Facebook is now a verb. From 12-year-olds to septuagenarians, everyone is “Facebooking”. For real estate sales reps and brokers, this presents a fantastic opportunity thanks to Facebook’s powerful advertising tools.
Let’s look at why you should be advertising on Facebook:
There are almost two billion active Facebook users around the world as of 2017 and that number rose from 1.28 billion to 1.94 billion from the beginning to end of March this year alone. In Canada there are 20-25 million active Facebook users. Given that we have a population of just over 35 million, that means most Canadians are on Facebook. That potential reach is incredible.
There are even more Canadians using Google than Facebook, which makes Google’s Pay Per Click advertising an attractive option. However, with Google PPC your ads are based on keywords and not the targeted offers that you can create on Facebook. By tapping into the social aspect of Facebook you can target users by creating an offer geared specifically towards them.
Powerful targeting capabilities.
Facebook offers targeting capabilities far beyond that of other advertising options. You can target specific geographic or demographic goals. For example, if you want to target baby boomers, you can. You can target divorcees, or plumbers or people with an interest in outdoor activities. As Facebook says it, “Compared to the average online reach of 38 per cent for narrowly targeted campaigns, Facebook is 89 per cent accurate.”
With Facebook you can target:
- Location – right down to a postal code
- Demographics – age, gender, education, relationship status, job titles, life events
- Behaviours – mobile users, pages they engage with, ads they click
- Exclusions – exclude job titles such as Realtor and broker, so your competition doesn’t know what you’re up to!
- Advanced – retargeting, custom audiences, look-a-like audiences
Compared to other outreach campaigns, Facebook has a low-cost advantage. For example, while direct-mail campaigns might cost around 50 cents per impression (the amount of people the ad has been exposed to), Facebook can get your ad in front of a targeted public for a cent, or a few cents per impression.
Some Facebook ads are geared towards exposure; however, you can also select them to be goal-oriented. Most commonly for real estate professionals, this means traffic – or lead-generation oriented. You can select your ad type on Facebook to be aimed towards sending traffic to your website (often with the goal of capturing the lead on your website) or by using their lead-generation tool built right into Facebook.
Facebook’s lead-gen ads provide a unique user experience where they can sign up for more information without ever leaving Facebook. This can be especially helpful with mobile users as the fields pre-populate with their data and they need only click a couple of buttons.
The return on investment of advertising campaigns can be difficult to measure with other advertising options. With Facebook you can capture the exact ROI of your campaigns by looking at their advanced analytics tool. This can tell you how much you’ve spent, how many impressions you’ve had, how many clicks you’ve received, how many leads you’ve received, and more.
Facebook ads can be run alongside other advertising options. For example, if you’re doing physical flyer deliveries in a specific neighbourhood, you can retarget those people with an online Facebook ad using postal codes. This type of exposure helps build face recognition with your targeted public.
Optimization through analytics.
By using Facebook’s Ad Manager you can use your analytics to improve the efficacy of your campaigns. For example, if you realize that the bulk of your ads are coming from a specific age group, you can retarget your audience to include just that age group. Optimization like this can bring down your overall cost per lead.
In conclusion, Facebook ads are a great advertising resource for real estate professionals. However, it isn’t easy. You need to try out a few concepts to figure out what works for you – and you may want to hire a professional to hit the ground running. If you’re looking to hire a professional you’ll want to ask them what their experience is with real estate, what ad types and concepts have worked best for them and what your projected cost per lead is (if that is your goal). Ideally you will want to find someone with a proven track record of Facebook advertising for real estate professionals.