There’s a huge difference between good and bad Facebook advertising. Today, we explain how to create Facebook audiences that will target your property ads to the right people, and increase your brand awareness over and above other agents or agencies in your area.
At this very moment, there's someone browsing properties on your website who won't find exactly what they're looking for. You may list their dream home later today, this week or this month, but you may have already lost their interest.
Thankfully, there is a way to track who has been on your site in the last 30, 60 or 90 days so you can create bespoke ads to active homebuyers and bring them back to look at your new property listings.
How Facebook Audiences work
When you run a Facebook advertising campaign, you have the option to target who will see your property adverts. Facebook collects vast swathes of data on its users so that you can target people by many means; whether they like other real estate agents' pages, if they live in certain neighbourhoods, by their age, their interests, if they earn a certain amount and so many more options.
Choosing your target audience as described is much better than advertising to a chosen geographic location alone, but you can go one step further and create better audiences by installing the Facebook Pixel on your website, which over time will allow you to run more effective property advertising campaigns.
Jared Cooksley and the team from Ray White Mount Eden, in Auckland, has been having great success with Facebook advertising. By running campaigns themselves, they've been building audiences that allow them to find buyers for homes more quickly.
“If there’s one thing worth learning, it’s about Facebook’s custom audiences.” Jared Cooksley, Ray White Mount Eden, Auckland.
By using the Facebook Pixel, you can create different sets of audiences based on how people use your site; this is called behavioural targeting. Your ads can be shown to people who have visited your agency website and perused property listings recently or those that have visited your Sell or Sold pages or downloaded a selling guide. You can even segment your Facebook audience into people who are looking at properties across certain neighbourhoods or even a specific suburb.
Karen Page, a real estate agent with Ray White in Sydney’s Pennant Hills also sees the benefits of online advertising audiences. "Working for Ray White, I'm fortunate to have the industry's most innovative digital marketing services available to help me promote my brand as an individual agent."
"At a recent Ray White event, one of the things that spiked my interest was the focus on building digital audiences and implementing what's called 'behavioural targeting'. In the very near future, we will be able to see which of our clients or contacts are 'behaving' in a way that indicates that they are thinking of selling their home. That’s going to make it much easier to reach out to home sellers before they've even decided to contact an agent!"
While some websites like Domain.com.au offer Facebook advertising as an additional upsell option on its Premium advertising packages, it's actually more effective for you or your Franchise network to run all your Facebook advertising through your own Facebook advertising account. This way you showcase your brand (rather than Domain's), and you get to build and segment your Facebook audiences, which will help you further down the line.
What is the Facebook Pixel?
The Facebook Pixel is Facebook's way of bridging the gap between Facebook and your website. It's a piece of code that you, or your web developer, install on your site (much like you would with Google Analytics). After a few weeks or months of analysing traffic, you begin to get a good picture of who's visiting your site from Facebook, which allows you to start creating and segmenting your own target audiences.
When you run an ad or boost a Facebook post, promoting a property listing, you might see basic details like how many people clicked on it, but now, with the Facebook Pixel, you can use more detailed information to create audiences and make future property ads more specific, more targeted and more effective.
The best way to do this is to set up different pixel attributes for different areas of your site (such as your homepage, your properties and your blog posts) so that you can segment your website visitors into target audiences.
Behavioural targeting with Facebook Audiences
Once your tracking pixel is up and running, you can create audiences based on what people look at on your site.
“This is a great way to bring active buyers, who have been on your website in the past couple of months, back to see new properties you’ve just listed.”
If someone is tracked looking at properties in a certain suburb, you can then add them to a group for that suburb, a cluster of nearby areas and an audience for that city. That way you can serve them ads on Facebook for properties in areas that they're looking for – if someone's looking at properties in Sydney's Northern Beaches, there's no point showing them what they can buy in Darwin, Hobart or Wellington.
Pixel also tracks how recently someone was on your site, allowing you to limit who your ads are shown too, by time frames, too. If someone's looking at rental properties, it's rare that you'll want to advertise to them if they haven't been on your site in the last 60 days, but for home buyers, you may want a longer time frame, of 3 months or 6 months.
This is a great way to show new properties to people who may not have been on your website in the past couple of months. Each time someone comes back to your website, Facebook will update their data, meaning they will continue to remain in your active buyer audience. However, if they don't click on your Facebook ads, it's a sign that they are no longer interested (perhaps they've already bought) and they'll be moved out of your active audience. This ensures you don’t waste those all important Facebook advertising dollars on people that are no longer in the market.
"There's a lot of smart marketing coming our way, and I'm excited to be part of it." Karen Page, Ray White Thornleigh, Sydney.
How to get started with Facebook Audiences
If your agency isn't already making use of Facebook advertising or the Facebook Pixel, there's a good chance you're a step behind most of your competitors. Engage an advertising agency that can help you run Facebook advertising under your brand. Bringing audiences back to your website is an excellent way to start improving leads – not only for your vendor’s properties but to help you find vendors. Because, as we know, many home buyers become home sellers, so make sure when you pay for ads they come back to your brand and your brand alone.