As the owner of various online businesses, Facebook ads are a great fit for my business, my clients and my myself. But, one of the biggest problems I see frequently is people dive into ads without understanding ad policy, and they end up with disapproved ads and disabled accounts.
When things go wrong with your Facebook ads, it typically falls into two categories: disapproved ads or disabled account. If you’ve received an ad disapproval, it’s likely due to a violation, whereas a disabled account is due to repeated ad violations or highly negative feedback on your account.
There’s a difference between an ad that gets disapproved immediately versus one that is flagged after running for a period of time. Common causes of ad disapproval are:
- Use of flagged words, such as “this” because that word is often used as click bait. Excessive use of “you” or “your” may also cause disapproval.
- Incessant amounts of markings, characters or using all capital letters.
- An issue with your landing page. Redirects to another type of page, obtrusive pop-ups or income claims will get flagged.
- Violating the personal attributes section of the ad policy.
- Using Facebook’s trademark, logo, images or even just not capitalizing the word “Facebook.”
If your ads are disapproved after running for a period of time, it could be due to:
- Frequency, or how long the ad has been running. If people see the same ad too often, they might report or hide it, which could encourage Facebook to shut it down.
- Negative user feedback plus reporting makes Facebook look more closely at an ad, so don’t just set the ad and forget about it.
- A Facebook ads rep is assigned to review your account and finds your ads in violation of a policy that “slipped through the cracks” when you first set it up.
- Any changes or updates to Facebook’s software can also trigger a sweep of disapproved ads, and in this case, it might be a mistake.
Dig around and try a few things to remove the flag that caused the disapproval. Try the same ad from a different Facebook ad account and the same page, or a different ad with the same Facebook ad account and a different page. The reasoning behind this is to isolate the offending variable. It’s important to know if it’s the ad account, the Facebook business page hosting the ad, or the ad itself. If nothing seems to work, get in contact with a person at Facebook:
- At 9 a.m. EST on business days, go to Facebook Business Resources.
- Under the “Top Questions” heading you’ll see either the chat or email icon (available only during business hours).
- Chat with a support technician to see what the problem is. Be gracious to this person and show them that you’re willing (and trying) to comply with the rules.
- There is also an option to appeal via email, but I’ve always found the chat to be more efficient.
Be persistent. If you’ve tried to fix the ad and it is still being flagged, or if you have chatted with a support technician and didn’t like the answer, continue appealing. This process could take several days or even a couple of weeks, but keep trying.
If this was your first time running a Facebook ad, once you’ve cleared the flags, I suggest running a few easy Facebook ads, such as “Like” and awareness ads, or boosting a Facebook Live video, just to get them approved and to familiarize yourself with the process. Typically, ads that don’t require the user to leave Facebook are approved more easily than those that send the user off Facebook. After the ads run for a few hours, you can turn them off. This is a way to “reset” the ad account so approvals start happening automatically.
If your personal ad account is disabled, it can be dramatic both professionally and personally. The first and best option is to use the chat appeal process I mentioned above. And don’t forget to keep trying, even if you get a no the first time. I had one student who had to try five times over the course of three weeks to get her account re-instated.
If none of that works, set up a new ad account using the following process:
- Finding a trusted friend, colleague or family member.
- Go to the person’s house (so you’re on a different IP address).
- Have the person open up a brand new business manager account.
- Set up a new ad account in the business manager.
- Set up a new Facebook business page.
- Get a new type of payment, such as a new credit or debit card.
- Have them make you an admin on the new page and account so you have full administrative privileges.
- You might even need to run ads to landing pages that are on a different domain than you were previously.
Please note that you will no longer have a personal ad account, but a business manager account that’s “technically” owned by your trusted friend. There’s no way to recover a personal ad account unless you can get support to reinstate it, or set up a whole new personal Facebook profile, but this is against the terms of service agreement.