60% of voters use Facebook on a daily basis which means the platform is essential for political advertising. Following the 2016 elections in the US, Facebook implemented strict policies for political ads that require identity verification and prior authorization.
The process is time consuming but essential for any campaign. Even if you aren’t planning on running ads, you should go through the free process.
Here’s what you need to know.
Verify Your Identity
First, you’ll need to confirm your identity with a photo ID like a driver’s license and a US residential mailing address. The easiest way to complete this step is by going to Facebook.com/ID.
A few quick things to note:
- You must have two factor authentication turned on for your account for the duration you wish to run political ads.
- Facebook relies on postal mail to finish the ID verification process so plan ahead. Even if you don’t plan on running Facebook ads, the process is free.
If you need more details about this step, visit Facebook support here.
Add a Disclaimer
All Facebook ads about political issues must include a disclaimer that specifies which entity is paying for the ads. For candidates, this will typically be “John Doe for Congress” and is accompanied with a “Paid for by.” To complete this step, you’ll need your campaign’s FEC ID or EIN from the IRS. Local politicians can use their personal information to complete the disclaimer step.
Even if your organization or campaign doesn’t typically require the “paid for” language, you must have it for Facebook. For more information and details click here.
Link Your Ad Account
After your identity has been verified and your disclaimer has been approved, you’ll need to link it to your Page’s ad account. Here are Facebook’s instructions:
- Go to your Page. If you run your Page through Business Manager, you’ll need to access it through the tool to complete the rest of the process.
- Click Settings in the top right corner.
- In the left menu, click Issue, Electoral or Political Ads.
- Under Link Disclaimers For This Page, click View.
Assign a Page Owner
Lastly, you’ll need to assign an owner for your page. That owner can be your personal account or your business account. This setting is available in the “Page Transparency” tab available from step 3 above.
In addition to being able to run ads, you’ll also receive benefits like improved search rankings and tags that identify you as a “Confirmed Organization” that boost your credibility.