you that some personal injury imagery and language might fall under the purview of this rule. While palpable damages are an essential part of any plaintiff’s personal injury case, Facebook might reject an advertisement that describes or depicts the more graphic parts of a motor vehicle accident.
The same could be said for a defective drug ad in which the side effects of said drug are particularly gruesome. It’s a thin line to walk as a personal injury attorney, but it’s not impossible. The best advice for this guideline would be to keep your advertisement vague or indirect and allow your landing page to do the talking.
The 20% Text Rule:
If you’ve reviewed your ad for any mention of personal attributes or content that might be construed as sensational, there might be a simpler reason for why your legal ad was rejected. Facebook has a rule that prevents ad images where 20% or more of the image is text. This rule has been somewhat altered in recent years to permit more text in advertising images, but it comes at the cost of impressions.
Facebook’s public advertising policy states that it will allow these images, but ads with higher amounts of text will receive less or no delivery at all. The easiest way to avoid rejection on the grounds of your image is to use as little text as possible; keep in mind this includes logos, watermarks, and numbers. If you feel that text is integral to your ad’s success, consider reducing the font size to keep it under 20% of the image size.
Mix Up Your Marketing Options With Lead Generation
Ultimately, Facebook is one of many tools for digital marketing. Most law firms use a mix of marketing tactics. Whether it’s TV commercials, Facebook advertisements, or lead generation, the players with the most impressions, and thus cases, are using all of these tools. If Facebook’s advertising guidelines seem overbearing or difficult to navigate, you’re not alone. A great alternative is lead generation. You’d no longer have to toil over legal ad semantics and simply receive contact information from a claimant who needs legal assistance in your area immediately. Consider using eGenerationMarketing’s leads to sign more personal injury, FDCPA, Social Security disability, or workers’ compensation cases.