Avoid using trademarked brand and product names in your business’s ads.
Use a post-scheduling tool to stagger posts so the platform doesn’t mark your post or account as “spam.”
Refrain from using incendiary political/religious topics, discriminatory language, and suggestive language in ads and posts.
Be honest and respectful when interacting with users and sharing content on social media platforms.
Make a habit of staying up-to-date with the community guidelines of each platform you use to promote your business.
As a digital marketer, you’re likely aware that your business should be posting relevant, appropriate, and useful content for your target audience. But with constant platform updates, no business is 100% safe from having at least one of their business profiles suspended at some point.
At Technology Therapy ® Group, we’d like to arm you with the information you need to avoid this unfortunate scenario. We’ve rounded up some words and topics to avoid when posting content and ads on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google to help you stay out of digital marketing “jail.”
Facebook and Instagram
Meta is fairly forgiving with the Facebook and Instagram ads they accept. (Note: To monitor which ads have been accepted and rejected, navigate to your Meta Business Suite and click on the Account Quality dashboard. Look under the Ad Accounts section.) But you’ll want to avoid the following words and topics so that your ads successfully pass the ad review process:
- Gender identities
- First names
- Financial status
- Racial descriptions
- Misleading claims
- Social and political issues
- Religious affiliations
- Sexual orientations
- Mental health and physical disabilities
- Criminal records/history
- Voting status
- Trade union memberships
- Bad grammar
- Explicit (or implied) profanity
Many of these words and topics are self-explanatory. But there are a few more taboos that we’d like to spend a moment explaining. Take third-party content, for example. You can get into trouble with Meta if your Facebook or Instagram ad refers to trademarked brands and products within the ad copy. If you don’t have a company’s explicit permission to mention their company name or products within an ad, then it’s best to err on the safe side. You can refer to a competitor and their products vaguely, however, and let your audience put two and two together.
You’ll also want to use Meta brand names properly in Facebook and Instagram ads. Per Meta guidelines, it’s okay for your ads to promote an Instagram account or Facebook group. But it’s not okay for your ads to focus on Meta platforms like Instagram and Facebook. If your ad does mention Instagram or Facebook, make sure to include the brand names with the proper formatting (i.e., refrain from changing the font or capitalization).
Ads aren’t the only thing to watch out for when using Facebook and Instagram to promote your business. These channels have guidelines for what you post. And, if these aren’t followed, you can get partially or fully “blocked” from accessing your account.
Facebook “jail” periods fall into three categories: low, middle, and high. A low-tier ban lasts from 24 hours to 30 days. A middle-tier ban means that you won’t be able to like or comment on Facebook posts. You’ll also be able to access only some functions of your account. Middle-tier bans last a lot longer than low-tier bans. High-tier bans are usually due to an attempted hack that results in a permanent ban from Facebook.
To avoid Facebook jail, make sure that the content you post does not have the following:
- Inappropriate language/topics
We’d like to point out one thing about what Facebook considers “spam.” Even if your content is solid and appropriate for your audience, it’s important to avoid posting the same content on multiple pages or to multiple groups at the same time. We recommend using a post-scheduler tool, or staggering when you post to multiple pages, to ensure that Meta doesn’t flag your account.
Instagram posts must also adhere to certain posting guidelines if you want to steer clear of a blocked account. It’s worth noting that Instagram jail can be more subtle than Facebook jail. Some refer to it as “shadowbanning.” If you discover that your business’s Insta posts aren’t showing up when you search for them, you might be experiencing a shadowban. To avoid a ban in the first place, make sure to review Instagram’s Community Guidelines. And, though it might go without saying, avoid posting any suggestive material since that will definitely get you into trouble.
LinkedIn ads follow some similar guidelines to Facebook and Instagram ads. Your ad copy must contain accurate information that is presented politely and appropriately. Refrain from including trademarks you don’t have permission to use. Avoid sensitive topics like gambling, financial status, or incendiary political/religious content. Don’t advertise one thing, then link to an irrelevant product or website to mislead consumers.
You’ll also want to use caution when posting to your business’s LinkedIn page to ensure that your marketing efforts on this platform go unhindered. Review the platform’s Community Policies on a regular basis, to ensure that your content gets posted without a hitch.
LinkedIn expects professional, engaging, relevant, legal, and appropriate content. So, make sure the tone of your posts, the language you use, and the topics you’re discussing stick to those values. And remember to interact with other LinkedIn contacts respectfully and appropriately, as another safeguard to prevent getting blocked or experiencing limited functions on this platform.
According to Google’s 2021 Ads Safety Report, Google blocked 3.4 billion ads due to compliancy issues during 2021. It also restricted 5.7 billion ads last year, meaning the ads weren’t visible to all users in all locations. Here are some of the most common reasons to get sent to Google Ad jail, per Search Engine Land:
- Abusing the ad network
- Adult content
- Inappropriate content
- Gambling and games
- Healthcare and medicines
- Financial services
- Legal requirements
- Dangerous products or services
- Enabling dishonest behavior
- Personalized ads
- Counterfeit goods
But there are other reasons your Google ads could be suspended. For instance, maybe your account has infected or malicious ads due to being hacked. Ensuring 2-step authentication is required for all users with access to your ad account can help combat this risk. The platform also has a strict aversion to what it refers to as “cloaking activities.” That’s when you show Google’s Editorial team one thing, but the ad itself displays another thing to other viewers. We recommend closely reviewing Google’s Ad policies before launching new campaigns and keeping an eye on their change log for any updates.
Google Business Profile
One of the most frustrating digital marketing outlets to get banned from is your Google Business Profile. That’s because Google can suspend or disable your account without telling you why. The platform assumes it’s the responsibility of the business owner to know, review, and adhere to Google Business Profile Guidelines. It’s also essential to stay updated on what the platform considers “restricted content,” since this can also thwart your access to your business profile.
Here are some of the primary reasons that Google suspends a business profile:
- Keyword-stuffed Google Business Profile business names
- Listing a UPS store address or P.O. box as your business’s address on your profile
- Having a co-working space as your business address on your profile
- Your business is online-only and doesn’t serve local customers
- The address listed on your profile is the same as another company’s address
You’ll need to be on high alert for an account suspension if your business is in a niche that has a greater tendency for spammy and fraudulent Google Business Profiles. These industries include the following: real estate, insurance, law firms, pest control, plumbing, locksmithing, garage door installing/repairing, HVAC, rehab centers, and landscaping.
Support with Compliant Ads and Social Posts
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