Political Campaigns & Movements

Changes Coming to Political Advertising on Facebook

          Digital advertising on Facebook is one of the most important tools political campaigns and movements have when it comes to voter outreach and fundraising. The ability to micro-target specific audiences on the platform lets content creators connect with the unique voter segments they need to secure a win. The detailed targeting by political affinity and interests in social issues has been the most valuable weapon for political campaigns.

          Meta, the company that owns Facebook, has faced heavy scrutiny over its ability to shield users from misinformation and harmful content while on the platform. In response to this, Facebook has announced several changes to address those issues. They forbid certain types of targeting, such as:

    • Religious affiliation
      • Terms like “Jewish Holidays”, “Catholic Church”, and “Ramadan”
    • Sexual Orientation
      •  Terms like “same-sex marriage”, “LGBTQA”, and “gay rights”
    • Political Beliefs
      • Terms like “Democratic Party”, “Conservative”, “Socialism”
    • Social issues and movements
      •  Terms like “Black Lives Matter”, “Blue Lives Matter”, and “Stop Asian Hate”
    • Healthcare movements and causes
      • Terms like, “Breast Cancer Awareness”, “Colonoscopy”

          The removal of detailed targeting tools will change the approach advertisers now must take when promoting political content on the platform. Instead of relying on the ability to directly target supporters and potential voters through interest level and behavioral data, they will have to use custom audiences, custom lookalike audiences, and website lookalike audiences that are derived from users that are already in your Page’s network (people who are following your page, have interacted with your content on the audience network, or people who have visited your website). 

          If a political campaign wants to have success in doing voter outreach on Facebook, the focus needs to be on finding creative ways to grow the Page’s following and increase organic engagement. This can be a very time-consuming and arduous task. It’s important that political teams implement the expertise of digital marketing experts that understand the intricacies of facebook’s digital ads program and can devote the time and attention to creating a content strategy that maximizes engagement with your digital ads on the platform.   

          For more information, view the official release from Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/business/news/removing-certain-ad-targeting-options-and-expanding-our-ad-controls