Big Tech is constantly evolving. Keeping up with it, even on a need-to-know basis, can be challenging. Read our guide to find out the top things your pregnancy center needs to know about Big Tech in 2022.
1. Meta: Facebook’s New Overarching Brand
You’ve probably seen commercials or heard the name “Meta” headlined in the news recently. The Facebook Company rebranded as “Meta” to refer to all of Facebook’s apps and technologies. Its key focus is to bring the “metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses.”
What is the metaverse?
It’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of merging social media with 3D virtual reality to create immersive online experiences. It might sound like Sci-Fi, but that’s what’s ahead for this massive online empire. While not a cause for concern, expect changes as they begin integrating new technology into how businesses present themselves on Facebook and Instagram.
2. Twitter Leadership Twist Could Lead to More Censorship
Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey stepped down at the end of November and has been replaced by Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal. The new CEO is an expert in strategy involving artificial intelligence and machine learning. These are the technologies at play in forming Twitter’s algorithm for how content is displayed and monitored.
Based on previous interviews of Agrawal and his main Twitter project, Bluesky, which aimed to control abusive and misleading information on the platform, we could see an increase in censorship and monitoring of platform users. While Twitter isn’t necessarily a platform we recommend for pregnancy centers, it’s good to keep up with big changes like this.
3. Companies Redefining Community Standards
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and most social media companies set community standards. As companies, they decide how they define terms like “hate speech” and “misinformation” and what would cause them to intervene by removing content, rejecting ads, or suspending accounts. These are listed for the public to read and note before and while using the platforms.
Since these guidelines can shift and change at any point, it’s important to stay up to date with any changes they make specifically regarding speech about abortion, reproductive issues, and medical information. Gender issues have been all over the news this year, so we could see standards change to support inclusivity in how we address clients in ads. We haven’t seen any changes so far in this regard.
Medical information is in a group of its own, especially due to COVID-19 and vaccines. If your center is posting on medical issues such as abortion, pregnancy symptoms, or the mental health impacts of abortion, you will want to cite reputable sources (Mayo Clinic, CDC, FDA, etc.) on any platforms you use.
Even though progesterone has long been used in pregnancy, using it for abortion pill reversal hasn’t been approved by the FDA. For now, we recommend withholding posting about it on social media platforms. We’ve had posts and ads marked as violations of community standards. If you get too many of these, the platform can suspend or shut down your account. We do continue to advertise abortion pill reversal on Google with paid search, though this still comes with similar risks. We’re developing and testing workarounds, and continuing to monitor this topic on an ongoing basis.
4. Facebook’s Advertising Targeting Becoming More General
Meta announced in November that it would be further restricting its advertising targeting in 2022 to become more general. What does this mean for your center? Effective January 19, 2022, Meta will eliminate the ability to target users based on interactions with content related to race and ethnicity, health, political affiliation, religion, and sexual orientation. This means centers can no longer target attributes such as “Catholic” in advertising even if you run a Catholic organization with primarily Catholic donors.
Facebook still allows you to upload your center’s donor email list to create an audience that’s similar to the emails listed. We recommend keeping a clean and up-to-date email list for advertising and reaching your clients.
As of last September, Facebook removed detailed targeting of minors (17 and under). This means you can only target minors based on age, gender, and location. These ads cannot advertise your pregnancy services, as these are classified as “adult products and services.”
5. Favoritism of Videos Continues
Big Tech companies need active and engaged users to continue to generate ad revenue. One way to create a more engaging experience is by promoting videos. These platforms use algorithms to choose the content they show on your feed, and they favor videos. This means the chances of your center’s video post being displayed on a client or donor’s feed is higher than a typical image or text post. Videos on your website can also improve your website’s page ranking in search engines.
A recent update happened in October when Instagram ditched its IGTV tab to instead show video symbols on every video post on a profile grid. The platform will continue to make these advancements in its continued efforts to focus on video content.
How Can My Pregnancy Center Adapt to Big Tech?
While all these changes and advancements could make you want to pull the plug, we advise against this. You will still reach more donors and potential clients by having a robust online presence. To be in the game, we must be willing to play the game by Big Tech’s rules. See the below checklist to ensure you’re ready for whatever Big Tech throws your way.
Big Tech Checklist
1. Facebook and Instagram Advertising
– Follow all community guidelines.
– Have an advertising disclaimer in place.
– Pregnancy service ads only target ages 18+.
– Avoid personal attributes in ads, i.e. “Are you pregnant?” or “Your pregnancy”
2. Social Media Profiles and Posts
– Follow all community guidelines.
– Cite medical sources.
– Create a private Facebook group if talking to donors about controversial topics.
3. Email: Your Back-Up Communication
– Have a system in place to collect new emails.
– Include a subscribe to emails button on your donor website.
– Regularly clean your email list and remove stale emails.
4. Staying Ahead of Changes
While Big Tech might be evolving, so are we at Choose Life Marketing! If you have any questions or concerns about Big Tech, social media, advertising, or how to reach more abortion-minded women or donors, we’d be happy to talk to you.