Understanding Facebook’s Special Ad Categories, Part 1

When it comes to online advertising services within the social media realm, Facebook is clearly at the top of the mountaintop. The world’s largest online ad provider, Facebook allows for incredible detail in terms of demographics, targeting and other factors when it comes to advertising methods.

At Be Locally, we’re proud to offer a huge variety of online marketing services, from local SEO and on-site optimization to other important areas like social media marketing, which include a robust knowledge of Facebook’s ad programs and features. Since fall of 2019, when Facebook introduced what are known as Special Ad Categories, we’ve gotten a number of questions about this area and how to manage it. This two-part blog will begin by going over the various types of Special Ad Categories – which are an attempt to bring extra regulation and targeting to certain kinds of ads – plus dig into how to define your audiences and manage this realm successfully.

Facebook’s special ad categories

Social Issues, Elections or Political

If your Facebook ad falls into any of the categories we’re listing here, you must select a Special Ad Category. The first such area is a broad one, and can be split into two distinct subcategories:

  • Social issues: Ads that aim to influence public opinion in some way, typically for controversial or commonly debated subjects. Things like civil rights advocacy, health rights or discrimination, support for a social group or a piece of legislation and many others fall into this category.
  • Elections or political ads: Any ad that endorses a political figure, candidate or party, or is pertaining to any election or ballot initiative. Ads are considered in this category even if they don’t explicitly advocate for a given stance or candidate.

Both these areas will require advertisers to complete an ad authorization process before the ads are placed.

Employment Opportunity

A simpler category is the Employment Opportunity realm, which covers any ad that features employment-related opportunities. These may include both part-time and full-time jobs, internships, certification programs and even job fairs or virtual job boards. Even if the ad doesn’t include a specific job opportunity, ads that promote the benefits of working for a given entity count in this category.

Credit Opportunity

Credit Opportunity refers to any ad directly linked to a credit opportunity, whether we’re talking credit cards or various loan types. Loans included can range all the way from smaller personal loans up to business loans and even home mortgages.

Housing Opportunity or Related Areas

If ads feature a housing opportunity or a service related to housing, they fall under this category. Real estate and homebuilding services are generally included, as are areas like home sales or rentals, mortgage information, housing repairs, home equity and appraisal services.

For more on how to manage ads within Facebook’s Special Ad Categories section, or to learn about any of our SEO, PPC, web design or other services, speak to the staff at Be Locally today.