Is there a string of words in existence that can strike more fear into the hearts of digital marketers than these?
“Your Facebook Ads account has been disabled. Your ads have been stopped and should not run again.”
Having your Facebook Ads account disabled can spell disaster for your business if you rely on it for leads and sales.
At Just Think we recommend that every business should have multiple streams of income. This means that if something goes wrong with one of your channels, the others can pick up the slack.
All businesses should be doing seven things at any one time to bring in revenue, and ideally, these should be a mix of long-term brand building advertising, and short-term, bottom of funnel advertising. Take your pick out of TV, AdSmart, Press, Facebook Posts, Customer Competitions, Referral Schemes, Radio, Youtube Ads, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Twitter Posts, Instagram Posts, Email Campaigns, Direct Mail, Content Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Outdoor Advertising, PR, Podcasting, Events, Product Placement… the list goes on and on.
In the real world, this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes budgets are tight, and with Facebook Ads being so powerful it is tempting to give the channel the lions share of your advertising budget and tell yourself you’ll diversify when you have the time and resources to get to grips with another channel.
For businesses who rely on Facebook Ads for all of their income, they are unwittingly at the mercy of the algorithm. When all is going well, it’s great, but when you have a problem, getting in touch with support is not so easy. There is no one on the other end of the phone to chat this through with who can reverse the decision for you.
What can you do if this happens to you?
The first thing to do is to work out if you actually have violated any of Facebook’s terms, or if the account has been disabled in error. Many times, this does happen. You can be wrongly flagged up by a bot, and have your account closed down without warning, when you’ve done absolutely nothing wrong.
There are extensive lists on the Facebook community pages detailing what you can and not do in your ads. Read through these and be honest with yourself. Have you violated any of their terms? Have you played fast and loose with the rules and hoped for the best?
If you have read all of these rules, successfully completed the Facebook advertisers blueprint, and you still believe that you have not done anything wrong, then you should request a review of the decision.
Bear in mind that it will most likely be another bot who will review your decision, so you may get a follow up message saying that your ad account has been reviewed and is still disabled. Again, if you’re sure your account has been wrongly disabled, don’t lose heart here. Request another review. And another.
You can also try jumping on to Facebook chat support here: facebook.com/business/help and speaking to a rep. Don’t be rude to them. They are dealing with thousands of requests every single day. Be polite and they will help you as best you can.
Sometimes ad accounts can be switched back on within 24 hours. Other times, they can leave you hanging for a month. Just a note here – it is worth making sure that your business is verified on Facebook, as we have found that verified businesses get through the appeals process much more quickly.
While you are awaiting a decision on your appeal and wishing you hadn’t put all of your eggs in one proverbial Facebook Ads basket, you will probably be wondering what else you can do to stop your business losing revenue and sales.
Here are four channels that you can focus on whilst you’re waiting on that ad account being enabled again.
Whilst Google Ads doesn’t have the laser sharp interest targeting and the Pixel data that Facebook Ads have, it is a valuable channel to add to your marketing machine.
You can create search ads, display ads and Google Shopping product ads, to drive traffic to your website, and then, by setting up remarketing audiences with help from Google Analytics, you can create remarketing audiences to advertise to. Similarly to Facebook, you can create campaigns for people who have viewed specific product pages, or added an item to their cart and exclude those who have purchased.
Google have now added Smart Shopping to their toolbox, whereby you can upload your products via their merchant centre, add a series of headlines and descriptions, and get them to optimise the ads for you, showing the best combinations to the people most likely to buy.
Depending on your industry you may even find that the Cost Per Click is much cheaper on Google than it is on Facebook!
If you have an interesting product or an interesting angle for your product why not try PR to drive traffic to your website? One of our clients produced fantastic time-lapse videos of his products being created, which online publications loved.
Browse the papers and magazines in the area or the industry you would like to target and take a look at who is writing these articles. Often their email address will be displayed with the article. You can then track them down via email, or find them on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn and pitch your story to them. Include a couple of lines of text to explain what your product is all about and chase them up in a few days time.
There is a time investment involved here, but this can be a very cost effective way of not only creating links to your website, but generating traffic to your product pages too.
If you have an online store, you should have a ready-made email list of people who have already purchased your product. This is good news as email data is like gold dust. This is your direct lineto your customer. Don’t waste it and don’t take it for granted.
Make sure you inform these customers when you have released a new product line that they may be interested in, send them a voucher code on a special occasion, or a free shipping offer, or, use a facility such as talkableto encourage them to refer a friend, in exchange for a discount reward for themselves andtheir friend.
Remember: don’t spam your customers! Make sure that your content is engaging and is worth their time.
Just because your ads account has been disabled, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use your Facebook and Instagram pages to share content.
Why not work with Influencers to get your products seen, create competitions for your customers to increase your reach, or leverage your followers to create User Generated Content that is highly shareable, to get your products in front of new customers even while you are not advertising on the platform?
We hope these ideas are useful to you. What other tips do you have for marketing a business when Facebook is taken out of the mix? We’d love to hear your comments!