How to Avoid Facebook Jail for Marketers

How to Avoid Facebook Jail for Marketers

Facebook Jail. If you’re a frequent Facebook user, you’ve heard of this figurative prison in which users who violate Facebook standards are held by being temporarily banned from posting, liking, commenting or sharing until Facebook feels like the user has learned their lesson.

Since its “humble” beginning as a social site for Harvard students, Facebook has become the worldwide choice for keeping up with family, old and new friends, acquaintances, favorite celebrities and brands.

As the number of Facebook users grew, those behind the scenes at Facebook saw the need to establish a “few” rules on conduct and what type of content is and is not acceptable. Thus Facebook’s Community Standards were born and with them, the figurative yet powerful Facebook Jail.

At first, few users took Facebook’s new policies seriously until more and more found their accounts temporarily disabled after sharing or posting content that violated the new rules. But Facebook’s community standards weren’t just written for the everyday regular Joe user. Brands and businesses were given their own set of rules to abide by, and just like your outspoken cousin Andy who predictably posts the same “Straight Outta Facebook Jail” meme every time his account is re-enabled following a questionable post, brand marketers who don’t follow the rules will find themselves behind virtual bars.

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The good news is, the rules for marketers are simple and easy to follow. Earlier this spring, Search Engine Journal wrote a guideline for marketers called “You Can’t Do That on Facebook” and we thought it summed up the do’s and don’t’s of Facebook marketing quite well.

Check out our review of the guidelines:

Rules for Promotions

If you are promoting a contest, giveaway or new product launch, your post must include a note informing participants that Facebook holds no responsibility or liability regarding the promotion. You’ll also need to include a note acknowledging that Facebook does not support or endorse your promotion.

Official contest rules, compliance terms, and eligibility requirements should be clearly stated in your post and you must refrain from tagging friends or sharing your promotion to a friend’s page. We repeat, do not tag your friends or share their promo to their page. This doesn’t mean you can’t ask or encourage your friends and followers to share the promotion, it just means you can’t do it for them.

Rules for User Data

There are two simple but important rules regarding user data. First, you must inform the user that you want to collect data and the purpose of the collected data. You’ll also need the express consent of the user to collect their data and you’ll need to inform the user that it is you, not Facebook, who is collecting their information.

Page Names

Before we dive into the do’s and don’t’s of page names, let me just say that Facebook’s policies aren’t just to protect you and them from potential legal issues, they also line up with best practices for digital marketing. That means if you are following Facebook’s marketing guidelines, your brand or company is also in line with today’s best marketing practices. Best practices are essential to successful marketing, especially when it comes to your brand name.

One of the first rules for page names is to have a name that uses mostly correct grammar and punctuation. Noticed we said mostly correct. Facebook understands that some brands purposely misspell their names or use improper punctuation to help their brand stand out among the rest. Search Engine Journal used Ipsy as an example. The makeup subscription company famously uses all lowercase in the spelling of Ipsy. Facebook allows this punctuation error but if the brand’s name also contained a grammatical mistake, Facebook likely would send them back to the drawing board.

The same is said for names containing profanity or page names using generic terms. The latter means that if you want to create a page promoting pottery, you can’t simply call the page “Pottery.” You’ll need to come up with a name that sets you apart from other potters on Facebook.

Facebook’s rules for page names are pretty simple. If your brand name doesn’t comply, it’s safe to say it’s time to come up with a new moniker.

The Facebook Brand in Ads

The rules for the use of the Facebook brand in advertisements are as follows:

Only mention Facebook in a limited manner.

The word Facebook should be typed in the same font, size, and style as the rest of your text.

Always, always capitalize the word Facebook, don’t pluralize it and don’t abbreviate it. Also, refrain from using the word as a verb.

Never use the Facebook logo in your ads.

Calls to Action

Facebook’s rules for calls to action again line up with marketing best practices. Your call to action must match its landing page. Do not offer a call to action for users to sign up for a product, service or subscription only to link them to a page requesting they fill out a survey. If your call to action collects any user information, that info can only be used for that specific call to action. For example, if your call to action is to sign up for an email newsletter, you can only use the user’s contact information to send the newsletter, after you’ve gotten express permission from the user to receive the email. You cannot use the information to send the user additional promotional content they didn’t request.

That’s it! You now know the basic rules for complying with Facebook’s community standards. Still feeling blown away and a bit overwhelmed by the do’s and don’t’s? That’s where we come in to help you navigate through the minefield. Learn how Momentum Consulting can help your brand shine on Facebook by requesting a free consultation.