What You Need to Know About Facebook and Instagram Political Ads
Social media advertising has become increasingly important during political campaigns and other times when people are paying attention to what’s going on in the world. Depending on who you support or which candidate you prefer, this could make you cringe or smile. Political ads are a very common type of social media advertising. In fact, ads themselves became politicized with the 2020 election cycle after the Facebook political ad ban.
You probably have friends who support a particular candidate or party, and they’ve probably been sharing posts about that candidate or party on your news feed as well as following you on Instagram or Facebook. You might also see sponsored content from candidates based on your interests, usually related to their platforms like immigration rights, protecting the environment, etc. These are all examples of social media advertising designed to appeal to a specific target audience. Here’re some things you need to know about these ads from our team at Reach Voters:
Are Political Ads Effective?
Political ads have been around for decades in some form or another. However, many worry that digital political ads can prove detrimental to society. Although the Facebook political ad ban was removed after the 2020 election concluded, some feelings regarding the potential for misinformation and a call for increased transparency remain.
What’s more, while digital advertising is now a multi-billion-dollar industry, there are no industry standards or regulations when it comes to online ads. The lack of regulation can lead to malicious political advertising. While it’s important to keep in mind that not every digital ad is malicious, there’s no way to know how each advertiser targets its audience.
From a campaign and candidate standpoint, political ads serve as a great way for a campaign to reach constituents while reminding and informing potential new voters on political messaging and issue standpoints.
Facebook Political Ads
Facebook offers different types of advertising options for political campaigns. The most popular is the ability to create a custom audience using information collected from a user’s profile. This includes information like the user’s age, gender, location, and interests.
Campaigns can utilize this information to target individuals and groups who might be interested in the campaign. This hopefully leads them to follow the candidate, party, or group on Facebook or interact with the campaign in some other way.
Instagram Political Ads
Similar options to Facebook advertising also apply to Instagram. However, Instagram offers more targeted advertising than Facebook due to the platform’s visual nature. For example, a campaign can target people who frequently like photos about climate change or immigration rights and show the campaign’s images to them.
Another example is Instagram enables campaigns to target users who liked photos from other campaigns on Instagram. This represents another form of targeting where a campaign can filter users who may share views or standpoints with the campaign.
Finally, the Instagram platform enables a political campaign to purchase ads from popular accounts, allowing them to reach a larger number of users by displaying advertising material on verified accounts with a larger audience.
How to Run Political Ads on Instagram
If you plan on running political ads on Instagram, you need to follow the site’s advertising guidelines. This includes creating an advertising account and filling out an advertising agreement form.
Instagram also requires that you get authorization from an account representative before you can run ads. This is a more involved process than Facebook, but the extra effort can help you avoid accidentally violating Instagram’s rules.
To create a political ad, log into your Instagram account and click on “Promote Posts” in the left sidebar. Click on “Create New Ad” to get started. From there, you can select the type of ad you want to create. If you want to run a political ad, select “Political Campaign.”
Instagram allows you to create square or landscape ads, and you can select the image you want to appear in the ad. Once you’ve created the ad, you can select the people you want to target.
Running Ads on Instagram and Facebook | Political Campaign Marketing | Reach Voters
When you’re running a political campaign, it’s important to make sure your social media presence is as compelling as possible. Political ads are also useful for building brand name recognition and interest, which can help during a campaign. This is why we recommend using both Facebook and Instagram to maximize your campaign’s reach and engagement.
Facebook has the largest user base of any social media platform, so using it for your campaign advertising is a no-brainer. Facebook also provides campaigns with a lot of tools to target and engage a specific audience. For example, you can choose to show your Facebook ads only to people who have expressed interest in a certain topic on Facebook.
Instagram has fewer active users than Facebook, however, it’s more visual. Many people use Instagram to keep up with their favorite celebrities or to post photos of their everyday life and their travels.
Instagram also doesn’t offer explicitly targeted advertising like Facebook. But it does allow you to target users who like other Instagram posts across the site and can lead to a much larger reach than Facebook.
Instagram and Facebook political ads are a great way for campaigns to reach their target audience. You can target someone based on their geographic location, their political views, or simply by searching for them on the platform.
However, it’s important to be aware that these types of ads aren’t regulated by the Federal Elections Commission, and they’re often used by campaigns that don’t have the resources to properly run ads on television.
As shown during the 2020 election cycle, questionable rhetoric and misinformation is something to remain aware of. Political ads can be dangerous if they fall into the hands of malicious actors as shown by the Facebook political ad ban. There’s a chance ads could include misleading information, which could lead to even more confusion during an already chaotic election season.
This is why remaining transparent during messaging remains so crucial. A professional political marketing and public relations firm like Reach Voters can help. Reach out to our team today to learn more!