Facebook Has Some New Year’s Resolutions … err Changes!

Many of us make new year’s resolutions.  Weight loss, drink less and be more involved in your religious practice are among the most common.  Coincidentally, Facebook has announced changes coming to their ad buying requirements in January that that mirror these ‘resolution’ subjects.

From Facebook: 

Starting January 19, 2022 we will remove Detailed Targeting options that relate to topics people may perceive as sensitive, such as options referencing causes, organizations, or public figures that relate to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation. Examples include:

  • Health causes (e.g., “Lung cancer awareness”, “World Diabetes Day”, “Chemotherapy”)
  • Sexual orientation (e.g., “same-sex marriage” and “LGBT culture”)
  • Religious practices and groups (e.g., “Catholic Church” and “Jewish holidays”)
  • Political beliefs, social issues, causes, organizations, and figures

Okay, on the surface this sounds good.  After all, no one is asking for more ads on political campaigns.  So, what does this mean to ad buys:

  1. Facebook states they are not limiting a person’s opportunity to share their characteristic or attribute or to target on that basis, but they are limiting targeting based on the content they follow (retargeting possibly taking a hit?).
  2. Videos remain a strong outreach vehicle! From Facebook: An advocacy group looking to drive donations or a small business trying to connect with its customers can reach people who have liked their Page or people who have watched their videos.”
  3. Building “Lookalike” campaigns is still permissible.
  4. Location targeting remains in effect.
  5. Customer permission to use data still is a valuable tool.

Final point: these changes are not etched in stone.  Facebook reserves the right to revise and count on it, they will.  Straight from Facebook, “we will continue to evaluate and evolve our ad system.”

Keep in mind Facebook has increasingly dialed back the visibility of organic content in favor  of ads, so this is simply the latest shift towards the need of advertising to craft an effective social media program.

The social media platforms are continually tweaking their sites in both subtle and substantial ways. The GRM team is in the trenches (on the platforms) every day and adjust clients’ programs to best practices.  We are happy to share what we learn along the way.  One easy way to stay abreast is simply subscribe to the GRM newsletter.  We will keep you in the know on the significant changes.  And, no, we won’t track, use, or sell your email.  😉