10 Mistakes Real Estate Agents Make When Creating Facebook Ads
Facebook advertising is an incredibly powerful platform for real estate marketing due to reach alone. The site has more than 2 billion active users, and it’s estimated that the average person spends more than 50 minutes scrolling their feed every day.
Facebook is a great place for agents to connect with both homebuyers and sellers -- you get that. You also get that a huge platform with endless prospects means a lot of competition. It’s time consuming to create a post for every open house or listing, not to mention making sure your property stands out from all the other options in your area.
Despite the innate challenges of Facebook advertising, there’s no denying its use in attracting market prospects. That’s why we’re here to give you a quick guide on proven practices to help you avoid ten common mistakes. Take a look, and come back to reference them whenever you want.
1. Not Setting Clear Goals
Think about why you’re running the ad.
Is it to attract high net worth individuals to a luxury property? Is it to get new families in town to view an open house? Is it to advertise just sold houses in a way that promotes your brokerage?
Clarifying the purpose of your ad makes all the difference. Who you target, the action you want them to take, and where you direct them… it all stems from the ultimate purpose of the ad. Defining what that is early on will make the whole process much easier and more effective.
2. Directing to Bad Landing Pages
Landing pages are extremely important. They can often be the dealbreaker in getting prospects to take the action you want.
It’s an easy thing to look over -- just link your website to every post, right? But the page a potential buyer or seller sees when they click on your ad makes all the difference. Taking someone to your site’s home page when you’ve promoted a property that’s just been listed is confusing. Where are the pictures? Where do they go from here?
They’re likely to go anywhere but your site. Quickly.
The right landing page directs people where they intended to be, which means they are more likely to stay on the page and see what it has to offer them. Make sure the page you take your leads to facilitates the action you want.
3. Advertising to a Poorly Defined Audience
Appealing directly to the right audience will dramatically increase the effectiveness of your campaigns.
For example, if you’re advertising a large, $500,000 listing, would you target students between the ages 19 to 24, or established professionals from the ages 40 to 54 with children? The decision could be the difference between selling a home and watching it sit on the market.
The same goes for a property in a specific location. Making sure your Just Listed or Just Sold ad is only being shown to locals in the neighborhood. This will help you establish yourself as the local expert with those most likely to be interested in listing their own property with you. If you want to automatically determine the best audience for your campaign in a matter of seconds, programs like TriggerMarketing Social can take the task off your hands by doing the work for you.
4. Using Low Quality Images
We all know that humans are inherently visual creatures. There is endless literature that backs that up. So why are there still so many ads out there with blurry or unrelated images?
Real estate professionals especially must stick to the rule of high quality, engaging images. If you’re intending to sell, attractive photos of the property or open house in question are a must. They should be taken using a professional camera and edited in a way that showcases all of the listing’s best features. Remember that your real estate Facebook ads serve as a representation of your brand. If you don’t have quality images yet, don’t create an ad until you do.
5. Not Defining a Clear Call to Action
Your ad should be built around a call to action -- one specific sentence or phrase that is designed to provoke an immediate response from your audience. The sentence should start with a verb and ask your audience to do something.
For example, if you’re creating a Facebook ad that’s designed to generate listing leads, something as simple as “Visit our website to talk to an agent today,” could be enough to get someone to click. And if you’re targeting your ad to the right audience, that push could be just what they needed to make contact with you.
On that note, you have to to quickly communicate your call to action. Listing the features of a home is great, but do that AFTER you’ve described your desired action, such as “Call For a Viewing Today!”.
6. Not Tracking the Results
Facebook’s analytics platform, as well as other programs like Google Analytics, make it easy to track the results of your ad campaigns. Both platforms are intuitive and free, so it’s easy to see whether or not your ads are effective.
Even if you’re already enjoying the power of analytics, there are several ways to improve the way you look at data to make sure you’re driving the results you want. Switch up the usual photos you use of a house, and see what generates the most clicks, subscriptions, or queries from prospects. Once you have more of a sense of what works, it will become easier to create the content you know your prospects will like.
And on that note...
7. Failing to A/B Test
Facebook offers split or A/B testing, which lets you test out different versions of your ads to see what works best so you can adjust appropriately in the future. Changing small variables can equal a big increase (or decrease) in the success of an ad.
A/B - or split - testing options you can try include:
- Sending the same listing to two different audiences to see which one responds better.
- Creating two ads featuring the same open house, and display a different set of photos or messaging to see which gets more engagement.
- Changing the call to action. For example, run one Just Listed ad that drives people to your website, and another that simply asks your audience to share your listing with their friends.
Split testing is common practice for marketers, and shouldn’t be overlooked by real estate professionals. Testing out a couple different versions of each ad can reap a HUGE return on investment.
8. Using Too Much Text
Facebook used to implement a hard-and-fast rule about the amount of text advertisers could use in display ads (those eerily relevant ads on the right side of your Facebook homepage). An ad image could be rejected if it contained more than 20 percent text. That’s no longer the rule, but a lot can be learned from the old limitation. Keeping your text-to-image ratio low typically improves readability and increases the likelihood that your message is clear and actionable.
Facebook likes snackable ads.
Keep your sentences short and purposeful. Convey the value of your listing compared to competitors. Get to the call to action quickly.
9. Slapping Together a Headline
Headlines are what grabs the attention of your reader. That short phrase can make all the difference between an ad that causes the reader pause and one that keeps them scrolling. Make your headline specific and relevant to your buyers or future sellers. This guide from HubSpot is a good place to start for learning the basics of a great title.
10. Focusing On Reach Instead of Action
We’ve talked a lot in this article about the ultimate purpose of your ad -- what you want your prospects to do after reading it. And if they take that action? That’s called a conversion.
It can be easy to simply focus on the reach of a Facebook ad, because those numbers are exciting! 5,000 people saw your listing in your area? Awesome! (No, really, that’s great).
But the gold is won a second step further. How many people shared your ad? How many liked it? How many requested an open house tour via your website?
These are the statistics that matter. They tell you what people are interested in. Focusing on reach is a good starting point, but conversions are where the money’s (literally) at.
Facebook advertising is incredibly useful and proven to attract leads. But designing quality content and targeting for every post can be time consuming, which is why programs like QuantumDigital’s TriggerMarketing Social were created to do all the work for you. Each time you list or sell a property or list an open house, you’ll receive an email notification letting you know you can create a Facebook campaign to promote your listing or sale. These ads are generated automatically and only showed to the geo-targeted area around your property, and they drive people to a personalized property page. As people visit the page to learn more about the property, or fill out a contact form, you’ll get email notifications in real time with information on your new leads. You’ll have access to TriggerMarketing Social’s user-friendly status report that displays the results of your campaign in real time. It’s the easy, fuss-free way to get the most out of Facebook advertising.
Interested in automatic Facebook Ads for your new listings and sales?
Learn more about TriggerMarketing Social here.