How to Run Political Ads on Facebook

Almost all successful political campaigns run Facebook ads. They are inexpensive, easy to set up, and have a massive reach. But many campaigns run into problems when it comes to getting their ads approved. Political ads on Facebook and Instagram have a tricky approval process that can be confusing to first-time political advertisers.

In order to get your ads live on the platform, you will need to first go through Facebook’s political authorization process. Because Facebook owns Instagram, you will also be able to run ads to that demographically younger audience, if it makes sense for your campaign. Follow the steps below, and you’ll be on your way. And check out our Facebook political ad templates for professionally-designed ads in just a few clicks. 

Step 1: How to Get Verified to Run Political Ads on Facebook (And Instagram)

Time: 3 Weeks
You Need:
A Facebook Account
A US passport, driver’s license or ID card
A US-based residential mailing address

In order to run ads on Facebook, you must go through their identity verification process. They started this process to ensure that political ads are paid for by the citizens of the country in which they run. The process takes about 3 weeks because Facebook will send you an authorization through snail mail. If you don’t have enough time to get this done, you will need to work with a person who is already verified to run political ads.

Steps to Get Verified

  1. Visit www.facebook.com/id
  2. Click Start Identity Confirmation, then select Running Ads About Social Issues, Elections, or Politics. Select the United States. Click Next. 
  3. If you haven’t already, set up two-factor authentication. This is a required security setting on your Facebook account to be verified. 
  4. Continue through the setup process with your identification documents and current mailing address.
  5. You should see a confirmation notice letting you know that a letter will be sent to your address. This letter will include a verification code. You’ll be temporarily authorized to run ads for up to 21 days. Before that time, follow the instructions you receive in the letter to enter the confirmation code and officially become verified.

Step 2: How to Set Up Facebook Business Manager and Ad Account

You Need:
A Campaign Facebook Page
A Payment Method

In order to manage and pay for your ads, you first must have a Facebook Business Manager AND a Campaign Ad Account within this business manager. The Facebook Business Manager is exactly how it sounds – the business side of Facebook. This website will be where you manage who has access to the backend of your ads and how you will pay for the ads. These directions assume that you already have a Facebook page set up for your campaign.

Steps to Set Up Your Facebook Business and Ad Account

  1. Visit business.facebook.com.
  2. Log in using your personal Facebook information
  3. Create an account. Facebook will send you an email to confirm that it is you. 
  4. Link your campaign Facebook page to this business manager by navigating to ‘Pages,’ and clicking ‘Add a Page.’ You will need to be an admin of the page in order to add it. 
  5. Navigate to ‘Payment Methods’ and add a card to pay for your ads. 
  6. Navigate to ‘Ad Accounts’ and follow the steps to create an ad account for your campaign. Facebook will ask you to confirm this ad account’s time zone, currency, and payment method.

Step 3. How to Create A ‘Paid For’ Disclaimer for Your Facebook Political Ad

Time: 1-2 Days
You need:
Option 1: Federal Election Commission (FEC) Registration
Option 2: Campaign website with matching email 
Option 3: Your Legal Name

The last step to get your political ads approved on Facebook is to create your ‘Paid for’ disclaimer. Legal disclaimers must be verified, processed by Facebook, and attached to your Facebook page and ad account before you can run ads. Here’s the final steps to getting your political ads approved on Facebook. We’re almost there, I promise!

Steps to create your disclaimer:

  1. Go to your campaign page’s settings. On the left hand side, click Issue, Electoral or Political Ads. 
  2. Confirm that you will be running ads in the United States. 
  3. Under Create and Manage Disclaimers, click the Create button.

You will then be given a list of options on how to choose your disclaimer. Depending on the resources you have available, you will choose one of the following options:

Option 1: Federal Election Commission (FEC) Registration

If your candidate is running at the federal level, you can use the FEC Registered Number to confirm the disclaimer. Bear in mind, you will also need an email that is listed with the FEC filing or that matches the domain of the website in the FEC filing.

Option 2: Campaign website with matching email

If your campaign has a website and matching email (for example, SallyforSenate.com + info@SallyforSenate.com) then you can easily confirm your disclaimer. You will also need to provide an address and a phone number. 

Option 3: Your Legal Name

The last option is the easiest; however if you create a disclaimer using your name, the ad will say “Paid for by YOUR NAME.” If you are not the one directly paying for the ad, then you will need to add that person as an admin on the page so they can create the disclaimer.

Steps to Link Your Disclaimer to Your Ad Account and Page

After you create your disclaimer, Facebook will take anywhere from a few hours to 2 days to verify and confirm your disclaimer. You will see a green check mark next to the disclaimer after it is approved. After this is done, you can link your disclaimer to your ad account and begin serving ads.

  1. Go to your Campaign Page and ‘Settings’
  2. In the left menu, click Issue, Electoral or Political Ads.
  3. Below Link Disclaimers For This Page, click View.
  4. You ad account should show up automatically. If you need to add the account using a number, you can access your ad account number from the business manager. 
  5. Check the box to enable access and click ‘Next.’ 
  6. Lastly, Facebook requires you to “Claim the page” for transparency purposes. To do this, follow the prompts below your disclaimer information.

Political Ad Designs and Templates

While this blog just scratches the surface of running a political ads campaign on Facebook, it does provide a good start to get you up and running. Once you have conquered Facebook’s political requirements, the fun begins. Developing the message, the audience, and the creative elements for your ad is an exciting process.

Check out our ad templates for political campaigns for easily-customizable Facebook ads for your campaign.

Hannah Richards

DIGITAL STRATEGIST

Hannah (Bree) is a full-time political strategist from the battleground state of Ohio. She built this website during the COVID-19 pandemic while living with her two pet rats, because she didn’t have anything better to do. But also, because she believes it could be genuinely useful to a few folks that find it. If you’re one of them, you can connect with her at hannah@campaigntoolkits.com.

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