I sent an email out yesterday when I discovered (to my panic and horror) that 11 years of my life and business on Facebook, had been erased…without warning. The good news is….
I got my account back, but with consequences.
My profile was reinstated, but my entire business manager (not just one ad or ad account) was deactivated. This means my 80 ad accounts are gone. I wasn’t using all 80…just a few, but the whole “just set up a new account” advice is dead. I can’t do any advertising on Facebook…at all.
For those of you wondering, I was following ALL the rules. I had disclaimers, I removed income claims, I didn’t use the word “you” excessively, I didn’t spam people, I monitored comments, I didn’t target irrelevant people…I did everything right…and it didn’t matter.
I also seem unable to go live from my phone. I did go live from my computer to explain a bit of what I learned, but for those who want the cliff notes… here it is…
1. There appears to be a correlation between advertising on Facebook and profiles associated with those accounts being manually reviewed and deactivated...ESPECIALLY if you’ve ever had an issue with a disapproved ad or deactivated ad account.
There are rumors everywhere that it has to do with profile funnels (turning your Facebook profile into the top of your funnel), but that isn’t confirmed. In fact, my COO Jessie Valle, also lost her account and she has NO business dealings on her profile. Just to be safe, many people are “dialing down” the marketing feel on their profiles just in case someone does manually review the profile and decide they are using it too much for business.
Facebook wants you acting like a PERSON on your profile, which is exactly what we’re doing – so I don’t think there’s a true breaking of TOS, but if you have a “fake” Facebook profile that is setup like a brand or a business, I would get rid of that…right away.
It’s always a fine line between being a person who happens to have a lifestyle business and uses their profile to talk about it, vs. a hard spammy sales pitch all the live long day.
2. Download all your Facebook data…immediately.
It’s hard to explain what it feels like when your content, your coaching, your livestreams, posts, photos, and memories…just disappears.
- Go to the top right of Facebook and click settings.
- Click Your Facebook Information.
- Go to Download Your Information and click View.
This way, you at least have something preserved in the event Facebook decides you’re not worthy of a digital footprint anymore.
3. Disapproved ads matter (and stack up).
You won’t find this in the TOS anywhere, but when you get an ad flagged (even if it doesn’t trigger your ad account going down), there definitely seems to be some backend flagging system that adds up over time. The more ads you get disapproved, the more at risk you are. So…when you’re running ads, ALWAYS submit and publish ONE ad first, make sure it gets approved, and then you can duplicate if you wish. Otherwise, if something is wrong, then if you send a huge batch at once, you’re at risk for getting 10 to 100’s of ads disapproved at once time.
4. Remember that Facebook doesn’t care about you.
This is probably the hardest lesson of all. Facebook just doesn’t care. We have a company with virtually no competitors, with a tremendous amount of power that appears unstoppable, and with influence over the ENTIRE planet. I don’t know if people realize just how scary that is when one company holds all of that in their hands. It’s scary.
When my profile disappeared, it felt a little bit like I did. After all, my friends, family, and business are all integrally connected on Facebook – and if you’ve seen the movie Avatar, you understand…we all have an avatar. It might not be another creature, but our digital footprint – the way we connect online, is an avatar of us. And for me, I am REALLY myself online (not some fake character). Facebook can erase that…at will. It’s awful.
This isn’t just about losing money or getting “space” from social media addiction, this is about the real revelation that in my quest for freedom – financial and lifestyle freedom – I am actually at the mercy of a company that doesn’t care one lick about me.
The only one who will protect me…is me. And you should think the same way.
Convert traffic you don’t control (social media) to traffic you own.
Build your network on software you can control.
Use Slack, Voxer, email lists, hosting, your own software, servers, whatever you have to do. Just because I’m back on Facebook, doesn’t mean I’m safe. It means that I can use it and leverage it…while also figuring out how to build my communities safely away from the giant that squishes little people regularly.
5. It’s not just me.
As I started talking to people who might be able to help me, I started to see just how many people this was happening to. It’s not just me. Facebook is changing, because they have pressure from the government to be more careful with their power. At the top, it’s about politics and money and power. The government is scared at the level of power Facebook has, and they should be. So if you’re reading this, remember that this isn’t a case of me breaking some horrible rule or getting reported by hundreds of people.
This is something that is happening to a lot of people, and if you advertise or have advertised on Facebook, it may happen to you as well.
6. Your customers are everything.
I don’t know how else to stress this. I’ve always known your net worth is your network, but it’s never more true when stuff like this happens. Connect with them. I had so many people who reached out, who were willing to post in groups for me, reach out to reps, escalate my case, etc.
People are everything. Care for them, and they will care for you too!
By the way, if you don’t keep an up-to-date CRM (customer relationship manager), you should. I’ll be talking about that in a bit (I plan on writing a blog post about it), but for now – I’m doing my due diligence, and collecting updated contact information from the people who I want to make sure I can stay connected to. I’ve been bad about keeping a CRM updated, and that’s going to change.
I would LOVE to keep in touch with you – in alll the ways – so I’m requesting updated info from anyone who’s wanting to stay in the loop – no matter what happens. Update Your Info.
What to do if this happens to you…
- When you submit a photo for verification, use your ID and make the photo as CLEAR as possible.
- If you have a Facebook Ad rep, reach out to them.
- Make sure to connect with your followers and customers as soon as possible through another channel.
I also reached out to my people and asked if ANYONE knew someone who works at Facebook, and I did! She was so helpful and managed to escalate my request more quickly.
In most cases, unless you’re being an out-and-out spammer, your account does come back – although it can take anywhere from 4 hours to several weeks.
I hope this is helpful. I hope you’re able to learn from what happened to me.
As always, the TRUE way to make sure you keep up with your customer base, is through an up-to-date CRM and email list. So make sure you’re on mine!