Have you heard the news? There have been some big changes in the world of Facebook Custom Audience policies! These new updates could impact your Facebook ads and, consequently, your entire online marketing strategy … eek!
The Custom Audience feature is a powerful advertising tool that was launched by Facebook back in 2012. It enables advertisers (you/businesses) to direct their ads to specific people on Facebook as opposed to targeting a large inadvertent audience. The tool achieves this by allowing advertisers to use their customer data, such as email addresses and phone numbers, and cross-referencing it against Facebook user profiles to reach their desired audience.
The new Facebook Custom Audience policy update
Facebook has decided to ban the use of partner categories, or ‘audience data providers’ to prevent the sharing of Custom Audience data across multiple business accounts. The recent changes, which started to take effect on July 2, were put in place to ensure all Custom Audience data has been conscientiously sourced.
You must now verify that you have the lawful rights to your audiences’ personal data before using them for advertising purposes on Facebook. When you build a Facebook Custom Audience, you will now be asked the origin of where your data was obtained. Your three options include:
Directly from Customers
Customer and partners*
Directly from partners
*A partner is a person or agency (i.e. Space Digital) with permissions to upload an audience on behalf of an advertiser (i.e. you). This is not to be confused with partner categories, which are often used when businesses don’t have customer data of their own.
Facebook laws require you to have obtained your audience data honestly, with permissions to utilise that personal information from the individual directly. For example, you can obtain and use a client email address sourced from your ‘opt-in’ e-newsletter, so long as they have authenticated for you use their email for marketing purposes.
Whilst all this may seem a little confusing, the underlying reason for the policy update is to protect user rights and safeguard them against advertisers exploiting their personal data. All you need to do is ensure the audience data you obtain is sourced fairly and then utilised responsibly on Facebook (and everywhere else in your marketing strategy). Facebook will never give out your Custom Audience information to third party websites without your permission and obligates that you never sell your audience data to other advertisers.