Oct 5, 2018
Despite Shifts, Real Estate Agents Can Still Make The Most Of Facebook Marketing
It's been a year full of trials for Facebook. From the Cambridge Analytica case and concerns over privacy and data protection, to the ongoing proliferation of hate speech on the platform and a dramatic drop in value after second-quarter results, many are wondering about the future of the social media site. However, the bottom line is that Facebook is still the largest and most productive platform for real estate agents to connect with their clients and generate business.
There is one thing that real estate agents should keep in mind about Facebook: a fairly substantial shift in how the platform works. As of August 15, Facebook’s Partner Categories are no longer available for new campaigns, and as of October 1, campaigns using those categories will end completely. This means that information from third parties that enhanced some Facebook categories are going away and that the process of audience targeting will become more complex. Third-party sources allowed a variety of behavioral targeting methods, including being able to select specific purchasing behaviors. About half of the categories that used to be available will disappear off the platform. The most important change for many real estate agents is the removal of the “likely to move” category.
These changes make Facebook advertising more challenging than it used to be. Driving sales and profits from Facebook ads often hinges on the successful creation and targeting of your audiences. Instead of just selecting for certain key factors, Facebook advertisers will have to get a bit more strategic about their audience selection. The opportunity in this change is that it provides the incentive for agents and brokers to really focus on who has visited their website, as well as make sure that they are capturing information and marketing to anyone they have been in contact with.
For agents and brokers, there are a few key areas to focus on to see if you are getting the right results. The most important thing to start with is to know what you are hoping to accomplish. Is it local awareness, or something more specific, like driving people to a listing detail page or a landing page to request more information or download a buyer’s/seller’s guide? Each of these activities might require a different audience and different creative.
Consistency For Brand Awareness
For example, if you are building local awareness, your social media advertising should mimic your other marketing efforts in theme, color, headshot and other details. The Rule of Seven is famous in advertising. It says that a campaign needs to be seen seven times to be memorable. This is why big brands spend money on outdoor advertising, online advertising, print and email to create a comprehensive approach. Consistency in messaging is critical, and your audience will likely be within a certain geographic radius close to your office or target neighborhoods.
Know Your Feeder Markets
If you are driving people to a listing page, audience targeting becomes more important. One of the great things about using online advertising compared to just putting it on the portals is that you can capture people who aren’t necessarily shopping, but may decide to take a look anyway. Targeting here can be local but can also be more widespread, especially if you are in a market that is seeing a lot of people moving in from other areas. Depending on your market, you may want to experiment with putting your advertisements out toward people in other cities that are feeding your market.
Perfect Your Landing
Many ads are viewed on mobile platforms today, so messaging needs to be simple and concise. This applies to your landing page as well. If it isn’t mobile-friendly, it won’t connect with on-the-go consumers. Don’t greet potential clients with a cumbersome form to fill out just to get what they are looking for; instead, just capture the information you need most. Landing pages are a great place to experiment. You can try two different pages and test which works better, and then do the same with your creative.
Online advertising is a constantly shifting medium. Creative fatigue can happen easily, so it’s vital to monitor your reporting to make sure your advertising is still connecting with your desired audience. It may be necessary over time to switch up your ad targeting as well to reach a different group of consumers. Shifting your budget can also impact results. Little changes can often have a big impact. Monitor, test and monitor again. Facebook still provides plenty of opportunities to reach both past and potential clients with your messaging.
Article from Forbes