In December, my personal Facebook was restricted from advertising. You can read the details here.
Managing client´s Facebook accounts is my primary source of income so this was naturally a big problem.
I still haven’t recovered my original Facebook account. But now I run ads from another account.
Below I describe exactly what I did to advertise on Facebook again.
Don´t do this
I know you need to advertise as soon as possible. But don’t open a new Facebook profile on the same laptop and try to advertise. Facebook will trace it back to you and restrict the account immediately. This is the first thing I did and I regretted it, because I burned down a good Facebook profile a friend shared with me.
To stay in business I gave my junior associate access to all my clients’ accounts and he managed them with my guidance. If you are an agency you should have multiple people you can trust associated with your clients’ ads accounts in case Facebooks restricts your account.
This is normal
I know it’s tempting but don´t think your case is somehow “special”. It’s normal for Facebook to restrict accounts for no reason. They have done it to thousands of advertisers worldwide.
The great advertiser purge is likely a combination of Facebook trimming costs by automating the account review process and increased pressure to regulate their content. I am quite sure small advertisers aren’t very high in their list of priorities either.
The first thing I did
I asked around who has a personal Facebook account they no longer use. Thankfully my associate´s friend had one and he sold it to me for $50 usd. His account had friends, content, and dank memes. Perfect. You need a Facebook account that was not solely created for advertising. You need a “real” Facebook account.
I am sure you have a friend or someone in your family who created a Facebook account they no longer use. You can also ask on Facebook groups if someone is selling an account.
If you can´t get a Facebook “real” profile you will have to create one from scratch. More on this later.
I got a new laptop
A new laptop makes it harder for Facebook to detect you. So I got a cheap Asus. I opened Firefox and logged into Facebook as Carlos Hernandez, my associate´s high school friend. I would log in, like some posts and pages, and log out. Nothing unusual, just Carlos enjoying his Facebook after a hard day’s work right? I did this every day for a week.
The moment of truth
This is where it gets real. After a week of using Facebook as Carlos I created a new business manager using his profile.
Facebook banned me immediately.
Shit. What now?
Facebook suggested I verify the account. So I uploaded Carlo´s ID. Then they asked for a phone number. I inserted a new SIM card into a phone that’s never been used for any Facebook verification. Now I wait. A day, two days, three days.
There is hope
My new business manager was cleared and ready for use. I just had to complete a 2-factor authentication (I used the Google verification app on my phone). I couldn’t believe it. I had a fresh new business manager. I gave myself access to all my client’s assets. Finally, I was ready to advertise. But now I had another problem.
Waiting in vain
$300 laptops are not designed to host clunky interfaces like Facebook’s ads manager. I tried with every single browser but the result was the same. It took minutes of stressful loading to get something as simple as a campaign dupe published. I was about to smash the laptop when I came across a solution.
There is a way to “disinfect” the laptop where you used your restricted Facebook account.
You just need to change the laptop’s MAC address. This is like your laptop´s “identification” code. A Mac repair guy changed my old laptop´s (MacBook Pro 13-inch, Mid 2012) MAC address for $20. He also suggested turning my house´s wifi on and off to refresh my IP address before logging into Facebook. Great. Now I could use my new business manager on my old but reliable laptop.
This was unnecessary
Getting the new laptop was unnecessary. I could have just changed my current laptop’s MAC address. But, no loss. I realized cheap laptops have the best keyboards so now I use the laptop for writing (glad I didn’t smash it).
What if you can’t get a “real” Facebook account?
You will have to create a new Facebook account. Using a disinfected laptop, a new SIM card, and a phone that has never been used for Facebook verification.
Create the profile for a real person since it´s very likely Facebook will ask for ID verification at some point. When you open the account use it the same way someone would use a brand new Facebook account. Add friends, like pages, complain about politics, etc.
Do this every day for two weeks. And then open a business manager.
What if I have an ad account for my own business?
I also opened an ad account to advertise my own business. But I didn’t use the same credit card I used before because Facebook can track it down. I am not 100% sure about this, but several advertisers have suggested it, and I would rather be on the safe side. So use a new payment method if you create an ad account to advertise your own business.
Warning: Never create ad accounts for your clients on your business manager. They should do this in their business manager and give you access. I have a hunch that this is the reason Facebook banned me. I created several ad accounts for my clients and claimed I am using them for my own business.
If you need help with this message me on Facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org