How small businesses can work around Facebook’s new ad filters

How small businesses can work around Facebook’s new ad filters

Ever since Facebook introduced their new political ad filters, it has drastically altered what small businesses can advertise even if their content isn’t politically themed. Whether it’s because of how the advertisement is worded or the imagery it contains many small businesses are suffering because of their advertisements being blocked. Here’s a list of creative workarounds that office managers can use to circumvent Facebook’s political ad filters and avoid having their business advertisements blocked.

  1. Stick to the facts

    Facebook is cracking down on any advertisement that makes guarantees or promises, mainly if there’s no way to substantiate these claims. Additionally, using superlatives such as lowest, expert, etc. has also caused a large number of ads to be blocked. The best way to work around this problem is to state factual information about the company you work for, such as their years in business or positive feedback they’ve received from recent customers.


    Don’t: Contact Joe’s Plumbing today we guarantee the lowest prices and expert service.

    Do: When you choose Joe’s Plumbing you get 25 years worth of experience and plenty of discounts.

    Don’t: At Chicago Home Heating and Cooling we guarantee you’ll be pleased with our work.

    Do: At Chicago Home Heating and Cooling we appreciate all of our customer feedback. Check out our reviews today.

  2. Choose appropriate images

    Facebook’s new political ad filters strictly prohibited any close up images of any body parts. Because of this, advertising for many small medical businesses have suffered, podiatrists, optometrists, and dentists particularly. When you link the company’s website to your advertisement, the image is chosen at random, so the only way to work around this filter is by selecting an acceptable image and including it along with your link.

    Additionally, you may choose to create an advertisement that does not feature a link to the website and make a post with an appropriate image and the company’s email address or phone number instead.

    However, this still poses a problem for businesses that require close up images to sell their product such as nail technicians and tattoo artists. In these cases, it’s best to choose a faraway image for the purposes of advertising and then provide a link to a gallery of the company’s work.

  3. Write content that focuses on the business, not the viewers

    The Facebook political ad filters were also designed to weed out any advertiser that uses discriminatory practices or language. However, as a result, any post that addresses the viewer has been blocked. One way to avoid this issue is to make sure that your content focuses on the business rather than your viewers.


    Don’t: Are you suffering from an old sports injury? Contact the Center of Sports Medicine today.

    Do: At the Center of Sports Medicine we are able to treat both recent and old injuries. Contact us today for more info.

    These filters are also proving problematic for small businesses that want to target specific demographics. However, you can work around this by addressing what you offer this particular demographic.


    Don’t: Here at Smithbrook Dermatology we cater to people in their late 20s suffering from premature aging.

    Do: At Smithbrook Dermatology we specialize in combating the signs of premature aging. Contact us to learn more.

    Don’t: At Dr. Cruz’s office we are proud to be part of a large Hispanic community.

    Do: When you choose Doctor Cruz’s office you get the benefits and convenience of a bilingual staff.

  4. Utilize strategic hashtags

    Along with these new political ad filters Facebook has now made it more difficult for businesses to appear in news feeds. However, on both Facebook and Instagram, you’re able to follow trending hashtags. This not only makes it easy to identify which hashtags to use in your advertising, it also creates a way for your advertising to still appear in a significant amount of Facebook news feeds by merely utilizing strategic hashtags. One way of finding useful hashtags for the company you work for is by utilizing a hashtag research tool such as Ritetag or Hashtagify.

    Another way to do hashtag research is to look at what leaders in your field are using for their hashtags. For example, if you work for a small pharmacy, it would be prudent to research what hashtags CVS and Walgreens are using in their marketing.


    If you work for a doctor’s office and you search “doctor” or “physician” with one of these hashtags research tools they will not only give you trending tags for the day but ones that are effective over time.

    Daily: #patient #family #health

    Overtime: #fitness #doctors #nurses #medication #diet #exercise

    Beware of creating overly specific hashtags because it decreases the likelihood that anybody will search for your hashtag at all. For example if you want to gain local recognition #atlanta #doctors would be far more effective than #AtlantaDoctors. (On Instagram, for example, this hashtag has not been used in over a year). Remember posts with hashtags are twice as likely to be viewed than posts without them which makes hashtags highly effective social media marketing tools.

  5. Stay informed

    These Facebook political ad filters are still in their infancy and as such still evolving as Facebook gathers and assesses the data that they generate. Additionally, new workarounds are being discovered and implemented every day. As the office manager, you should make researching Facebook’s political filters and their workarounds part of your advertising routine.

    One easy way to stay informed is to follow several sites that are dedicated to social media marketing such as Search Engine Land or HootSuite’s blog because these sites cover changes to Facebook ad filters as well as newly discovered workarounds.

    Additionally, you should follow Facebook’s business news page because it often addresses changes coming down the pike well in advance.

Note: All of the small business names mentioned in this post are fictional.

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