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FACEBOOK PRACTICAL TIPS

The Facebook Ban Hammer: Practical Tips for Facebook

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​Have you noticed an increase in people talking about The Facebook Ban Hammer? ​So what's the deal? Listen in to this episode of The eCommerce Lifestyle podcast to learn how to keep your Facebook Ad account safe from the hammer.


I'm in a ​ton of eCommerce and Marketing Facebook Groups. Due to the misinformation sometimes spread in these, I don't recommend you joining too many of them.


​Staying in these groups​ is a good way for me to keep an eye on what everyone is talking about. ​I can notice trends and bad information to help my students stay away from it.


​Recently, I've notices a lot of people talking about Facebook Ad Accounts and Business Managers getting shut down.


​There have always been occasional reports of this. But now, I've noticed, it's happening at a much higher frequency. Is this the beginning of the end?


​That's exactly what I'm going to talk about in this episode of The eCommerce Lifestyle podcast.


​In this episode, you'll learn...

  • ​What's really happening with the Facebook Ban Hammer.
  • ​How to keep your Facebook Ad account safe.
  • ​Practical tips for Facebook Ads.
  •  How to run ads that follow Facebook​'s advertising policies.
  • ​And finally, what to do if you do get banned.
If you liked today’s show, please subscribe on iTunes to The eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast! The podcast is also available on all major podcast players including, Stitcher and Spotify.

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Transcript

What's up, everybody? Anton Kraly here from eCommerceLifestyle.com, and you're listening to the eCommerce Lifestyle podcast. In this episode, we are going to be talking about the Facebook ban hammer. What does that mean? It means Facebook closing accounts, shutting down advertiser's accounts. We're going to talk about why we're even talking about this, why it's happening, and what you can do to ensure that your account stays compliant and safe; so, that you can make money on Facebook ads this year, next year, and in 10 years from now, okay. Take this seriously, do what I'm about to talk about because it's not worth losing an ad account, and five years later have a business that's half as valuable because you didn't put the proper systems in place to make sure that you are compliant.

So the first thing I want to mention is why we're even talking about this right now, right? Why is this an episode of the podcast? Well, it's because I'm a part of a whole bunch of Facebook groups and a lot of them are for eCommerce entrepreneurs, a lot of them are for digital marketers; and I don't recommend joining a bunch of groups. There's a ton of nonsense in there, but that's actually the reason that I personally joined.

I have Drop Ship Lifestyle, DropShipLifestyle.com. It's a coaching program. We have over 10,000 students from over 50 countries at this point, and what we're doing there is helping people to build real online businesses. And I know people don't just see me and think, "Oh, I'm going to go to Anton." They see all this different information online. So the reason I'm personally in these groups is to see what's out there, and to make sure that I can do episodes like this and have lessons in my programs like this. That also don't just teach what I do that works, but that dispel information that it's misinformed.

In fact, I actually did an episode of this podcast about a year ago and it's called, The Sky isn't Falling, You're Just Uninformed. I highly recommend listening to that. I'll link it below. But it's about how this bad information spreads and people, sometimes their lives go on totally different tracks because they're listening to something that doesn't have context to it or that they don't really understand, so just keep that in mind.

But the reason we're doing this episode isn't just because I'm in Facebook groups, it's because what I'm seeing right now more than ever, and that is reports. People posting on Facebook that their Facebook ad accounts are being banned. Okay, the ban hammer has fallen. It seems like a lot of accounts are getting wiped out. And what's happening is certain people are logging into Facebook in the morning to either check their stats or to make a new ad and they're seeing a banner that says, "Your account has been disabled. You can no longer run ads, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." Basically, you're done.

So this hasn't never happened before. People have got their ad accounts banned in the past. But what's happening now, is it's happening at a much higher frequency. And when people post, they don't know what's happening, so they just say, "Oh, this is it. It's the end. This is the beginning of the end. Facebook is no longer going to want small advertisers like us. They only want the big corporations." And people believe that because they see it and they don't know any better, and this could stop some people from even getting started with Facebook ads. And that's the last thing that I want to happen because Facebook ads, although they're not our primary traffic source, they're not our biggest money maker, they are amazing if you use them right. But I want to make sure that people don't get discouraged because they're seeing posts of people losing their accounts.

