Facebook Advertising Difficulties
For the past 3-4 years Gun Storage Solutions has been battling advertisement in different arenas, especially with Facebook. I never would have thought posting an ad and paying someone good money for it would be so hard.
Years ago we ran a "Like" campaign to expose people to our products Gun Storage Solutions facebook page. We gained about 8,000 followers in a month! We were very happy with those results, but since then Social Media has changed drastically.
The Struggle Begins
Since 2015 our ads and post boosts have been stopped here and there. I'm sure we get flagged because they see the word "gun" in our business name or see a gun in our images. I used to be able to appeal these disapprovals, but not anymore.
Without the option to boost a post, most of our Facebook followers will never see the content we post. Boosting a post is a way to pay Facebook to push your content further up on followers news feed. Facebook is so saturated with content that pages, such as us, need to pay for our followers to even see our posts on their feed.
Upon notice that our ads or boosts are disapproved, I would appeal and state my case and say something like this:
"We do not sell weapons of any kind. We sell storage racks for guns that actually encourage and enable people to store their firearms SAFELY! Guns are used in our product photography as props to show how our products work. Please view our website more closely to see that we do not violate your policy."
Sometimes they accepted my appeal, sometimes they didn't.
Completely Disabled Advertising Account
For the past year the Gun Storage Solutions Facebook advertising account is completely disabled. After similar appeals, as mentioned before, I now get a canned response that reads as follows:
"I had another look at your ad account and unfortunately we won't be able to re-enable it.
All ad accounts are evaluated for policy compliance and quality of ad content. When accounts run ads that don't follow our Advertising Policies, they're disabled.
There's no further action that you may take here. We don't support ads for your business model.
Please consider this decision final."
WOW! Total shut down, any appeal I make gets this canned response.
Facebook's Advertising Policies
Just in case you're wondering what Facebook's Advertising Policies are, you can view the "Weapons, Ammunition or Explosives" section here:
They do not specify what part of their lengthy policy we have offended. I assume Facebook has lumped us into the general "promotion or sale or use of weapons, ammunition or explosives". They look at our business name and see a picture of a gun on our website and block accordingly.
We believe that we are being discriminated against because we simply belong in the shooting sports industry.
Gun Storage Solutions does not sell firearms, explosives or ammo. We promote our racking systems for gun safes and gun shops. This is just me talking, but I think our products best fit in the "Gun safes, mounts (including bipods), gun cases, and slings" example.
Gun Safety Products
Here's what is of ultimate concern - our products actually encourage and enable gun owners to store their firearms safely and securely within a gun safe. Rifle Rods and our other safe accessories work to organize and condense gun collections to fit into these secured spaces.
Gun owners with larger collections want their guns safely stored. Our products will help their ever growing collections fit into their gun safes. Both sides of the aisle can agree that we want to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and curious children. So, Facebook, why discriminate against products that encourage gun safety?
We realize that the disabling of our Facebook advertising account is not where this battle ends. The reality is that soon we will likely not be allowed a Facebook account at all. Hopefully, at that point another, more conservative social media platform will be available.
For now, we still have a live, active Facebook page and we would love it if you would give us a "Like" to follow us. MORE importantly, please like and share our posts! This is a way for our posts to get more exposure and we won't need to pay money to Facebook for boosting/advertising anyway ;-)
Do you have a Facebook page that is undergoing the same discrimination as ours? Please let us know if you've found a way to combat this further or found a way around it. Should we rename our company "Boom Stick Storage Solutions"? Maybe we would make the cut! :D