Did you know that you can spend 5 bucks and deliver an advertisement to your neighbors that are making over $250K per year and have an affinity for antiques and the paleo diet?
You can literally go anywhere your imagination takes you using Facebook as an advertising platform.
You better get very acquainted with Facebook and the Facebook advertising platform if you plan on selling your house. It’s relatively cheap, and very effective if you know what you’re doing.
You’ve likely run across numerous blogs that tell you to “post the house on Facebook” and ask your friends and family to spread the word. This type of serendipity sounds great in a blog post, but in the real world that hardly ever works.
Facebook can work for you but you’ve got to be willing to work at it, and spend (literally) a few bucks to target the right people. And the ad can’t look like a classified newspaper ad, either.
Why Facebook Ads Work
There are nearly 2 billion users on Facebook. There are around 7 billion people on the entire planet. That means that just about everyone with a computer or smartphone and internet access is on Facebook.
Each one of these users generates a digital footprint. The things they “like”, pages they follow and the type of content they consume all create a profile that Facebook generates and allows advertisers to leverage to create some of the most targeted ads you could ever imagine.
The biggest difference between these type of ads and “search” ads that you see at the top of Google search results is that no keywords are used to indicate what that person is interested in seeing. This means that you have to try to match what you are selling to your ideal buyer–which can include parameters for location, gender, age, interest, income and many other variables.
The strength of the Facebook platform is the depth of its targeting and the fact that you can get started with as little as $5 per day (or even less if you wanted).
The type of ads that you can use on Facebook
There are so many ways to sell on Facebook. The top options for you in your quest to sell your house are geo-targeted video, photo and event ads.
How to get started creating an ad and creative
To get started, you’ll have to create a Facebook page for your house. This only takes a few minutes.
Head over to Facebook.com and log into your personal facebook account. On the left hand column, look under the “create” section and click on “page”
I recommend setting up your page as if you were a local business. This allows you to set hours that you are open for showings, and to set an address where people can some and drive by the house.
Once you’ve got the page setup, you can start running advertisements to the page.
Before we get into the nuts and bolts of setting up an ad, we need to take some time to come up with a strategy. Simply saying “house for sale in XYZ town” isn’t going to do anything for you. This isn’t like putting an ad in the classifieds of your local paper.
You need to be thinking about one thing, and one thing only when you are trying to sell your house on Facebook. ENGAGEMENT.
And the right kind of engagement. Likes, comments, and shares from people within your geographical area. It doesn’t help if you get 1K shares and 2K likes from people in Australia if you live in Nebraska.
In order to drive local attention, we need to make sure we are setting up the ad to serve to people within a 10 mile radius of the house.
Once you’ve created your own page, you’ll notice in the same “create” section on the left hand column you can create an ad. Click on that to get started.
Facebook will load up the ad manager for you and will ask you what your objective is for you advertisement.
Since our objective is local engagement, we will choose “local awareness.”
Once you get to the “Ad Set” section you can choose the mile radius you want your ad to deliver to, as well as some demographic information and targeting. You’d be wise to raise the minimum age up to about 30 to ensure you’re not spending money to show your house to people that aren’t able to buy it.
I’d also make sure you don’t set the geographic coverage of the advertisement too wide. You’d be better off going very narrow and having everyone in that area see it, rather than going wide and results aren’t as concentrated.
The 10 mile defaults should work, but you may want to consider going even lower if you live in a densely populated city. You only want to be targeting your neighborhood and surrounding areas.
The right ratio to think about is to make it so on 5 – 10 bucks a day, it will take roughly two weeks for most of your town to be exposed to the ad.
Make sure you are keeping Instagram delivery off of the placements. Click “edit placements” and uncheck the box that says instagram. That will help keep your deliverability quality high. Be sure to name your ad set something other than the default so you don’t get confused if you end up creating a few different ads later on.
For now, call it “My House For Sale #1” or something along those lines.
The Ad Creative
Here’s where the fun begins. It’s time to create the actual ad that people will see in Facebook.
You will see a few different options for for ad creative on this screen. For your purposes, the ones we are interested in are the single image, video, and the slideshow ad.
Since you’re just getting your feet wet with Facebook ads, I’d recommend trying out either the single image or the video ad.
Sending to landing page vs. sending to your facebook page.
It might sound a lot easier to send the traffic to the facebook page you’ve just created, but that’s not ideal.
You have no control over the design on your Facebook page. On your own landing page or website, you can create an experience to direct the traffic to do what you want.
If creating your own landing page or website is too much of a daunting task for you at this stage, I’d recommend going with a video that tells the whole story and asks for an engagement right on the post itself.
Remember, the goal is to get locals to see this thing. Facebook will share your post in the organic results (non-paid) if you can get enough traction on the post itself. Focus on getting traction on the post and forget about everything else.
How To Know When Your Facebook Ad is Working
You’ll want to see a cost per engagement that is around 10 cents. Keep in mind it may take some time for your ad to start seeing some traction. Some patience will be key here. Most advertisers on Facebook have the singular goal of driving traffic from an ad to a website to get someone to buy something or give up their email.
Your ask is much lower than that. You’re simply asking people to like, share or comment on the post. That’s it. You want this to get picked up organically by Facebook in your neighborhood.
So don’t worry if your post isn’t driving a ton of site visits or interaction on the landing page or website you’ve set up for your house. Remember, it’s not about at this stage. It’s about leveraging your neighbors for maximum, relevant exposure.
When to throw in the towel
If you’re not having a ton of success with the ad, there’s probably something you need to adjust. If it looks like a classified ad it’s not going to work. Ask the viewer to get engaged right in the title or body of the post. If you’ve been going strong for a week, make some adjustments and are still not seeing a result, it might be time to pause the campaign and think about what you could be doing differently with the creative. Facebook can work for just about anybody with the right strategy.
If you are still unsure if Facebook’s geo-located ads will work for selling your house, try setting a small budget and seeing what happens over the course of two or three days. You can spend as little as $20-30 and get some valuable insights and exposure in your neighborhood.
Come up with a creative way to draw attention to the ad by inviting people to take a look at the house and make a comment about it. Most ads just ask people to “click” here and go to a website. You don’t want to do that with your ad. Drive as much engagement as possible on the ad itself, and you’ll see Facebook reward that with even more earned organic exposure.
Facebook works for just about every other industry and product on the web. Why not see if it can work for you?
Let me know in the comments if you plan on trying it out. I read and respond to every commenter and question in the comments!