Submitting a Facebook ad certainly is not as simple as just clicking a button. The ad has to go through an approval process and, at times, may not actually be approved. But what happens during this approval process? How can a Facebook ad be fixed and resubmitted in order to get approved? Furthermore, how can someone create a great Facebook ad that will get approved the first time around?
For those of us that have been through this process before, it can be frustrating. On top of that, Facebook is not scared to simply close down your account altogether if you submit too many disapproved ads.
Simply put, it is imperative that Facebook be strict with their ad policies (as well as numerous other policies) in order to ensure their users have a safe and a more trustworthy experience on the platform. While some of their rules and policies for ads may seem petty or arbitrary, there is always an underlying reason for why these rules are in place and continue to be updated regularly.
What Happens During The Facebook Ad Approval Process?
Upon creation, all Facebook ads will go through their automated review process. This process can check for a majority of compliance issues and can determine whether or not the ad is fit to go live. At the beginning of 2019 Facebook reached a new milestone with 7 million advertisers on their platform. (October 2020 update: 9 million+ advertisers. Read our recent blog in response to COVID, Social Media Advertising: Things Have Changed). It would be impossible to manually review all ads. Some of the more tricky ads may get a mix of automated and manual review, but it is estimated a great majority do not. We say estimated because Facebook has not publicly released any relevant data on this process.
What does the automated review process look at?
- Ad Positioning
- Targeted Audience
- Text & Images Used
- Landing Page Content
The fact that the review process looks at the content on the landing page of your ad is arguably a huge determining factor for whether or not an ad should be approved. If their users are not going to a safe or relevant landing page, then Facebook will nip that in the bud very quickly.
How long will it take for my Facebook ad to be approved?
This answer can vary greatly depending on numerous factors such as the content of your ad, how long you have been an advertiser, the type of ad being created, and a few other variables that are only known internally to Facebook employees. If you are lucky, your ad may be approved in just a couple of minutes. Some ads, namely the ones that require a manual review, may take a couple of days to get approved. Facebook tries to ensure that a great majority of ads are approved in 24 hours or less.
My Facebook Ad Was Not Approved, What Do I Do?
It is fairly common for advertisers, especially those new to the platform, to have their ad not be approved. You still have options though.
- Edit Your Facebook Ad - Oftentimes it is as simple as changing the wording or ad copy, using a different image, or fixing typos and broken links.
- Appeal the Decision - Go into your ads manager and find the disapproved ad. Whenever you click Edit you will see a red box highlighting what was wrong with the ad. In that red box you can click Request Review. You will be given the option to type of a reason why you think the ad should actually be approved. Whenever you submit your review request, a live person will go back and manually review everything.
Avoid Facebook Ad Disapproval with These Tips:
Below are some very common reasons, including the top three reasons according to Facebook themselves.
- Too much text in an image - You cannot have an ad on a newsfeed that contains an image made up of text that covers 20% or more of the image. Facebook even has a Text Overlay Tool that allows you to make sure your image is within the guidelines.
- Age-restricted material - If Facebook feels that your ad or landing page shows images or text that may be targeted at people too young to see this kind of content, they will not approve the ad.
- Mentioning 'Facebook' - The third most common reason for not getting approved comes from your ad improperly mentioning Facebook. If you are going to use that word, you must use a capital F and the word Facebook must be written in the same size and font-type as the other text in your ad.
These are the top three reasons from Facebook themselves. There are numerous other reasons however they are not as common as the ones mentioned above. These can include ads that:
- Show before and after pictures, whether real or fake.
- Make misleading or false claims
- Advertise illegal or prohibited content
Practice Makes Perfect
Creating a Facebook ad can be like riding a bike. Once you get the gist of it, you will be able to do it without as much concentration as needed in the beginning. As you get better at creating Facebook ads that get approved, your quality score will go up. Having a higher quality score can lead to faster ad approvals. One thing you never want to do is try to cheat or game the Facebook ad system. Just follow their rules and guidelines and you should have no problem breezing through the ad-approval process.
In conclusion, be sure to also check out the Facebook Advertising Policies. They like to update these policies without notice, so it's a good idea, even pre-sale to take a look to be sure your product or service will not have approval issues.