What I Learned from Facebook and How it Affects Your Money
By Alana Heim, CPA/PFS, CFP®, CHDS
September 8, 2017
Facebook. It is where you connect. It is where you share, and even over-share.
It is also where you are bombarded with advertising.
Or, if you are a business, you must tread lightly when advertising because you can have your ad account disabled.
That is what just happened to me.
Facebook just recently permanently disabled my ad account.
What does that even mean and how does it affect you and your money?
It means a couple of things:
- If you follow my business page on Facebook, you will NEVER EVER see an ad posted by me. :)
- It also means I no longer spend my money advertising with Facebook. :)
- But even bigger than all of that, it means that YOU and YOUR money are affected by advertising tactics.
I must tell you that I was new at advertising on Facebook. I had really only begun to advertise for a little over one month. I had only one boost denied. I appealed it and they responded that they didn't like the question I included:
"Are you ready for financial freedom?"
They felt I was promising something I may not be able to deliver. I thought I was provoking a person to determine their commitment level.
One day, I noticed that my three boosts had stopped. When I went to click and learn more, I got a notification stating that I wasn't authorized.
That freaked me out. Of course I am authorized to run my account. I am the only one who is!
I immediately changed my password because I thought my account had been compromised.
When I went into the ad manager, it said all ads had been stopped. I sent a response wondering if my account had been compromised and stated I was unsure why my ads had seized.
One week later, I received this reply:
You may notice that it states "We don't support ads for your business model".
I am a Certified Financial Planner™. I am a Certified Public Accountant. My business model consists of advising, consulting, coaching, and guiding people to manage their money. I assist them with cutting expenses, reducing debt, and increasing savings so they may fund their dreams.
Yes I use the words MONEY and I even used images of MONEY. I had read the lengthy pages and pages of terms and it didn't seem I was out of compliance.
Clearly I was wrong.
They don't support my business model. That is a fact based on their final decision.
Because of this unfortunate occurrence I now blatantly see why they choose this decision.
Facebook is part of the problem.
The problem you and I and everyone else has dealt with since we were young children. The problem that advertising controls our culture - our spending, our desires to WANT and HAVE "stuff". The problem is we are fed glamorized, glorified advertisements (think Pharmaceuticals), based on their perceptions. We literally buy into these perceptions without stopping to realize whether they align with our values, our beliefs, and our bank accounts. We rarely see the detriments that can come from purchasing these MUST HAVES, yet we intensely feel the shame, guilt, and frustration of just following along.
I truly feel Facebook perpetuates the spending problem that humanity faces.
How do you think they make their money? ------->
That disgusts me. It actually really pisses me off too.
I know it's not Facebook's fault. It's the advertising world that designed this model a long, long time ago.
But the advertising blitzes are part of an old system that has to change.
I get that Facebook has their hundreds of "rules" to follow, yet I see promises all the time. I see coaches and businesses talk about MONEY in their ads all the time.
It is curious though, why Facebook allows you to be bombarded with all kinds of ads PROMISING so much. Yet when I offer to share how I can support you with budgeting, and having a relationship with money, I am permanently banned. End of story.
Yes, I am on a mission to guide humanity to achieve financial sustainability. Does Facebook want that to happen? It appears NO.
They allow advertising blasts because their customers are ultimately the advertisers - not you. You are allowed to freely connect because advertising supports their business model.
That means you may likely continue to click on ads and spend your earnings as fast you receive them - because that's just what you do.
They show you ads of stuff (whether you need it or not) because when your emotional purchases occur, their advertisers are happy, and Facebook and their shareholders are happy.
They know it's not their fault how you CHOOSE to spend your money.
Yet they do know the psychology. They know that you were trained to buy, buy, buy your whole life! You don't even realize the unconscious behaviors you habituate. They PLAY on that, totally and completely.
It's big business.
They may not want someone like me helping YOU. They may not want ME to advertise that help is available and that the possibility of FINANCIAL FREEDOM even exists!
Think I am full of it?
Please go check your Facebook ad settings. Please go look at EVERY interest they have listed for you. You may wonder from where many of them even came.
Yes I was naive in advertising on Facebook. Prior to being shut down, I had maybe only boosted 10 posts during my short-lived Facebook advertising stint.
Every time I advertised, I would notice all of these options to choose. Like someone who has 5 credit cards. Someone who earns a certain amount of annual income. Or someone who has specific interests, like "yoga", or "dogs".
I usually chose location, age, gender, and maybe an interest like “money” or “wealth”.
I never understood exactly how they could target people specifically. I personally found it very unethical to choose credit card options.
Sure, it sounds genius to target you because I know you have 5 credit cards, and you are likely to buy what I show you, but I am ethically NOT okay with that.
I choose to be the solution to the problem, so my advertising choices reflected that.
I believe this is why the Universe sent me a very loud message via Facebook. A message that may actually be a blessing given the insight I now have to share with you.
During my angry phase of riding the emotional roller coaster, I decided to check my own Facebook ad settings.
I was absolutely horrified to see the hundreds of interests listed for me. I immediately deleted all of them. Strategically, Facebook only shows you about 12 interests at one time, in various categories. That means you have to leave and come back multiple times so that you can delete ALL of them.
What I now recommend to everyone, whether a client or not, is to:
Delete your personal Facebook ad settings regularly and often.
If you know you have a spending problem, it is easier to curb that spending if you no longer see the excessive ads flashing by as you scroll through your feed.
So HOW do you delete your ad settings? Follow the instructions below on your computer or phone. I found it much easier and faster to do it from my computer.
- Click Settings (click the little drop arrow on the computer)
- Click Ads, found on the bottom left.
- Click through each category: interests, advertisers you've interacted with, your information, ad settings, and hide ad topics.
- In the interests section, remove ALL interests. You have to individually click each interest, in each category to remove them. This may take many refreshes because you easily can have hundreds in each category, and they only show you 12 at a time. You want ALL of them removed. You will know you reached the end when you no longer see ANY interests shown.
- In the advertisers section, you can hide ads from people you have interacted with, especially if you are no longer interested.
- In your information, make sure to hide all the things you do NOT want advertisers to have on you.
- In ad settings, change each question to NO.
- In hide ad topics, you can choose to hide PERMANENTLY.
Remember to remove your interests regularly. Facebook will continue to add interests on your behalf based on ANYTHING you click (i.e. articles, pictures, business pages, etc).
You will LOVE your Facebook feed again, because you will now see more posts from the pages and friends you want to see.
Please note that Facebook is a business. They are here to make money, even at your expense. They have shareholders to please and bills to pay, too.
Remember, you always have the choice: to allow their tactics and tracking devices, to limit what personal information they have on you, or to refrain from using their “free” services altogether. If you want to connect outside of Facebook, it is possible. You can always pick up the phone, send an email, or build a relationship in person.
You also have the choice of what, how, when, and where to spend your money. If social media entices you to spend too much, take a break from it. Unlink your credit cards so it is that much harder for you to splurge. Avoid the triggers that cause you to spend more than you earn.
If you are committed to changing your financial situation, you get to choose to make that happen or not. You get to choose to grow your money management skills, or keep them just where they are.
The choice is always yours to make.
So, let me ask you again.
Are you ready for financial freedom?
♥ ♥ ♥
info@ProsperityAlignment.com ♥ 775.525.1355 ♥ www.ProsperityAlignment.com