Because in my opinion, unless it's just an accident, they are losing them for a reason, which is totally avoidable. But there is a reason that this is happening now more than ever. Again, it seems like the frequency of accounts being disabled, ad accounts being disabled, is going up. So to see what's really happening, all we have to do is look back in time because this has happened before with plenty of other platforms. The biggest one that everybody would be familiar with is Google Ads, previously Google AdWords. And it used to be that you could... I'm going to say get away because I do think that's the right word. You can get away with running a lot of ads on Google back in the day that weren't compliant. Not things that were just scams or anything like that, that's not what I'm saying. But things that were in compliant with the terms of service that you agreed with when you signed up.

And what happened on Google Ads or Google AdWords back then, is this happened for years because Google had a ton of inventory, meaning they had the space and they weren't exactly that selective or picky, and they didn't really enforce their terms that you agreed to to the full extent. And the reason they didn't do it is because they weren't a mature ad platform yet. So they were looking to boost their revenue and they did it by being less compliant with their own terms. Again, this is my opinion and my experience.

But what happened is once they got to the point that they had the biggest companies in the world throwing money at them to advertise, and once they had my store and your store and a million other stores and every other store down the block from your house advertising, they could start to be more selective. They could start to be more picky. They can start to actually enforce better their terms that we all agreed to when we signed up. So what happened... I don't even know when at this point, maybe five years ago, maybe more or maybe less, around five years ago, is a lot of Google Ads accounts started to get banned.

And that's what people said, the same thing they're saying now, "This is the beginning of the end. I'm not going to be able to advertise on Google anymore." And you know what, a lot of businesses that looked good from the outside kind of just dried up because they lost their primary source of traffic. Now while that happens, right, with Google, businesses went under, people complained. People said it's Google's fault. It wasn't. The people just weren't in compliance and they didn't do what you need to do to stay compliant and to make sure you can advertise that with them forever. Again, that happens, call it five years ago, we've only spent more and more and more with Google since then, so there's two ways you can approach these things. That's what I want to share with you.

But what's happening with Facebook right now is what happened with Google back then. Okay, Facebook is reaching a point of maturation. They're mature platform now. Not just on the side, which is go on Facebook, like stuff, posted, comment at whatever; but, on the ad side. Their ad network is built out right now. I'm sure they'll find ways to keep expanding it, but it's pretty much as big as I can see it.

The way it works with Facebook ad platforms, not just Facebook ad platforms but ad platforms in general, is they have inventory. The inventory is where ads would go. So it used to be on Facebook that you can post ads in just the Newsfeed and then on the right column. Then they introduced Messenger Ads most recently, but Marketplace Ads, the Facebook Audience Network. So what they do, Facebook as a company and all other ad platforms, is they try to find ways to increase the amount of inventory they have. So me and you and the person down the block that owns a laundromat, and then Ford could spend more money because more stuff's available.

But again, this has happened to Facebook's been growing at that rate while we are all spending more money with them, which is good because it makes us money. We're doing it for a reason. It's a win win. But what I believe is right now what we're going through is Facebook has reached a point where they can start doing what Google did five years ago. They can start enforcing the terms that you and me and the person down the block all agreed to when we set up our ad accounts. That means they can be more picky, they can be more selective. They can see, "Hey, you know what? This account may have been running ads with us for five years, but these things don't match our terms. We're going to close this account. It's not we needed."

And this is a gray area. Again, I can't say this is true. This is my experience. This is what I see as a business owner from the outside looking in and studying these companies. For the last five years, maybe Facebook needed that money. Maybe that inventory wasn't at a premium price enough where they can just have it removed and they can close, call it a thousand accounts, whatever it is. Because the money was coming in, the customers weren't complaining, but maybe those ad accounts weren't in line with their terms, okay?

So this is not talking about scammers and spammers and people just posting ridiculous things. This is semi-legitimate businesses or legitimate businesses that are running ads or businesses that aren't exactly compliant. These are the ones that I believe are getting closed now, and these are the ones that I believe will continue to get closed unless they make certain adjustments. So this is the main point. We'll get into some tactical things you can and should do to ensure your account stays safe.

But the main thing I want to get across is this is nothing new. I think this is just Facebook, just like Google did, just like every other ad network does as they mature, it's them enforcing what we agreed to to begin with. So if you've been in a gray area with your ads or your business, and again, I'll talk to you about how you can identify that, this is the time to make those changes and I do believe you'll be fine. I do believe you'll be able to use Facebook ads profitably forever.

All right, let's talk about some practical tips that you can take away from this to make sure that your account stays safe. So I wrote them down so I don't forget anything. I have nine of them here. There is, I'm sure, more things you should be doing, but this is a great starting point and this is the most common things that I see when people are trying to figure out, "Oh, what happened?"

