Michael Russer, a.k.a. Mr. Internet®, is CEO of Russer Communications. He is a leading speaker and author in the real estate industry and has been writing about Internet marketing and virtual outsourcing since the dawn of the commercial Internet.
Maximize Profits Through Hyper-Targeted Facebook Ads
What if you could direct your advertising only to the people who wanted it? You can do that effectively, and inexpensively, with Facebook.
June 1, 2010
Imagine if you could advertise your services in such a way that only those who are most likely interested would even see the ads — and better yet, you only had to pay for the ads when consumers acted on them. Sounds a lot better than traditional print advertising, doesn't it?
This is what "hyper-targeted" advertising is all about, and nowhere is the opportunity greater for this than on Facebook. Yet few people in the real estate industry have taken advantage of it.
Facebook vs. Google
Facebook is huge, with close to a half a billion members, and it continues to grow rapidly each month. What makes the advertising potential so great is that by the very nature of the data found in user profiles, Facebook has amassed incredible demographic and psychographic information on its members. This information includes personal likes, dislikes, affiliations, interests, and so on.
It doesn't stop there. Facebook also has the ability (and the necessary funding) to cross-tabulate its internal member information with purchased third-party data like magazine subscription information and group membership affiliation, which allow it to further refine its targeting ability.
When Google serves up ads to users of its search engine, the ads typically are targeted based only upon the search query, because that's the limit of Google's knowledge about that particular consumer.
But when Facebook serves up ads to members, it knows far more about them. Consequently, it can show ads that are much more targeted and more likely to convert.
And Facebook ads have built-in "social proof" to add credibility and increase conversion rates, since your ads can show viewers if their Facebook friends have interacted with you or used your services.
Also, the amount of time an average member spends on Facebook eclipses even the most avid searcher on Google.
Like Google AdWords, you can pay for Facebook ads either as pay per click (PPC, which is the best way to go in most cases) or per 1,000 impressions (cost per mille, or CPM). The process of setting up, managing, and tracking your Facebook ads is very straightforward. And frankly, no one does a better job of explaining it than Facebook. Just go to Facebook.com/advertising to review the steps and best practices.
Tip: Facebook suggests ad pricing to best reach your defined ad target. Let's just say they can be a bit biased about this. Experiment using PPC values that start out about 10 percent less than suggested and then continue to lower your bid amounts until you see a significant drop off in impressions. This strategy can save you a lot of money!
Hyper-Targeting for Hyper-Growth
The ways in which you can use Facebook advertising to grow your business and differentiate yourself are limited only by your imagination. The following came out of a recent brainstorming session with my Online Dominance students.
To help organize these ideas, I've broken them down into the following categories:
- Win New Listings: Show your prospective sellers how you can advertise their listings on Facebook and receive literally thousands (if not tens of thousands) of impressions. Chances are very good that none of your competitors are doing this, and it will help you stand out considerably.
- Sell Targeted Listings: If your listing is unique or fits a particular profile (e.g., Florida waterfront property), you can create an ad that is shown only to those who would likely have interest in this, such as "snow birds" from other areas that have a proven track record of purchasing this type of property.
Property Tours: Advertise just about any kind of tour you can imagine (the more out of the box, the better) to targeted Facebook members in your area. Here are just some ideas that came up for this:
- Riding horse property tours.
- Bicycle property tours.
- Waterfront property tours ending in a wine-tasting party.
- Luxury high-rise condo bedroom tours.
- Boat tours of waterfront properties.
- Golf course property tours that include short presentations by the golf pros.
- Foreclosure property tours or preforeclosure tours (with the permission of the owners, of course).
Seminars: Either in person or via webinars, there are tons of possibilities here, including:
- Real estate investing.
- Investing with IRA funds.
- First-time buyers.
- How to get around today's mortgage maze.
- How to prepare your home for sale.
Community Involvement: You can advertise your community involvement by getting local people to participate. For example:
- Charity food drives.
- Client-appreciation parties
- Neighborhood block parties
- Irresistible Offers: If your Web site has irresistible offers, using Facebook ads is a powerful way to drive targeted-traffic to take advantage of them.
Advertising without targeting is just like taking shots in the dark. Your chances of actually hitting something are pretty slim. And advertising without the ability to measure your ROI is just throwing money at something and hoping it sticks. Neither is a viable way to grow business profitably.
On the other hand, Facebook ads offer a convenient, inexpensive way to hyper-target your advertising dollars and almost instantly measure the results. And the good news for you is that very few real estate professionals have even started taking advantage of this potential. Now is your chance to grow your business in a way that will have your competitors guessing — and you smiling, all the way to the bank.