How Avoid Being Blocked By Facebook
According to recent research, the average person spends more time browsing Facebook each day than they do on any other website on the Internet. The estimates vary, but some experts have pinned the average at somewhere around 50 minutes each day. That’s a huge opportunity. One of the most common and simplest pieces of marketing advice that you’ve likely ever heard is that you should go to where your audience is. That’s why email marketing is so effective. And that’s why you should definitely be paying attention to Facebook.
This seems like a great idea in theory, since all of those active and engaged users on Facebook can turn into an incredibly valuable source of traffic for all your Internet marketing purposes. The big challenge, however, is that Facebook is known to be very strict about policing its policies and keeping very close tabs on anything that happens on the website. Marketers get blocked and banned all the time. The machine learning algorithms are getting more and more advanced each day, so you could be booted off the social network even before you think you’ve done anything in violation of the rules.
This shouldn’t scare you away from using Facebook for affiliate marketing, though. The official rules for Facebook don’t outright disallow affiliate links on the site, but they’re known to come down especially hard on CPA affiliate networks. This means you need to tread carefully and be prepared to start all over again several times over. To maximize your profit potential and to avoid getting blocked, you should keep some of these key tips and insights in mind.
1. Never Use Your Personal Profile
Let’s start with something that sounds remarkably obvious, but you’d be surprised how many affiliate marketers go about using their personal accounts to push CPA offers. Don’t do it. Ever. Most people have a regular Facebook account that they use to connect to friends, family and colleagues, sharing pictures of their pets and their children. They use it to arrange for meetups with local clubs or to discuss television shows.
That’s all fine, but you’ll want to keep your marketing efforts completely and utterly separate from this personal profile. It is simply not worth the risk in case anything goes wrong or if you are accused of any wrongdoing. You don’t want to compromise your personal connections. And this goes beyond simply using a separate account for marketing, which brings up this next point.
2. Be Consistently Different
The machine learning algorithms at Facebook have become increasingly effective at recognizing patterns. They’ll preemptively block your account and your actions on that account, because they match up with patterns that previous affiliate marketers may have used before they got banned.
To this end, consider this. Let’s say you get banned for whatever reason, so you go about creating a new account. That one might seem fine for a couple weeks, and then you get banned again for whatever reason. And then when you go to register for a third account, you’re already blocked before you even begin. Why? You’re consistently accessing the account from the same IP address using the same browser on the same hardware. You’ve developed a recognizable pattern and Facebook has determined that all three of these accounts are likely the same person. Because they are.
How can you overcome this? There are a few different strategies and tactics that you might want to entertain, either separately or in tandem with one another.
First, you can sign up for separate VPN (virtual private network) accounts through a number of trusted providers. Facebook knows that many legitimate users rely on such services for privacy, so long as you go with trusted names that are actively used by legitimate people. These are generally preferable to free proxies, as those are more likely to be used for illegal or nefarious purposes. You don’t want to associate your accounts with that.
When you make New Facebook Account #1, use VPN #1. When you make New Facebook Account #2, use VPN #2, and so on. Be consistent within each account, so it looks like it’s being used by the same person (and not a network of bots and automated traffic), but use different services for each account so it looks like different people.
Another option, which is more thoroughly discussed in this post, is to purchase new prepaid SIM cards for each new account you create. This lends itself to a completely clean slate, one that you can then connect to a new Google account and a new payment method. It’s less trackable and make it easier for your account to look like a brand new person in Facebook’s eyes.
3. Mask Affiliate Links in iFrames
Facebook has been known to outright block links containing certain domains, particularly those associated with CPA affiliate networks. They become a non-starter even before you actively try to push a campaign. As such, you should never, ever direct link to the offer.
Some affiliate try to go around this with redirects and masked links, but Facebook will generally follow those redirects until it gets to the destination URL. If that URL matches a domain on its black list, it will still get blocked and you will still get banned.
One way you can get around this problem is to create your own unique landing pages on your own domains. This leads to two other potential hurdles, however. First, creating these custom landing pages can be difficult and time-consuming. Second, it creates another friction point for converting users, as now they have to follow through on another link before there is an opportunity for conversion. That could hurt your ROI, CTR, eCPM and conversion rates tremendously.
A simpler solution is to use an iframe. This will house the affiliate landing page inside a frame that is then displayed on your own webpage on your own domain. The code is relatively simple.
Just make one of these for each landing page you want to push, creating a new URL on your domain. It’ll be something like http://www.yourdomain.com/offername. Just be sure to use a different domain for each Facebook account you create, because you don’t want your multiple accounts to get linked together in any way. Also, it’s best if the landing page you have inside the iFrame doesn’t generate any exit pop-ups. This is a red flag on Facebook’s part and it’s enough to get your ad disallowed.
It’s also important that you don’t start with a big budget right away. Build up some trust value with Facebook with more legitimate social activity and when you do start promoting, start small and only focus on more whitehat niches and verticals. Stay well within the Facebook ad regulations. As that trust value develops, you can ramp up your efforts accordingly.
4. Keep a Backup Plan
If you want to keep your cash flow going, it’s important that you have at least a couple of good contingency plans in place. It can take a lot of time to build up the trust value for a new Facebook account and it’s best if it is allowed to “simmer” for several weeks or months before you ramp up your efforts. To this end, it’s not a bad idea to have at least a few Facebook accounts running at any time, being mindful of how each is being viewed by Facebook itself. Don’t get those lines crossed!
And remember that getting banned is not the end of the world. You can always make a new account and get right back in the game.