Facebook is the No. 1 social media platform in the world with over 2.3 billion active users. It’s crucial for companies in the industry to understand the regulations involved in order to effectively display their page and content to these users.

Facebook tends to be very picky when it comes to promoting posts about hunting and its equipment, and they aren’t 100 percent consistent with their regulations it seems like. If you’ve ever tried to promote a post about hunting products, you’ve likely run into the problem of your post being rejected for “not meeting Facebook’s advertising guidelines.” These guidelines seem to be very vague and it largely depends on how the person on the other side reviewing your post views these guidelines.

Facebook directly states:

“Ads must not promote the sale or use of weapons, ammunition, or explosives. This includes ads for weapon modification accessories.”

In specific it prohibits ads promoting things such as in these examples:

  • “Firearms, including firearms parts, ammunition, paintball guns and bb guns
  • Firearm silencers or suppressors
  • Weapons of any kind, including pepper spray, non-culinary knives/blades/spears, tasers, nunchucks, batons, or weapons intended for self-defense
  • Fireworks and explosives
  • Ads promoting the brandishing of firearms”

Unfortunately, their guidelines aren’t very specific when is comes to archery products. This makes it very tricky to successfully promote hunting posts. With a lot of trial and error, there are some tips that you can follow to try and get past these regulations for advertising.

First and foremost, Facebook does not like to promote hurting or killing animals or weapons that can be harmful to other people. Avoid photos that have hunters aimed, ready to shoot with an animal in their range. This will likely get rejected because of the controversy of hunting and promotion of killing animals. Photos of just the animal itself or just the bowhunter with their gear on and drawn back to shoot seem to do better with approval.

Next, the way you word your advertisements is crucial. It is important that you aren’t obviously trying to promote the sale or use of a weapon. Tweaking the wording just slightly can make a big difference. This can come with some trial and error, but once you get the hang of avoiding certain phrases, your advertisements will have a better chance at survival. Content that zeros in on how and why tends to be more successful. Using emojis rather than direct wording can also be helpful in these cases.

Finally, the content you pick to promote should be of value to your audience. It is better to offer content that entertains people and spreads awareness of archery and bowhunting. If your promotion gets rejected, you can always attempt to create content that will go viral. Creating a meme or a video that grabs the audience’s attention, makes them laugh, or teaches them about something specific and interesting often performs better all on their own. Images containing less than 20 percent of text appears less spammy to Facebook’s secret algorithm and has a better chance of being viewed and shared repeatedly. Eliciting special reactions other than likes like hearts, wows, comments, etc. increases the chance to rank your content higher in users’ newsfeed. Getting passed Facebook’s vague weapon regulations can be tricky and be a means of trial and error testing. It does get easier once you learn what works and doesn’t work for your particular business. If you follow these guidelines and it’s done correctly, your business can thrive on Facebook. Who knows? Maybe you’ll create the next viral bowhunting post.