Why Good Marketers Shouldn't Fear Facebook's New Advertising Guidelines

Facebook's latest change to its advertising guidelines  has caused quite a stir. Of course a change in policy regarding advertising on the world's largest social platform will cause a commotion, especially when every marketer and agency is putting in late nights trying to figure out where they fit into the social media landscape.


But I would argue that if you are doing a "good" job utilizing Facebook from a marketing and advertising perspective, the new terms of service shouldn't concern you. On Facebook's blog for developers, in a post titled "Good Ads Make for a Good Ecosystem," Nick Gianos   makes the point in one succinct sentence: "Ads work best when they provide users genuine value, respect their trust, and otherwise ensure the best possible user experience." In my opinion, all Facebook's new guidelines do is to "encourage" (read: force) marketers to put a little more thought into social media marketing efforts, which will make for better marketing.



My father used to tell me "The best way to never have to remember what you told someone is to always tell the truth." I think the lesson to be learned in with regards to Facebook's newest guidelines is very similar. Maybe something like, "The best way to never have to worry about violating Facebook's guidelines is to always have the users' interest in mind first," because in the end it's the users' interests Facebook's guidelines are going to protect. And as a double bonus, not only will marketers not have to worry about violating Facebook's guidelines, but they will create better, more meaningful, more social and, most importantly, more impactful (from an ROI perspective) social advertising efforts. Of course, there is always the possibility that you could be putting users first and get hung up, but Facebook is great at working with its partners when it's obvious they are building user-centric experiences.

In the end, Facebook wants developers to make money and for advertisers to find value. When developers make money, they make more cool stuff for Facebook; when advertisers find value, they can provide the money that funds developers' efforts, and, in the grand scheme of things, fund Facebook's growth.

What Facebook is basically doing is open-sourcing its monetization. It makes perfect sense. Sure, Facebook has its own innovation and monetization efforts, but what better way to solve for advertising effectiveness then to have an entire world of developers and marketers tackling the subject of advertising and monetization? Why not tap into the combined brain power of Madison Avenue and Silicon Valley, who are finding new and innovative ways of working together?

But in order for Facebook to open-source advertising solutions to marketers and developers, they have to set guidelines that protect users and encourage best practices in an entirely new field of social advertising.

What do you think of the Facebook's new advertising guidelines? What do you think will happen next? Drop me a line below and keep up with the discussion on Twitter at

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