From flyers to billboards, real estate professionals have long relied on traditional advertising to grow their business. Increasingly, however, many are finding great marketing success with social media, particularly Facebook, as a highly cost-effective option. The key to getting the most out of your Facebook media spend is to clearly define your objective and regularly optimize your campaigns. But how do you gauge the results you might get for your budget? Read on to learn what performance you can expect with a well-managed Facebook ad program.
What is my objective?
You can set up multiple ad types on Facebook. For most users you will choose one of the following three options:
- Network Growth Campaign: If your objective is to build awareness of your brand on social media, you may want to start with a “Network Growth Campaign” to grow your page’s “Likes.” A sizeable following helps give your page validity and establish trust in your audience.
- Engagement Campaign: Once you’ve established an audience, however, simply posting great content no longer guarantees reach. It is estimated that only 2% to 5% of your fans will see your posts organically. Therefore, you may want to boost interaction on your page with an “Engagement Campaign” to ensure your content appears in your followers’ news feeds, as well as feeds their friends who could become new followers.
- Click to Website Campaign: You may also want to drive your audience to your website to check out specific listings, or to a landing page to sign up for your newsletter. If this is your objective, you will want to run a “Click to Website” campaign.
For a more in-depth look at Facebook advertising options, check out Karlton Utter’s guide to Getting Started with Facebook Ads.
How much should I spend?
Once you settle on an objective, you need to decide how much to spend. On the low end, we recommend spending no less than $5/day. On the high end, however, your spend is directly related to how many Page Likes, engagements, clicks, or leads you’d like to gain. Based on the data we have on advertising spend for brokerages and agencies functioning as small businesses, the following table can be used as a reference to estimate an initial spending level.
Total advertising cost on Facebook is determined by a number of variables: the action desired, the size of your target audience, your industry’s prevalence, how much you’re spending, the duration of your campaign, the time of the year your ads are running, and many others. Engagements, which refer to Likes, Comments, and Shares, are generally the least expensive to grow. Page Likes tend to cost slightly more because they imply intent and long-term affiliation. Clicks and website conversions are the most expensive and require the largest budget.
Other things to note:
- Some months will be more expensive to advertise in than others. Similar to television ads, Facebook ads that run during popular holidays and events will cost more because more advertisers are also competing for your audience. It’s important to adjust your budget and bidding accordingly to remain cost-effective with your dollars while still maintaining an appropriate spend level.
- It’s better to reach fewer, more relevant people than more people who are unsuitable but provide the cheapest Likes. When first starting out, you may be tempted to try to gain as many followers as possible in the shortest time. However, being more selective with your followers will serve you in the long-run to help grow an engaging, high-quality, and authentic community.
- Keep testing. Don’t give up if your ads may not work at first try. Facebook’s ad-serving algorithm itself is sophisticated enough to optimize its own results for improvement over time. Leave your ads running for at least 3 months and continue testing different image and copy variations to keep your content fresh and engaging. You’ll be rewarded for your patience.
- If you do find you need some help, quick marketing solutions are available; Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate’s social media partner, Lumentus Social, has easy options for social guidance and consultation in your set-up.
Facebook advertising is not as mystifying as you may think. In fact, it is one of the more transparent marketing media because the platform lets you see what you get and puts you in charge of many aspects that are normally off-limits to advertisers in traditional media. With this guide as a starting point, we hope you’ve gained the confidence to make the leap and find new ways to reach your prospective clients and grow your business.