Of all the dumb things that Facebook has done, this has to take the cake.
Since mid-January, Facebook has been assessing newstream ads (promoted posts and sponsored stories) and denying ads that contain more than 20 percent overlay text.
You can have a read of Facebook’s PDF explaining the new 20 percent rule for newstream ads here (hat tip to Elle Butler from Wordify for sharing this: http://fbrep.com//SMB/TextPolicy.pdf).
I get they want to improve the quality of images in the newstream but the problem is, for many businesses, this is all just a bit too overwhelming.
When you’re overwhelmed, you tend to do nothing…
Or you head to Twitter!
Seriously though, if you’re going to pay for advertising, you want to know that it’s going to be worth your while. Otherwise, what’s the point?
This move by Facebook has definitely put a cabosh on me spending money on promoted posts and sponsored stories, not because my images are text heavy (well, some of them have been… aka quotes and memes), but because I don’t have the time or inclination to sit there with a calculator, trying to work out if my text overlay takes up 5 out of 25 blocks.
With the rule also applying to cover images, I wonder how many businesses risk losing their pages as a result of just not keeping up with the changes.
Here’s how the Content Marketing Cardiology Banner would fair:
According to Facebook, your text is allowed to take up no more than 5 of these blocks in their 25 block grid.
So, how do you work around this?
The best thing you can do is to leave your text for your photo description. You can wax eloquent as much as you like in your description and include links and all kinds of things. Go nuts! Most people don’t know they can add a description to their cover images. This is something to keep in mind, next time you add a new cover image to your Facebook Page.
So, my question for you today is: [tweetherder]Has this new 20 percent ad-text rule put you off from spending money on Facebook ads?[/tweetherder] I’d love to know your thoughts.
Download the Facebook Text Allowance Grid
In any case, because I’m reeeeeeeeally nice, here’s a grid graphic that might help (if you use photoshop or something similar for your images). Just right click and “save as” the below image on your computer, then place it as a layer over your image and check how many boxes your text takes up. Too easy! You can adjust the width and height manually to fit whatever image you are using (if not a cover image).
And, if you know someone who’s cover image might be breaking the rules, be sure to send them the link to this post, so they can [tweetherder]download the Facebook text allowance grid[/tweetherder]. You might just be saving their Facebook page.