In Facebook’s efforts to keep “advertising safe and civil,” last week, the social media platform removed over 5,000 targeting options to prevent misuse by advertisers.
Facebook was previously under fire for enabling advertisers to discriminate against minorities by creating target audiences that excluded users based on attributes such as ethnicity or religion. Since this change, marketers who run employment, housing, and credit campaigns can no longer filter ads from specific demographics to prevent discrimination against ethnic or religious minorities.
In their recent blog post, Facebook said their efforts for this update include reducing the risk of abuse and creating a safer environment for users. “While these [ad targeting] options have been used in legitimate ways to reach people interested in a certain product or service, we think minimizing the risk of abuse is more important. This includes limiting the ability for advertisers to exclude audiences that relate to attributes such as ethnicity or religion,” Facebook writes.
Along with removing ad filters, Facebook will soon be launching an Ads Manager certification tool for advertisers who run housing, employment, and credit campaigns to verify that they are complying with Facebook’s non-discrimination policy.
What does this mean for my Facebook ads?
If your Facebook ads aren’t related to job postings, promoting a new condo complex, or encouraging users to apply for a new credit card, you might be in the clear. However, if your target audiences are selected based off an ethnic or religious group, your ad might be penalized.
If your ads can be deemed discriminatory according to Facebook’s policy, you should consider revamping your target audience or start from scratch.
How to Refine Your Target Audience
Here are a few ways you can refine your Facebook audience include:
Creating a custom audience
Facebook allows you to create custom audiences based on your customer list, website visits and engagement, which can offer insight for developing a target audience.
Uploading an audience of current customers
Want to reach out to customers from your email campaign list? You can also create a custom audience by uploading contacts from a CSV file or pasting the data into an audience segment.
Basing audience on engagement
You can also create an audience based off users who’ve engaged with your Facebook page or posts, or have contacted your profile.
Even with Facebook making strides to improve their advertising policies, they continue to make updates to refine their advertising tools for businesses and marketers.