As the midterm elections approach us, consumers in the US (and around the world) are calling on social media platforms to be transparent.
Fighting the exchange of disinformation is an uphill battle.
Meta (formerly Facebook) has responded to consumer concerns by announcing updates to its ad transparency tools.
Jeff King, Vice President of Business Integrity at Meta, introduced new actions to improve ad transparency for the following tools:
- Facebook Open Research and Transparency Tool (FORT)
- Facebook Ads Library
Specifically, the types of ads that will be affected include:
- Social issues
Updates to these tools will be available to everyone Countries Which Meta Ad License and Disclaimers are currently available.
While these updates are driven by consumer feedback, there will be an impact on advertisers. Let’s dive into the changes and how advertisers can prepare.
Facebook Open Research and Transparency Tool (FORT)
The Facebook Open Research and Transparency tool (known as FORT moving forward) is not available to the public, but to vetted academic researchers.
It was first launched on January 11, 2022, and the goal was to provide a tool for researchers to understand Meta’s impact on society.
The tool is a cloud-based research platform, which is cost-effective, flexible for researchers, and secure when it comes to storing data.
Starting at the end of May, the FORT environment will include detailed information on ad targeting (eg interest categories) for social issues, election and political ads.
Detailed targeting information will be available at the ad level for affected ads.
Facebook Ad Library changes
By contrast, the Facebook Ad Library is available to the general public.
Ad library updates will be available in July 2022. If your ads fall into one of the three categories above, consumers will now be able to see the following:
- A summary of targeting information for each affected ad
- The total number of targeted ads in the three categories in which the page was launched
- The percentage of ad spending on social or political issues or election ads
- Whether the page uses custom audiences
- Whether the page uses lookalike audiences
What does this mean for advertisers
It’s no secret that Meta takes strict measures on detail targeting.
While you still have the ability to target by demographics like age, gender, and location, you may see a lot of objectionable ads based on ad content.
Even if your ads don’t fit directly around social issues, elections, or political categories, you may still be affected going forward.
If you feel like all hope is lost for targeting your Meta audience, don’t worry! Here are some tips and tools that you can try.
#1: Start with a broader target
Even if you know exactly who your target market is, you may not be able to use demographics the same way you used to.
A tip for expanding reach and awareness is to create a large “interest” category that isn’t separated by demographics.
You may see a higher initial CPA during the learning phase, but the Meta algorithm often doesn’t take long to find your higher quality targets.
#2: Use remarketing to your advantage
If you’re starting with broad targeting (above), keep track of the people who engage with your ads!
Quick video ads are a great way to increase awareness, but did you know you can build remarketing lists from people who interact with them?
If you don’t have video content, try creating a remarketing list of people who have previously interacted with your Page.
This takes demographic targeting out of your ads, and into a more qualified audience that is more likely to buy from you.
#3: Use custom audiences
While your users will now be able to tell if you’ve used a custom or lookalike audience, this is less likely to list them if they’re previous customers, for example.
As long as you fill in these lists from first-party data, you should have no problem approving ads.
Featured image: Tada Images / Shutterstock