So the first thing, which again should be obvious, is to read the Facebook ad policy that you agreed to when you signed up. It's not that bad. It's not that complicated. Just go on Google and type in Facebook ad policies. Read it from the source. Read the policies on Facebook.com. And then if anything stands out to you as you're reading through them and you're like, "Oh, am I doing that? I'm not sure," then it's probably best to fix it. So do that first. Read the ad policy is and as you're going through them, just think, "Am I compliant with all of this?"

The next thing that I see happening is people when they're running ads to an online store from multiple Facebook pages that aren't related to the brand, I've seen this cause issues, have pages shutdown and have ad accounts shut down. So I'll give you an example. I don't think most people are doing this. This is more like low ticket stuff. But let's just say you were selling standup desks and your store was called StandupDesks.com. And your main Facebook page was called Standup Desks, okay? Or a Standup Desk store, and you ran ads from that page to your store. Okay, all is well there. That's what you should do.

But then let's say you said, "You know what, I want to make more Facebook pages," and you made one called Standup Desk Lovers and you made one called Stop Sitting at Work, Stand Up Instead, and you made one called Standup Desk Alliance, whatever. You made all these different pages, and you ran ads to your store across all of these different pages. Now why people do that, I'm not going to get into in this episode. There's definitely a reason for it, but what I've seen happen multiple times is Facebook does not like that. So it doesn't mean you can't have one or two pages.

For example, with DropShipLifestyle.com, we run ads to that from a Facebook page called Drop Ship Lifestyle and from a page called Anton Kraly. That's fine. I talked to my account rep about it and there's no problem. But again, when you start mixing in all of these other things, it kind of looks... I'm just going to say shady because it kind of looks like you're trying to deceive people. Maybe you're not, maybe you... I mean it's marketing. It's good marketing and it works. But again, if you're going to do that, just know that I've seen Facebook Ad accounts shut down and that seems to be a big reason for it, so don't do that.

Okay, the next thing you want to make sure that you're doing, this one's kind of obvious, but don't make any false claims. If you're deceiving people in the slightest on your website, on the landing page you're sending people to or in your Facebook ad, you're going to get shut down. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. So have everything honest, have it true. Don't have any bait and switch type offers. Don't tell people you're giving something away and you're not giving something away. Just make your ads honest because if they're not, that will lead to an account closure.

This one's pretty simple. It's in the the Facebook Ad Guidelines, but have a privacy policy on your website. Literally Facebook has spiders that crawl websites that are being advertised to, and not having a privacy policy is just a ridiculous reason to get shut down. So have one, have it linked in the footer of your website.

Another one that's again pretty obvious, but I see this and people don't seem to understand, is do not sell products that are prohibited by Facebook. This will be in their ad policy, but there are a lot of product categories that are prohibited from Facebook. If you run ads, they might get through the automations that filter them, but you'll get shut down in a day or a week or a month so just read that first. Make sure you're not doing it.

And another thing you want to check is some things you can sell. I'll just give an example. Let's say like you're selling gun holsters, right? You can sell those on Facebook, but you have to advertise to a certain audience. I'm pretty sure it's 18 plus. Again, Facebook has this on their website. So if you're selling something that might not be for everybody, check Facebook because they'll tell you when you're doing your targeting, make sure you're selecting people that are 18 or older or whatever it is. And that's how you're able to keep those accounts alive and not get shut down for something as simple as that.

Okay, another thing is no sensational marketing, nothing click baity, nothing that's before and after photos. If you're selling treadmills, don't have a photo of a guy that weighs 300 pounds next to a photo of a guy that weighs 150 pounds. That stuff you can't do it all. So you're there trying to stay away... The way that I think about this and with the team is nothing that's like a tabloid would write, right? It can be fun. It can be creative. It definitely can, but nothing that is sensational that will get you banned. It'll definitely get you a warning at the least, most likely, straight to a ban.

And this one, number seven, this is big. Even if you do everything compliant, you're going to have times that your ads get disapproved. This could be when you first make it, it might just get disapproved straight away. Or it might run for a month and then you'll get a notification that says, "This ad has been approved because it doesn't meet our policies." And then typically when you get that message, it'll say what the policy is. What a lot of people do, and what we used to do, is just ignore that and then make a new ad. Never do that. And I've learned this again by a conversation with my rep at Facebook, and what she said is, "Once you get to a certain level, a certain ratio of disapproved ads to approved ads in your account, they'll shut it down."

