New Requirements for Facebook Ad Targeting
By Monica Hickey, Manging Director
The right businesses, reaching the right audiences, with the right ads –– that’s the basis of Facebook’s new requirements for Custom Audiences. The platform recognizes that tailored content offers a winning situation for everyone: Advertisers can reach their desired market segments, consumers see products they’re interested in and Facebook keeps its users happy.
To make this a reality, new requirements are ensuring transparency across the advertising process, maintaining high standards of brands accountability and making the process easier to understand for brands and users alike.
Facebook’s focus on ethics and improved user experience has become their M.O. as of late –– from its new algorithm to updated privacy settings. And although we love having consumer voices heard and confusion removed from the process, all of this change can leave brands asking “What does this mean for us?” Lucky for you, we’re here to break it down.
Secrets, Secrets are No Fun
How much do consumers really need to know about the advertising process? According to Facebook, a lot more than we’re used to –– specifically in terms of data retrieval and use. As of July, the platform is requiring advertisers to let users in on how and where they receive data, plus the ways they’re using it in advertising efforts.
For brands, this looks like selecting a data origin source when uploading a customer file –– Did the info come from consumers, a partner or both? Users can then see this information (as well as whether they’re being reached by phone number or email), when they click the “Why am I seeing this?” option.
The goal of this change is to be completely upfront with users over their role in the advertising process. Although letting consumers peek in on your process might sounds scary, this is actually a plus! Because this move keeps users in the loop on how and why they’re seeing an advertisement, they can more directly tell brands if they are/ aren’t a good fit –– meaning less wasted effort on our end.
Sharing the Responsibility
The effects of these standards aren’t limited to just brands and their audiences. Agencies and other third parties with access to customer files are getting wrapped in too. Stricter requirements for data sharing will ensure that all parties have permission to utilize and share user information, as well as keep brands accountable for any action taken by third parties.
With the update, all members of brands and agencies must agree to Facebook’s Custom Audiences Terms, as well as establish an audience-sharing relationship –– i.e. linking both Business Manager accounts and agreeing to comply with Facebook’s data requirements. Basically, this lets Facebook save face and confirms that everyone handling data has the proper clearance.
Keep it Simple
The main focus here is making information easily accessible to consumers –– because what would the changes do if no one could understand them? With the amount of rogue data that Facebook had floating around, it’s not surprising that they’re asking everyone to keep their ducks in a row. The simplicity aspect comes in the form of features like the “Why am I seeing this?” option, as well as removing any barriers to entry that keep users from knowing what goes on behind the scenes.
Facebook is also making an effort to keep advertisers aware of their responsibilities with more frequent and detailed reminders well after they hit “I agree.” Protecting user privacy is currently a huge priority for the platform, and pairing accountability efforts with Zuck’s version of “Data Sharing for Dummies” will hopefully keep another Cambridge-Analytica moment from happening. Brands should appreciate the indirect PR that this open communication does for their business. Compliance with these efforts shows your audience that you care about them beyond the sale and are willing to prove that by laying everything out on the table.
So here’s what you need to know: advertisers can keep using data in their targeting efforts. All they need to do is make consumers aware of the process by telling them where their data came from, how it’s being used and who else is getting a peak. Really, for brands that are doing what they’re supposed to, this won’t change much. Updates like these just ease the minds of the consumers and tell them “See. We have nothing to hide.”