Facebook has made its way back into recent news headlines, this time regarding its ad targeting solutions. While there is no need to fret, we want to recognize that some of these changes may impact those in the education space, both Facebook users and advertisers who rely on the platform to target and reach customers.
There are two changes in particular that education marketers should be aware of if you are currently utilizing or considering paid social advertising:
New Regulations for Advertisers of Housing, Jobs, or Credit
Facebook is no longer allowing advertisers of these three categories to target people based on race, gender, age, or zip code. Geographic targets will have a 15-mile minimum radius from a specific address or city, and the “Lookalike Audience” tool, which helps advertisers find users who resemble customers they already know, will no longer factor in age, religious views, Facebook Group affiliation, and other criteria for ad targeting.
New Regulations for Political Ads
Facebook has put in place new requirements for any account or person that runs “political” ads, which I placed in quotes because Facebook has a pretty broad definition of political: “Any ad that relates to any national legislative issue of public importance in any place where the ad is being run.” This includes topics that you might not immediately think of as being political, such as energy, the environment, health, civil rights, and, you guessed it, education. For more information on Facebook ads related to politics or issues of national importance, see the Facebook Business help center.
What Does This Mean for Me?
The majority of MDR customers do not fall into any of these categories and will not be affected by the new regulations, but, even if your company does, it does not mean that you can no longer advertise on Facebook. In fact, if your business is advertising housing, jobs, or credit, educators are a perfect audience for these types of products/services! There are over seven million educators in the U.S., and with unique, and singularly attractive demographics, (financially stable, homeowners, brand loyal), they are truly the perfect consumer.
MDR can create a custom social advertising audience of verified educators based on hundreds of data targeting elements available in the MDR Educator Database. The advantage of using MDR’s Custom Audiences versus Facebook’s targeting criteria is that it gives you the flexibility of managing your own advertising audiences and campaigns, without being restricted by Facebook targeting or worrying about your ads being flagged as violating any Facebook targeting regulations. With custom audiences from MDR data, you can rest assured that you have the documentation needed to confirm your rights for usage of the data, so there’s never a worry about compliance.
Feeling Like This Is Getting Too Complex?
If you are unsure if your advertising campaigns will be affected by any of these new regulations or wonder whether your ads could be considered “political,” we are here to help! We understand that it’s difficult to keep up with the constant changes and navigate the technical details of Facebook’s advertising policies. With that said, Facebook is still the world’s most popular social network with 2.3 billion monthly active users worldwide, and it is the most popular channel among educators. So, it goes without saying that Facebook needs to be part of your marketing mix to reach and engage your audience.
MDR is a large Facebook advertiser, running thousands of campaigns each year on behalf of our clients and our own media brands, WeAreTeachers and School Leaders Now. We have been paying close attention to the Facebook landscape, and take pride in being able to review and react to changes in the market in a timely manner that is consistent with our commitment to exceptional customer service and data quality.
As a division of Dun & Bradstreet, MDR has access to large legal and data compliance teams who are working closely with Facebook to ensure all our products are compliant in this shifting environment. Through these partnerships, we ensure that your Facebook advertising campaigns continue to be both compliant and successful.
If you would rather leave it the experts, MDR can provide managed social advertising services on an ongoing basis, taking the load off your plate.