Facebook is the way to go for paid traffic these days. Traffic from Facebook can drive insane returns on investment, because you can laser target the people you want to advertise to. Facebook has an option called custom audiences, where you can upload lists of people who you want to advertise to and if you are using custom audiences then you will want to read the rest of this blog post.
The Abuse of Custom Audiences
Custom audiences are an incredibly powerful tool and marketers have created software for building them. For example you could scrape the user ID’s of the people who liked the posts of a specific fan page or a group.You could also scrape the ID’s of people who only commented on a specific fan page and thus create a super targeted audience.
Now, some marketers went too far with custom audiences. For example, they built audiences of a specific age and created ads that mentioned the age of the audience, or they have created audiences with people who have the same first or last name and then created ads with their name in it.
This kind of intrusive advertising wasn’t left unnoticed and my guess is that a lot of people sent complaints to Facebook and then they changed the guidelines for custom audiences.
Scrapped Audiences Will Get You In Trouble
From now on, if you are using custom audiences with scrapped user ID’s you can get your Facebook account banned, ouch, because it’s against Facebook guidelines.
To use custom audiences, the audience has to be opted in first, you must have their permission to advertise to them. For example, an optin email list would be a permission based audience, though I wonder how they will know that I have the permission or not…
If you still want to use scrapped custom audiences then you are risking getting your account shut down with all your personal photos, friend lists etc. You don’t want to lose that I guess so, I recommend creating a new Facebook account just for advertising and even, if you aren’t going to use scrapped custom audiences, I recommend having a separate advertising account for the unlikely event of a Facebook ban. Safety first.
Now, I haven’t heard about mass bans from Facebook, mostly only rumors that you can get banned, but better safe then sorry.