A recent poll by Cowen and Company found that U.S adults across all age groups spend an average of 42.1 minutes per day on Facebook. As people’s attention shifts more towards social networks, businesses will have to shift more of their advertising budget in the same direction. Gone are the days where bus bench ads and billboards are an effective use of advertising for agents. People are too busy staring down at their cell phones and if your ad is nowhere to be seen then you’re missing out!
With 1.23 billion monthly active users on Facebook, there are endless opportunities to attract new clientele. Most online advertising reaches only 38% of its intended audience, whereas Facebook’s average is 89.9%. Thanks to Facebook’s in-depth targeting methods you can be assured that your ad is being shown to the right people and your budget isn’t being wasted on unwanted clicks.
Facebook allows you to target specific groups of people based on the information they share in their profiles. For example, let’s say you are selling a four bedroom, family style home in San Diego, California. It is unlikely that singles, under the age of 35, living on the East Coast of the United States would be interested in purchasing the home so why pay Facebook to show them your ad? Instead you can set it so that only married couples with children, ages 35 to 45, living in California, will see the ad. You can make the targeting as broad as you want depending on how much exposure you want for your listing.
Another great thing about advertising on Facebook is that you will set your own budget. You can choose between two types of bidding: Cost per Click (CPC) or Cost per Impression (CPM). When you choose CPC, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, whereas CPM you pay when someone sees your ad. You can set a daily budget or a lifetime budget and Facebook will make recommendations on how much you should pay for each click or impression.
After you set up your targeting and budget, comes the fun part! When creating an ad, you always want to keep your target audience in mind. You should use a simple, eye-catching photo to grab their attention. Then you want to highlight the benefits that your business is offering. Great ads are the ones that identify a problem that their audience is facing and then present how their business can fix it. You will also want to include a clear call to action in the ad. Calls to action such as “call now”, “learn more” or “join today”, are great instructions that urge your audience to act quickly.
Now that we have gone over the basics of Facebook ads, we can talk about how they can benefit an agent. Real estate agents can use Facebook to advertise special promotions, direct people to their personal websites and best of all, promote their listings! I have seen great success with agents advertising their listings on Facebook.
For example, a local agent in British Columbia set up an ad to promote his listing in Mission, BC. Since he wanted maximum exposure for his listing, he chose to target everyone living in Abbotsford, Maple Ridge and Mission that was between the ages of 30 to 55. The ad ran for five days and received 503 clicks, reached 11,770 people and had a click through rate of 3.905%. This was amazing given the fact that the average click through rate for ads on Facebook is 0.56%. He chose a cost per click (CPC) bidding method and although he set his maximum bid to $1.00 per click, he only ended up spending $0.27 per click.
The Next Step
One thing to consider before you start is that although Facebook ads have great potential, do not get discouraged if you do not see the results you were expecting the first time around. If there is one thing that I have learned through my experience with Facebook advertising is that you have to carefully monitor your ads and make adjustments when necessary. I highly recommend taking the time to learn about the analytic tools and reports that Facebook has to offer.
Facebook pages have a tool called ‘Page Insights’ that will show you the gender, age and location of the people who are most engaged with your business. You should visit ‘Page Insights’ regularly in order to better understand your audience and create more targeted ads. You can also create ad variations using different images and headlines to see which one performs better. Facebook will automatically optimize your campaigns so that more of your budget goes towards the best performing ad.
Don’t be afraid to try new targeting methods and best of luck with your ads!