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What’s Going On With Facebook Ads Pre-Midterm Elections?

Published by Rebekah Josefy

With spooky season in full swing, let’s take a moment to make sure your ads—and potential subscribers or donors along with them—don’t disappear like ghosts on Nov. 1.

If you’re running Facebook ads in a special category (think social issues, elections, or politics) then you might want to take note of a few upcoming restrictions.

I’ve included a link at the end of this blog post where you can read the rest of the disclaimer. But essentially Meta has told us so far that “from 12:01 AM PT on Tuesday, November 1, 2022 through 11:59 PM PT on Tuesday, November 8, 2022 no new ads about social issues, elections, or politics can be published, and most edits will be prohibited.” 

Essentially what this means is that you need to plan ahead.

Make any edits to your Facebook Ads before November 1st.

If you have any campaigns that you’re planning to launch an experiment on either body copy, calls-to-action, or creative graphics, the clock is ticking to have it approved. Your ad needs to start running (with at least one impression delivered) before the Nov. 1 cutoff.

If you miss the deadline, you’ll be set back about a week. (Side note: I’m so proud of you for testing!)

You’ll also want to use these next few weeks to run a few spot checks on any active campaigns.

Because if you’ve launched a headline with a typo (I know – how embarrassing! We’ve all done it, though) or need to change the link your ads are pointing to, you’ll be out of luck on making these edits during this restricted window. 

Sometimes Facebook (Meta? What are we even calling it anymore?) can make these restrictions feel a little bit like a guessing game:

  • What topics are considered “political?” 
  • What types of changes are considered an “edit?” 
  • What exact language or feature caused my ad to get “rejected?”

In fact, our friend Jon Loomer gives some more guidance and insights to help you overcome this guessing game—including the actions you can and cannot take on ads in a recent episode of the Pubcast, which is also linked at the end of this blog post.

However, if you’ve been in digital marketing for some time, you may remember (or still have battle scars in the form of big dips on acquisition trend lines from…) the time Meta turned off all ads about social issues, elections, or politics from November to February. 

Diversify Your Online Advertising Strategy

The truth is, when it comes to running social issue/political ads — we’re under an ever-present threat from Facebook for getting all campaigns shut down.

So what do we advise those who are in this unique position to avoid putting the pressure of getting results on one platform that you don’t ultimately control? Here are a few questions to consider.

What other channels are you spending a dedicated budget on? 

I tried really hard to come up with a different analogy here but….don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Get a diversified spending & offer strategy in place. Look at Email Prospecting and Google Ads as competitors to spend and produce outside of Facebook.

What types of offers are you running and can you make any adjustments to keep them live? 

Look at developing surveys or pledges that can pass the political filters and be run on Facebook. That way you can at least keep something running in the event political ads are deprioritized or are eventually prohibited.

How are you prioritizing email acquisition? 

The volatility of relying on a platform like Meta to reach audiences reinforces the importance of a truth we often reference: The combined size and quality of your email list is the single most influential factor in online fundraising. 

That’s right: your ability to communicate with your audience through a controlled channel and guaranteed frequency is ultimately a defining factor in determining the health of your fundraising program.

So yes, take this time to make adjustments ahead of the Nov. 1-Nov. 8 restricted period, but more importantly, also prepare your program on a larger strategic level to avoid having to constantly be tip-toeing around these arbitrarily announced restricted periods at a moment’s notice. 

Divert resources ahead of time to other steady sources so you can continue seeing results during a one-week shutdown.

And above all, know that if launching—and monitoring and resubmitting and tweaking—special category ads currently has you feeling like putting your face in coffee, you’re definitely not alone.

A Few Additional Resources

  • And—if you enjoyed the gifs of Joey’s big Game Show moment—Here’s a Link Where You Can Get Tickets for NIO 2023 –SUPEREARLYBIRD23:

Published by Rebekah Josefy

Rebekah Josefy is an Optimization Director at NextAfter.