There’s a basic rule in advertising: when attention shifts, the advertising method also shifts. This is the reason traditional advertising has gone down tremendously over the last decade. Seeing brightly-clad people handing out leaflets at mall entrances or a quarter page artwork on local dailies have become few and far between. When people do see such, chances are they take one short glance or ignore them altogether.
So when people’s time and attention veered away from physical brochures and newspapers and put almost complete focus on everything digital, advertising had to be repositioned as well. In the early days of Internet advertising, banner ads conspicuously placed on websites generated leads, with about 44% of people who saw it actually clicked on it.
Then came social media, led by Facebook, that took the online world by storm. In 2020, Facebook had more than 2.7 billion users from every corner of the earth. Vietnam, where Facebook has become everyone’s go-to platform the very second they open their smartphones or laptops, has at least 98 million users. As a matter of fact, Vietnamese are more active on social networks than citizens of other Asian economies, with people spending an average of six hours and 47 minutes a day each on the Internet. With an audience this big, it is wise for businesses, big and small, to use the platform to showcase their products and services.
But unknown to most, advertising on Facebook goes through a comprehensive evaluation process to ensure that the platform remains a safe and trustworthy space for users and businesses. One does not have to be an expert to start advertising on the platform, but each ad needs to have a clear objective, and a defined target market for it to get the result it wants.
Vietnam has a great number of SMEs operating and running ads on Facebook’s platforms, such as Facebook app and Instagram. To help business owners, advertisers and marketers have a better understanding of ad policies, we spoke with Supriya Singh, Product Marketing Manager, Business Integrity, APAC about Facebook’s ad policies enforcement in Vietnam.
How do you evaluate the potential of the Vietnam market?
Asia Pacific, including Vietnam, is an important region for Facebook — it represents our largest, and potentially most diverse community, home to some of the most and least connected countries in the world. With millions of people on our services in Vietnam, building trust with both the people and businesses who use our platforms is one of our top priorities.
In Vietnam, small medium enterprises (SME) account for 96.7% of the total number of enterprises in the country. The SME sector significantly contributes to the socio-economic development and international integration of Vietnam. Facebook is proud to deliver value to the SME sector by giving people and businesses the power to connect and fuel economic growth for themselves and their communities. We build tools and resources that make running a business easier and save time for entrepreneurs, so they can focus on what’s most important: growing their business.
What is Facebook doing to help protect businesses while helping them to grow and thrive?
We are making deep and thoughtful investments in the APAC region as well as the local market spanning people, technology, products and partnerships. These investments are focused on advancing the region's social and economic growth, creating meaningful impact, and keeping our community safe.
From making it easy for their business to be discovered, to helping them grow beyond borders, to providing opportunities to develop new skills and effectively measure the impact of their marketing strategies, we are passionate about supporting the SME sector because they are at the heart of their communities.
During the pandemic, most businesses have strongly invested in advertising and marketing online, and we continue our commitment to support Vietnamese entrepreneurs in helping their businesses be discovered by relevant markets both in the region and globally through Facebook and Instagram.
This means businesses need to feel confident in advertising with us, and we understand that we have a responsibility to protect people and businesses from harm on our platforms. For businesses specifically, our ad policies and their enforcement are a central component to protect people and create a trustworthy platform where good businesses can thrive.
However, we see that many advertisers are still confused about our ad enforcement systems and what they perceive to be inconsistent enforcement. Therefore, we want to provide a deeper understanding of our advertising review system by explaining how we develop and enforce our advertising policies. We hope this transparency into our advertising policies and mechanisms will help build trust and confidence in the ad review process along with a better understanding of the process to reduce unnecessary escalations.
With the huge number of ads running on your platform everyday, what is the biggest challenge when enforcing these policies?
Reviewing millions of ads globally against our Advertising Policies is essential, but it is not without challenges. We are not able to detect all possible policy violations and just because an ad is running on Facebook doesn’t necessarily make it compliant with our policies. Our enforcement is not perfect, and both machines and people make mistakes. When we launch a new policy, it can take time for the various parts of our enforcement system, both automated technology and trained global teams, to learn how to correctly and consistently enforce the new standard.
Many advertisers shared that they had difficulties when advertising with Facebook. Do you have any advice for them to optimize their ads?
Our Advertising Policies provide very clear guidance on the types of ad content that is allowed. When advertisers place an order, each ad is reviewed against these policies. So, the most important thing advertisers should do to make their campaign more efficient is to study our policies carefully before they run their ads campaign.
Before ads show up on Facebook or Instagram, they are reviewed to make sure they meet our Advertising Policies and Community Standards, which typically happen within 24 hours for most ads. If advertisers believe that their ad was incorrectly rejected, they can request a review.
We also encourage people to report any ad they believe violates our policies by tapping the three dots in the top right corner of the ad. This can help us gather feedback, which helps improve our tools and technologies. These reports are an important signal to our ad review systems, and may prompt a re-review of the ad.