advertising guidelines

The Advertising Guidelines To Know For Every Social Media Platform

Are you aware of the advertising guidelines of each social media platform? Yes, social media has rules and regulations, too, especially when it comes to advertising. Read on to know more.

Social media is a great way to reach your prospects and make your small business grow. But some brands may have started running ad campaigns on their own, and are not seeing the results they expect to have.

One of the benefits of working with an experienced social media marketing agency is that they know all the tactics, tips, and advertising rules required to make every campaign effective. And when we talk about these rules, we’re not talking about the strategies that can help boost campaign results.

We’re talking about actual rules on social media platforms – advertising policies set by each channel that brands need to follow.

Violating these rules can hinder your campaigns, and worse, stop them from running altogether. That’s why in this article, we listed down some of the guidelines to help keep your marketing efforts effective.

Top Advertising Guidelines On Social Media

If you’ve decided that social media advertising suits your strategy and marketing budget, make sure to you adhere to the policies enforced on each platform. While most channels have the same restrictions, such as marketing illegal products or services, there are several areas where they differ.

Instagram and Facebook

Facebook has the most accommodating advertising policies. You will not run into any issues if you promote legal products or services in an appropriate manner, with a link to their relevant landing pages.

Instagram, on the other hand, has adopted the advertising guidelines of Facebook, but will be rolling out a specific policy in the future.

If you’re looking to advertise on both platforms, your life will definitely become easier. This is because when your campaign is approved on Facebook, it will also be approved on Instagram.

Here are some of the prohibited ads that you shouldn’t post on Instagram and Facebook:

  • Explosives or weapons
  • Deceptive offers
  • Illegal products or services
  • Auto-play images and videos
  • Payday advances or loans
  • Trademarked or copyrighted content used without permission
  • Tobacco products
  • Discriminatory or sexually provocative content
  • Recreational or illegal drugs
  • Photos with false before-and-after results

Here are some of the restricted ads that you shouldn’t post on Instagram and Facebook:

  • Alcohol advertisements should only be targeted to those with legal drinking age in countries that permit them. Facebook has a complete list of the countries that allow alcohol ads.
  • People aren’t allowed to ask for any identification related to government, finance, politics, medical, and insurance information without permission.
  • State lotteries, dating services, online pharmacies, and online gambling are required to have a written permission on Instagram or Facebook.


Since LinkedIn is a formal and professional social media platform, its advertising rules are stricter than others. It places a strong emphasis on proper spelling and grammar, in addition to the stated policies regarding copyrighted content and accurate representation of products or services.

Marketers should avoid acronyms, all caps, and slang texts. On top of that, they should also make sure to use only one punctuation mark at the end of the sentences. Don’t use two or three exclamation points on your content, no matter how enthusiastic you are about your new product or service.

These guidelines help maintain professionalism on the platform, and engage more students and professionals.

Here are some of the prohibited ads that you shouldn’t post on LinkedIn:

  • Slang or vulgarity
  • Illegal products or services
  • Fireworks
  • Endangered species products
  • Violence or hate speech
  • Illegal pharmaceuticals or drugs
  • Discriminatory hiring processes
  • Adult or sexual content
  • Bingo, gambling, lotteries, and others
  • Offers that could cause harm to a person’s health
  • Ammunition or weapons
  • Controversial or sensitive topics, such as political affiliation, sexual orientation, and criminal record
  • Illegal download of copyrighted content
  • Fake documents
  • Limiting access to education

Here are some of the restricted ads that you shouldn’t post on LinkedIn:

  • Alcohol advertisements should only be targeted to those with legal drinking age in countries that permit them.
  • Video game ads are allowed if they don’t have violent or sexual content.
  • Dating services should only target users 18 years old and up.
  • Tobacco products are not allowed, but if it’s a product that encourages people to quit smoking, then it’s permitted.


Since Pinterest is a visual-based platform, it is sensitive to how photos are used to advertise a product or service. That’s why it has set specific advertising guidelines, too, to protect its users.

People are more influenced by what they see than what they read on social media, so the platform wants to make sure that they are not negatively impacted. Pinterest also prohibits affiliate links and asks marketers to only request the most important information to users.

Protecting the privacy of users and maintaining a quality network are its priorities. That’s why they always monitor ad feedback and remove campaigns with lots of negative comments.

Here are some of the prohibited ads that you shouldn’t post on Pinterest:

  • Illegal drugs
  • Automatic downloads
  • Tobacco products
  • Overuse of hashtags
  • Ratings or testimonials
  • Vulgarity or explicit content
  • Inaccurate or misleading landing pages
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Improper grammar
  • Overuse of capitalization or punctuation
  • Call-to-actions
  • Prices of your product or services
  • Claiming affiliation with Pinterest
  • Adult products and services
  • Gambling or lotteries
  • Hacking products or malware
  • Counterfeit products
  • Endangered species products
  • Weight loss products or services with unrealistic results
  • Weapon or explosives
  • Pharmaceutical deemed potentially unsafe
  • Promotional language in the advertised image

Here are some of the restricted ads that you shouldn’t post on Pinterest:

  • Only political candidates can promote campaigning ads. They must also comply with the Federal Election Commission’s guidelines.
  • Any alcohol-related ads must only target those of a legal drinking age. Marketers cannot promote online selling of alcohol.
  • You cannot ask someone to encourage spammy behaviour or vote with Pins if you’re hosting a contest on Pinterest.


In terms or what is restricted or prohibited, advertising policies on Twitter is quite similar to Instagram and Facebook. When it comes to protecting users from dishonest promotions and observing copyrighted materials, these three major platforms have similarities too.

However, Twitter has added responsibility in tracking the hashtags used by marketers in their Promoted Tweets. This is a great advantage for you as you will be able to direct your tweets to the right people.

Here are some of the prohibited ads that you shouldn’t post on Twitter:

  • Weapons
  • Tobacco products
  • Products or services impacted by U.S trade sanctions
  • Hateful or violent content
  • Adult products and services
  • Endangered species products
  • Hacking materials or spyware
  • Illegal accessories and drugs
  • Unauthorized ticket sale for concerts, sporting events, and others.

Here are some of the restricted ads that you shouldn’t post on Twitter:

  • Over-the counter pharmaceuticals like Tylenol are prohibited in some countries
  • Anything that can’t be legally purchased by minors.
  • Gambling and lottery services are prohibited in some countries, so consult Twitter’s policy for a complete list
  • Any financial services providers must explicitly state the potential risk of an  investment and that there are no profit guarantees
  • Any ads promoting a political campaign are indicated by a purple arrow on Twitter, and are prohibited entirely in Brazil, Morocco, Pakistan, South Korea

Create highly-targeted ads for better results

Now that you know the top advertising guidelines for each social media platform, you will be able to promote your brand, products or services without having any issues.

These channels are pretty straightforward when it comes to what is allowed and what isn’t. So, you won’t have a hard time crafting your ad campaigns.

Stick to the policies listed above. You will definitely get all of your ads approved, as well as reach your target audience effectively, boost engagement, and drive conversions.