Facebook Policies Every Artist Should Be Aware Of
While not something many of the platform’s users thing about regularly, Facebook requires its users to agree to a certain set of policies when they join, policies which any band or artist promoting themselves on the site would do well to keep in mind.
Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0
Those that use Facebook a lot don’t often think about it, but there are a number of terms that you agreed to when you first created both your personal and fan page. These are worth being aware of since a violation is enough to get you suspended or even banned from the service, which is something you definitely don’t want to happen if you depend on it to reach your fanbase. It’s best to read through these Facebook policies at least once to be aware of what might get you into trouble.
For example, Facebook has a number of guidelines for your cover graphic like:
- It can’t have price or purchase information in the photo (like “50% off”).
- It can’t include a call to action to Like, comment or share with your friends.
- It can’t include contact info like web, email or mailing address (there are better places to put this rather than on the cover photo as well).
When it comes to advertising, Facebook can be really picky not only with your ad, but the post-click experience as well. For instance:
- The ad can’t make any unsubstantiated or sensational claims. While this is aimed more at the get-rich schemes that promise “Make a million dollars in less than a month,” it can also be something as simple as “This is the best music experience you will ever have.”
- The ad must accurately reflect the product being sold on the landing page. If you have a picture of a pretty girl, but a click takes the fan to a page that tries to sell him your latest vinyl album, that’s a violation. If you’re selling a piece of merch like a coffee cup looks like it’s made out of solid gold but it’s really made out of plastic, that’s a violation.
- When someone clicks on your ad, the landing page must convey clear info about the product. Is the landing page misleading in any way? If instead of an album, it looks like the viewer is getting a trip to a tropical island, that’s a violation.
- You cannot have exit popups. Everyone hates popups, but the fact is, they do work. That said, if someone visits your landing page through a Facebook ad but encounters a popup if she tries to exit the page, that’s a violation.
- You can’t offer a discount that’s more than 50% off. Facebook thinks that more than a 50% discount is excessive.
- You can’t have a fake countdown timer or fake limited inventory counter. These are common tactics to compel someone to purchase, but to Facebook, they’re a violation.
- You cannot pretend to be an independent media entity if you’re not. You probably won’t do this, but you can’t place an ad that looks like it’s from Rolling Stone magazine if that’s not the case.
- If you ask for a piece of personal info (like an email address, name, phone number, or address) in conjunction with a sale, you must state the price, billing interval, how to cancel, plus have an opt-in checkbox for the terms and conditions. The checkbox can’t be opted-in by default, and the information can’t intentionally be hidden.
Other Best Practices
- Your landing page for a product you’re selling should include links back to Facebook.
- You should have both a “Contact Us” and “About Us” tab on your landing page.
- Finally, one of the biggest violations of Facebook’s terms of service agreement is that you can’t promise to give someone something if they Like, comment or share your post unless you use a third party app.
Believe it or not, there are even more guidelines that what’s in this section. To see all Facebook policies, go to facebook.com/policies/ads/.
You can read more from Social Media Promotion For Musicians and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.