Facebook’s new image rules and how they impact your business

Social Media Update

As the Facebook algorithm had changed over the years, we have been watching closely. The organic reach of content has been on a steady decline into complete obscurity and the need to strategically boost and promote content has become the norm. We published a post over a year ago now outlining tactics on succeeding in the Facebook advertising world and not a whole lot has changed, until recently. The image rules of advertising have subtly shifted and if your not careful you could be wasting money and getting zero reach for your content.

The New Image Rules

Facebook has had a long standing rule that any images used in promoted content or advertising should have no more than 20% text. Well, the new rule is doing away with the 20% system and moving to a sliding scale of approval because, apparently, it was too confusing to for advertisers to adhere to the policy requirements. If your sense some skepticism in my tone your not wrong (ill explain in a minute). The new system has 4 tiers of assessment: OK, Low, Medium, High. As the amount of text on an image increases, it’s reach decreases (unless paid for).

Image Rules of Facebook

almost no text in image

IMAGE TEXT: OK

“Your ad’s image contains little or no text. This is the preferred image style.”

Facebook Image Rules

A small amount

IMAGE TEXT: LOW

Lower Reach

“You may reach fewer people because there’s too much text in the ad image. Facebook prefers ad images with little or no text. Consider changing your image before placing your order.”

Facebook Image rules

Getting distracting

IMAGE TEXT: MEDIUM

Very Low Reach

“You may reach fewer people because there’s too much text in the ad image. Facebook prefers ad images with little or no text. Consider changing your image before placing your order.”

Facebooks High Image Rules

overkill

IMAGE TEXT: HIGH

Too Much Image Text

“You may not reach your audience because there’s too much text in the ad image. Facebook prefers ad images with little or no text. Unless you qualify for an exception, change your image before placing your order.”

Their own research and data has clearly proven that users prefer content with un modified images and rightly so. We are constantly bombarded with online advertising and Facebook is far from a refuge, but at least the advertisements are forced to look remotely “attractive” and blend in with the organic content we actually want to see. As an advertiser and content promoter, we will certainly be adhering to the guidelines as we always have, maximizing content reach and getting the best impressions per dollar for our customers.

What irk’s me about this shift is that it opens the door for those who might not understand the nuances of the advertising platform, which can be pushy at times, and may lead to boosted content or ads that have no chance of gaining reach, just taking their money anyway.  Previously, if something did not adhere to the policy, it was denied pure and simple. No one paid for anything and the content was prohibited. This system also allows advertisers with more money than sense to abuse the system and force terrible content into our news feeds. Not good.

What Does This New Image Rule Mean For Your Business

If your are promoting your own content and managing your own advertisements, I would recommend shifting to photography only and saving the text for the post descriptions. Play to the rules and you are going to see optimized reach for far less spend. Investing time in some good photography or paying for access to a stock archive is going to be cheaper in the long run. Plus, you get the benefit of syndication of this new content onto other platforms and channels.

Not managing your own platforms? make sure your social media manager is aware of the new rules and ask them about photography options.

RTOWN customer? Don’t worry, we got this.

There are some exceptions to the rule such as product screenshots or packaging (not too close) that will not effect your image evaluation or reach. To check your images you can use the Text Overlay Tool.

This whole system was announced back in April, but Facebook guru Jon Loomer has it on good authority that we can expect to see it rolled out globally in the coming days and weeks.

Social Media Management

We can help

 

Luke's Speech at CIMC 2017
A How To Guide for Giving A Keynote Speech
Parenting and Entrepreneurship
How to Balance Parenthood and Entrepreneurship
Digital Marketeers
What is retargeting and is it for your business?
A Valentines Memo To All Entrepreneurs