Apparently authors can't advertise on Facebook

Like many authors I have a toe in social media - not just this blog (and the associated Google+), but Twitter and Facebook (and LinkedIn) too. I do have some useful social interaction on Facebook, but my Facebook page is dedicated to business - in my case, letting people know about science, writing and my books.

Fair enough, and Facebook positively encourages this, providing opportunities to advertise both your page and specific posts to interested parties. I've never bothered with this - I do a bit of Google advertising in the vain hope that it will push up visibility in the search listings, but Facebook advertising seems like money down the drain. However, the other day I had a post I thought would be benefit from a wider audience so I thought I'd invest the price of a cup of coffee in a couple of days promotion.

Off it duly went to the Facebook censors... only to be rejected fairly smartly because it 'breached guidelines'. Apparently, the image in my 'advert' had too great a percentage with words in it. Now, bear in mind I hadn't designed an ad - all I did was to try to promote a post that pointed to my blogs, and Facebook had automatically picked up the image from the header of the blog. So the 'advert' looked like this:

Now, bear in mind I didn't choose what that image was - Facebook did. And when you think about it, any advertising showing a book's blog header, or a book's cover is liable to have a lot of writing on it. That's what books do.

Get your act together, Facebook! (If you want to see the post about chocolate it was referring to, you can see it here.)