07 Jun Facebook Ads – What Works Best for Real Estate?
Every month, 1.65 billion users log into their Facebook accounts to scroll through their newsfeeds. These users have shared their lives with the platform, from the places they like to eat to where they work and their favorite sports teams. And, if you’re doing business in 2016, chances are you’re what Facebook calls a ‘publisher’ – you have a business page that you’re populating with content in the hopes of expanding your brand reach and driving people back to your site. So, if you’re considering where to allocate part of your marketing budget, it’s time to consider Facebook Ads.
You’re getting decent traffic, people like your page, and sometimes even like or comment on your post. And, apart from the time it takes you or your team to manage the page, it’s essentially free, so why should you bother spending money on Facebook? One word: algorithms. Everything you see on Facebook is controlled by an algorithm – ever notice that once you interact with a friend’s post, all of their other posts start showing up more often – that’s one of those algorithms at work. Unfortunately for publishers, the algorithms favor user content over publisher content, which means it gets progressively less and less likely that your content will be served as more user content is being generated in a particular news feed.
So, how do you get around these algorithms and get users seeing and engaging with your content? Facebook Ads. Running ads on Facebook is not only inexpensive (the minimum spend is a dollar a day and you have the power to set your own budget and run time), but for the cost, you have access to an almost unprecedented level of targeting for the cost– essentially being able to reach an audience that has already told you they’d be interested in your product. And, ads on Facebook have evolved to the point that they feel like an organic part of the platform experience to the end-user.
Facebook offers a selection of Ad Types for publishers, so it’s important to consider what you’re trying to do with your advertising before beginning your campaign. Here’s a breakdown of the most common Facebook ads (there are many others, these are the ones we feel best relate to real estate), and the best way they can be used for your real estate business:
If you have a new Facebook page, or if you’re trying to grow an existing page, a Page Likes Campaign is a great way to ‘get your feet wet’ with Facebook Ads. The ad is essentially completely system generated, showing your profile picture, cover photo, page name, short description and a like button. All you need to do is select your audience and your budget to see results.
Whether it’s your blog, a new community’s availability page, or your brokerage’s website, this is the Facebook ad type that most resembles a traditional web ad. Comprised of a headline, description, link, photo, call-to-action button, and the option to like your page, a Click to Website campaign is a simple, straightforward way to drive traffic to your website and your Facebook page.
A sponsored post is a great way to boost your page’s reach and engagement. Craft an original post – maybe with a link back to a new listing or a blog post, just don’t share someone else’s content – with an exciting picture and engaging text, then promote it to watch your engagement and likes rack up!
If you’re a local shop or a new community, a local awareness ad is a great, targeted branding option. Your ad will look similar to a ‘clicks to website’ ad with the exception of the call to action. With these ads, you can select what you want to ask your audience to do – visit your website/learn more, get directions, give you a call, etc…
If you have an open house, grand opening, or continuing education event coming up, you should already have a Facebook Event page set up. Once you’ve created that page, your event responses ad should basically create itself. These ads help to spread awareness about your event, and once a user clicks that ‘interested’ button, they will get notifications with updates and reminders, making it that much harder for them to ‘forget’ about the big day!
Layout, Budgeting and Targeting
One of the main selling points for Facebook ads is the ease and flexibility of managing them. You have the ability to select your audience – from their age, gender, location and language to the football teams they follow, the schools they attended, even their employers and connection to your existing fan base – and determine just how specific your targeting parameters are. You are also totally in control of your budget. Facebook does require a minimum spend of $1 a day, however, you are in control of how much you spend and over what period of time – need to promote an incentive that ends in 3 days? Run a higher spend over the next two days; want to reinforce your brand and grow your page? Try a lower spend over the next month.
Another huge benefit to Facebook ads over more traditional digital advertising avenues is the layout of the ads. Each ad format is automatically generated. While you have the option to change photos, text, and links, you do not have to spend time laying out and developing creative for the ads. And, no matter what, your ad will always end up looking polished, professional, and like a natural piece of the platform.
Facebook ads may seem like a simple and cost effective option for your real estate business (because they are), but we know that you may not always have the time to manage them yourself. Let Idea Associates help you manage your page and your ads to reach new levels of success! Contact us today to learn more.