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Facebook is Bad For Business – The New Timeline and Old Ad Policy

Facebook has turned a corner and run into a wall. The new Timeline, being forced upon Users and Business Pages alike is a complete disaster. People are screaming mad. 

“Timeline is overly complicated and ugly. It looks like Myspace and dozens of other crappy social networking websites that people specifically came to Facebook to AVOID. By forcing this overly complex layout on us it takes away exactly what we all liked most about Facebook. This site was never meant to be a scrap booking website, it is meant to be a social networking site where I can communicate in the most direct and concise format possible. Once that is taken away from us then we really have no further reason to be here.”

My first Facebook business page for a client, UsedGunsPa.com, is set to have people click into the Web Page rather than the Wall. The wall is for ongoing comments, but the web page is a mockup of his regular website. It seems that you can now get to the web page, but you cannot direct your clients to it. Now, if you don’t post every single week, your page starts to look neglected on your Timeline.  So, while Facebook forces this new direction on everyone, it will be interesting to see how many businesses give up on FB. I already advised a client today not to bother with FB for now.  Other friends and business partners have told me they hate the new model.

But that isn’t the worst part of Facebook.  Facebook’s ad policy is very arbitrary. I see ads on FB for rifle scopes and hunting equipment from big advertisers like Cabela’s, and tons of ads for self defense and concealed carry organizations, but when we have tried to advertise accessories like rifle scopes or the new Slide Fire Solutions’ Conversion Kits for AR-15’s, all our ads get shot down. There is no appeal and no one to talk to. It is very arbitrary. The policy actually states:

Ads and Sponsored Stories may not promote firearms, ammunition, paintball guns, bb guns, fireworks, explosives, pepper spray, knives, tasers, or weapons of any kind, including those used for self-defense. Ads and Sponsored Stories may not directly or indirectly link to landing pages where users can purchase any of these products.

What is so hypocritical about this is that Cabela’s website sells rifles, ammo, and other weapons, including knives, but their ads get a pass, while our ads get disapproved. Could it be that the amount of money you are willing and able to spend causes FB to look the other way?   And why can we not advertise what is legal: arms for self-defense. After all, it is those arms, and those in the hands of the military, that allow FB the freedom to pursue its business in the first place.

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