A week ago I went to post a late night shot of my view of Gig Harbor on Facebook. After the 3rd attempt to post it to my personal profile failed, I figured it was my app, so it went on Instagram:
I decided to try later in the evening to post it again, this time from my desktop. (Yes I would sort of be cross-posting, but every rule has an exception – or 3).
This time when it failed I found out why.
The dreaded message that I had violated a community guideline popped up and I was barred from posting until October 31st.
My first thought was my client accounts!
Here’s the thing. If you are blocked from posting to your personal profile. You cannot post to your pages as the admin. Managing social media accounts for a number of clients, that was an instant moment of panic. I immediately tested to see whether I had the ability to publish to pages. I ran a test on my personal account and for TSO Media. It worked. Surprised, but content my business wasn’t affected, my next thought was why I was in Facebook’s proverbial jail.
With all of mine from the past week were still there and no other obvious reason, I let it go!
The next couple of days I published content and scheduled a post or two as normal. Everything worked as expected.
Until it didn’t.
On the morning of the 30th, I had a few notifications that posts were not published as scheduled. Crap! I tried to manually publish them. No luck. The ‘lockout’ now included my access as the admin on pages. The good news was I had very little content scheduled (I generally don’t scheduled much – social media marketing should be fluid, natural, and organic. Core content gets scheduled. The rest, a few posts a couple of days out at most.) and I knew I could post again on Halloween (albeit near midnight). My Facebook jail sentence now impacted my business and brand.
The trick now was how would I post content which needed to be published?
It is possible that having a 3rd party app like Hootsuite would allow posting (I couldn’t test it as I did not have it linked to Facebook preferring the native scheduling for what little I do). There is the concern though that since Hootsuite posts via access to a personal profile it could fail too. Fortunately I know a thing or two – and that there is a way to publish to Facebook within their own platform (well, sort of). Aside from two pieces of content, everything was posted as necessary. Problem solved!
The other two pieces of content? They serve as a perfect example as to why I work with select clients. We have a rapport built over time. A simple message to them that I had an issue posting and asked if they could manually publish the content.
There was still the mystery as to why I was banned.
I wasn’t thinking much about it, but it was nagging at me in the back of my mind. Then a random thought. Ads!
Not as in creating them, but in blocking them. About a week ago my personal feed was flooded with them. More than 90% had no interest or relevance to me, in any way. None of my behavior on the platform or through online searches would have made Facebook’s algorithm think otherwise. As I saw them, I clicked ‘hide’. When you do, there is a prompt for why. ‘Irrelevant’ is an option and since Facebook’s algorithm is relevance based and they asked or feedback, I gave it. The next prompt allows you to ‘hide all’. Since there was no relevance and would never be, I did – for every one of them.
I am guessing I hid and blocked future ads from at least 20 brands. To be fair, those for anything related to the outdoors (like REI and Klymit) and marketing, I left. They were relevant.