Facebook Ads: Is the Battle Winnable?

Social Media Marketing and Facebook Ads have gone through some significant changes over the past twelve months.

Ads that used to work like crazy on Facebook have been turned off by Facebook and those that made it through the re-review process don’t generate the responses and return they once did due to missing categories and sub-categories.

Why is this?

Facebook took a beating in the public throughout 2018. They had to do something so the public would believe they respected their privacy. It is a bit of an oxymoron: Facebook and Privacy. Isn’t the entire point of Facebook to share your story, your experiences with your family and friends? It is. The public just didn’t grasp how much they really were sharing with EVERYONE.

What has Facebook done to restore trust with its users? They have created a culture that is no longer a leader but a reactive platform. If your individual post is considered “offensive” to “someone” it will most likely be flagged and removed. Do that enough and you go to Facebook jail for a month.

Battling Facebook to Reach Your Market

But as a business, how do the new Facebook changes affect you and your Ads? How do you Win the Battle?

That’s a good question and unfortunately at the rate they are making changes, this article will be out of date within 12 months. But any article that attempts to cover do’s and don’ts for online or digital marketing is somewhat out of date about a month after it was written due to the constant algorithm changes all platforms do.

Following Zuckerberg’s shellacking at Congress, Facebook removed over 5,000 ad targeting options.

Condensed version of what you can NO LONGER do when targeting your Ads to your market:

Income Brackets…They’re gone

Ethnic Affinities

Parents Category lost about half its subcategories

Moms Category Gone

Employers Category significantly overhauled




Charitable Donations

Financial Category (Spending methods)

Media (People grouped by their media/viewing consumption)

Job Role

Purchase Behavior massively curtailed

Travel lost about half of its subcategories

Residential Profiles removed which negatively impacted Realtors

Other Restrictions:

WORDS. In an effort to not offend ANYONE, many words can no longer be used in a Facebook ad. Horrific words like: Moms, Dads, Women, Men. Those are no no’s and should not be used, for the time being anyway. Yes, it is a crazy world we live in when calling a Mom a Mom or a Dad a Dad is considered offensive.

What Interest Categories Stayed:

Relationship Status

Fitness and Wellness


Shopping and Fashion



Food and Drink

Hobbies and Activities

Sports and Outdoors

Politics (mostly unchanged)

How to Win Despite of This:

The people that will be most impacted by these changes are the average business owner. With the loss of so many targeting options and the restrictions on language and words, its often too difficult for many business owners to run an ad and get decent results.

Its also impacted advertisers. The changes force advertisers to be ultra-careful and deliberate with virtually every word they use in their ads or risk that ad being denied or removed later after it was approved. Some advertisers that aren’t strong in copywriting abilities have taken the greatest hit in the results they are able to get for their clients.

It is a battle, and the short answer is STUDY. Advertising effectively on Facebook isn’t a hobby or something than can be done with a few minutes or even an hour of effort per week. It takes daily action, refining and testing. Just like any profession, it takes skill that’s developed by experience and continuing education. The question comes down to: Do you have the time and desire to do it? Only you can answer that.

Facebook advertising is still one of the most powerful and effective forms of advertising. The new changes just require you to be better at messaging and more creative in targeting. If you’re a business owner struggling to get back your Facebook ad results or perhaps haven’t done any before, hiring a Facebook advertising agency is a route you should consider. Not because we are one, but because each time you start getting things dialed in Facebook makes more changes and it requires constant management to stay up to date…and you have a business to run.

 CLICK HERE to learn how Market SCYTHE can help generate consistent leads for your business.

Market SCYTHE helps local businesses grow their sales through targeted and effective Facebook Ad campaigns. If you’d like a free no pressure consultation, you can contact us at info@marketscythe.com