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Changes Are Coming to Facebook Job Advertising – What Do You Need to Know?

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In the middle of March, Facebook announced that changes are coming to its advertising platform for jobs, housing and credit opportunities.

In this blog, we’ll focus on the changes coming at the end of 2019 to advertising jobs on Facebook. Remember, this is for ALL companies and not just staffing agencies. Unlike Indeedmageddon, these changes will affect everyone.

Let’s dig in.

Why Are There Changes?

To get to where we want to go, we have to know where we came from.

A number of organizations (Communications Workers of America, the ACLU and the National Fair Housing Alliance) sued Facebook over the ability of advertisers to discriminate based on the targeting options available in Facebook advertising’s platform. For example, companies were showing job ads to a specific age range or only one gender. Federal civil rights laws prohibit advertising of jobs, housing or credit ads based on protected classes.

Facebook settled with the organizations, paying millions of dollars and agreeing to these changes.

New Advertising Portal

For most Facebook campaigns that involve specific targeting, companies use Facebook Business Manager. This is an interface and advertising portal that organizes campaigns, sets up targeting and completes the bidding strategy.

By the end of 2019, Facebook will create a new advertising portal for employment, housing and credit opportunities. This new portal will take into account other changes available for Facebook Jobs advertisements.

Geographic Changes

Part of the data Facebook has on its users is their geographic location. Companies were showing their ads based on zip codes. (Or not showing ads to people in certain zip codes, depending on how you look at it.)

The smallest radius that will be available is 15 miles.

Interest Targeting

Fewer interests will be available for targeting when showing job ads on Facebook. It’s unclear exactly which options will be going away. But the targeting options will be going from the thousands to the hundreds.

Most of the options that appear to be going away are characteristics or behaviors that could be related to discrimination.

Lookalike Audience

A really effective feature on Facebook is using a Lookalike Audience. Here’s an example.

Let’s say your Facebook page has 2,000 likes. Your staffing agency has worked hard to build that audience to people who enjoy and engage with your content. With your advertising, you want that audience to be bigger, so you use a Lookalike Audience.

With this tactic, Facebook looks at the similar characteristics of your 2,000 likes and compares that to the entire Facebook database in the United States, expanding your Facebook audience to more than 2 million people.

To create that Lookalike Audience, Facebook currently looks at the demographics of that audience – gender, age, geography, interests, etc.

With the new Facebook Advertising portal for jobs, Lookalike Audiences won’t use age, religious views, Facebook Group affiliation or other criteria for ad targeting.

Basically, Facebook isn’t taking away the Lookalike Audience, but it doesn’t want advertisers manipulating the system and creating a bigger audience profile based on discriminating against protected classes.

Matched Audiences

Another tactic that works very well for staffing agencies is a matched audience. This tactic entails taking your candidate database, uploading the spreadsheet of emails to Facebook, and seeing if Facebook can match the email address in your spreadsheet to its database. If the match is successful, that becomes your eligible audience.

Nothing was mentioned about Facebook Matched Audiences in the new advertising portal, but it is definitely something worth monitoring. (Remember, returning website visitors are 2X as likely to convert on a staffing agency website as a new visitor!)

What’s Next?

Here at Haley Marketing Group, we are always monitoring the latest updates and changes in the marketing world, not just on Facebook.

It’s hard to say how the changes will play out. Luckily, we do have time to learn about these new changes.

In the meantime, we will continue NOT to run any job advertisements that could be viewed as discriminatory. Our targeting might be conservative, but our tactics are effective. (We aren’t lawyers and never pretend to be. That’s why we always suggest consulting your legal counsel for any questions you have in this area.)

On top of that, Facebook asks all advertisers to “Certify Compliance” they are following all laws when it comes to advertising jobs, housing and credit opportunities. That was a measure put in place in 2018 to explicitly have companies check that box when posting these types of ads.

Moving forward, it’s important to look at why Facebook takes its advertising seriously. In 2018, Facebook advertising accounted for 99 percent of its $55.8 billion in revenue.

These won’t be the last changes we see from Facebook. Heck, they seem to make changes in their platform on a weekly basis. These changes announced in the middle of March are just some of the biggest ones we’ve seen in a long time.

The best option is to learn as much as you can. Then adjust using the tools that are available. Facebook should continue to be a great advertising option for staffing agencies, especially in industrial, retail, clerical and healthcare.

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