Facebook has been on a streak of suspending social selling accounts for the last few months. Their vague messaging has left many to speculate on the reasons why they’ve landed in Facebook Jail.
We want to set the record straight as we debunk the myths surrounding the offenses. We’ll cover the top 6 Facebook Jail myths and the details of the true ban-worthy behaviors.
Using third-party apps is guaranteed jail time.
Countless people use third-party apps every single day to keep up with their busy schedules and growing businesses. You can use third-party apps without ever seeing jail, so how did this rumor get started?
In the wake of Cambridge Analytica, Facebook has taken measures to keep users’ data safe. As a result, they have suspended some accounts using third-party apps because they were knowingly or unknowingly abusing their powers to violate Community Standards.
If you find yourself worried about if the apps themselves are compliant with Community Standards, we suggest you review their privacy policies. It’s also wise to remove any that you don’t use.
Myth # 2
Automated messages will get your account suspended.
Automated messages are not against Facebook’s policies. However, using automated messages irresponsibly is.
Mass messaging and automatic comment replies can be extremely helpful in promoting your business, but do it too often, and you’ll be in trouble. Instead, space out your Messenger communications and turn off auto-replies that aren’t necessary for doing business.
If you’re going to send mass communications with Messenger, do it carefully and thoughtfully. Give people control over the messages they receive with simple and obvious ways to opt-in and out. Facebook Messenger will suspend pages that have high block rates, so it’s in your best interest to make these messages relevant and valuable to your subscribers.
The use of auto-schedulers is a jail-worthy offense.
Thank goodness this is a myth! Auto-schedulers are a vital part of content planning and a real time-saver! The problem here is that back to back posting looks like- yep, spam!
Auto-schedulers aren’t a problem. It’s the frequency that you’re posting to pages, walls, and groups. Space out your posts and avoid posting more than once per hour.
It’s also crucial to diversify your content when scheduling your posting to more than one place. Facebook favors original content because duplicate posts look like spam. Therefore, you can’t rely on copy and pasting.
You can share the same content, but make it look more original with a few simple changes to your text or photos. If you’re sharing a live video, give it a few minutes between shares.
You’re not allowed to promote outside links.
Promotional links are fine! As mentioned above, originality is key to keeping Facebook’s good graces. This rule is not exclusive to photos and messaging. The issue is that your links look like identical content to its algorithm.
You can get around this by placing the link within the comment section. Just pin that comment to the top as a workaround. It will also give you the added benefit of sparking up more engagement.
It’s okay for team members to use an account on my behalf.
Social selling can take a high degree of coordination between photographing products, copywriting, promoting, and scheduling. If you have multiple people doing this work, it’s tempting to allow them to post on your behalf.
Do not do this. You should only sign into a single device (single phone or computer) and never share that account with others.
If you want to give your team members admin or editing powers, you can assign them specific roles within your groups and pages.
Using the word “sold” is risky.
Using the word “sold” won’t do anything. Here’s why you might think that- Social sellers are getting banned more so than usual, but it’s because they’re either selling products are against Community Standards.
For instance, you can’t sell
- Anything that isn’t a real, physical item.
- Any services or event tickets.
- Any item with a picture or description that doesn’t match.
- Anything involving healthcare, such as thermometers or first aid kits.
- Any item with accompanying before and after photos, such a weight loss image.
- Any sales post describing an animal.
“Any sales post describing an animal” is particularly tricky. Facebook mistakenly flags certain keywords social sellers use for the sale of exotic animals. Since most social sellers are boutique owners, they get targeted when using phrases associated with animal print names.
You can get around this by putting an emoji in place of the animal name. Instead of leopard print, type . Even “buffalo” plaid can get you in trouble, so triple check your posts before scheduling.
Social sellers are also facing more penalties since they are continuously publishing sales posts. Facebook does not like the use of dollar signs or decimal points. Eliminate these by rounding up your prices and using dollar sign emojis.
If your posts are turning on Facebook sales format when you publish, turn it off in the post’s settings. Too many of these types of posts will, again, trigger Facebook’s spam alert.
The first defense against Facebook Jail is to be educated on and adhere to Facebook’s Community Standards. Spamming or looking like spam is the number one reason that accounts get suspended.
While technology has now made it possible to reach many people at once, social sellers must be intentional about growing their businesses in a holistically. Your success rests on the relationships you build with your customers, not how many promotions you can blast.
Your customers and Facebook’s algorithms will reward you with screen time when you post engaging, relevant, and authentic content. Just make sure you do so carefully and within the platform’s guidelines so you can continue serving your customers without any interruptions.