And the reason you want to appeal these things is because they're often wrong, and it's because it's not a manual review. It's literally Facebook spiders seeing something that is probably wrong. In my experience, most of the times we get ads this approved, it's like a false flag. And to edit that, it's super simple. You just click appeal in your Facebook Ad Account Manager. You say what the thing is. If it says, "There's over 25% text." You say, "There's not. It's actually no text on this image all." Then within 24 hours they say, "Okay, this ad's been approved again." So don't just ignore it. Have them fixed, get the appeals in. Keep your ratio to disapprove ads to approve ads as different as you can have it, and then you'll be fine there. Don't just ignore them like I did.

Okay. Another thing that should be obvious, but I guess it's not, is deliver products faster to your customers and offer great customer service. Duh. Now this isn't on the Facebook side, this is on your business side. But what started happening maybe six months or a year ago is Facebook knows which advertisers are eCommerce stores. And what they'll do is after somebody visits your website from Facebook... It doesn't always happen. It seems like it's random how they select people, is they'll show that person that clicked your ad and went to your store, another ad from Facebook maybe, sometimes a week later or sometimes two. I don't know if there is an exact way they do it.

But what they'll show is, let's say you owned StandupPaddleBoards.com and I went to your website today because I clicked their Facebook ad. In a week from now, I might see in my Facebook Newsfeed, do you remember purchasing from StandupPaddleBoards.com? And then under it it says, "Yes or no," and if you click no, it just goes away. But if I click yes, it's going to say, how would you rate your experience with them? And it's going to give me an option to rate it, and those ratings go directly in to what is called your Facebook Customer Feedback Score. That's how those are generated. And if your feedback score drops under, I think it's 2%, two out of five, then your account is going to be disabled. You're not going to be able to run ads. You're going to be on probation, then they're going to shut it down.

The reason they started doing this, again, this is in my opinion, is because so many people are dropshipping from China, which again you should never do. If you want to know how to dropshipped domestic products, go to DropShipLifestyle.com. But Facebook realized this. They realized customers were pissed and they started showing these, and it wiped out so many accounts and it still is. But listen, even if you're doing what we do, shipping products domestically, getting it to customers in three to five business days, still make sure you have great customer service because when people click, "Yes, I remember ordering from this website," and they leave you a score, you want that as high as possible. Because if it's not, again, you have a very good chance of losing your account.

So the way you check that score, your feedback score, is facebook.com/ads/customer_feedback, and I'm going to put a link to that under this podcast as well just to make it easy. But definitely check that. See where you're at now as a baseline. And make sure you're monitoring it and only working on keeping it as high as possible moving forward because you also get rewarded. You get cheaper ad costs when your score is higher. And also, customers can't see that score. You see that score and Facebook sees that score, so keep that in mind. It's not like reviews on your pages. It's all in the back end of Facebook.

So finally I want to talk about what to do if you do get banned, right, because it could happen, right? Maybe you already got banned. So it's not the end of the world at this point. I'm going to knock on wood. But there are some platforms that when they make that decision and they ban you, you're done. You're not getting your account back. With Facebook, they've been more lenient than any other platform I've seen. What you'll have to do is first identify why you got banned to begin with, and then what you'll have to do is contact Facebook. The easiest way to do it is with Live Chat. Unless you have an account rep, which you probably don't, unless you're spending a ton of money. So you can use Live Chat with Facebook and explain what happened. Say it was a mistake, explain why you want to appeal it. And if they say no, do it again tomorrow, and do it again tomorrow, and do it again tomorrow. Because eventually, this is what I've seen, you'll find somebody that says, "Oh, it was a mistake," and re-enables it.

Again, this is the last thing you want to happen. So do everything I just mentioned before it does. But if it does happen, again, every day contact them until it's reopened. And when it's reopened, then do what I said to make sure your account's compliant, but do this sooner than later. You never want to have to deal with that. And I can't tell you that next week Facebook's going to be as lenient as I've seen them being now, so do it sooner than later. Keep your account safe. Make money with Facebook for the next 20 years and then come back and thank me.

So hope you guys enjoyed this episode. As always, if you did, I would really appreciate a review on Apple podcasts. Podcast is called eCommerce Lifestyle, just search for it. We have over a hundred episodes just like this, with a ton of awesome information to help you build your own store and become the authority in your industry. If you're brand new here, definitely go to DropShipWebinar.com to learn how we build highly profitable, semi-automated online stores working with domestic suppliers and shipping high-quality products fast, so I'll see you there. Thank you.

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