Real estate professionals accustomed to using Facebook’s “likely to move” ads are receiving notice that the social network will be shutting down the feature in mid-August. If you’re currently using the Facebook tool, you may be searching for another avenue for customer outreach and ad targeting online.
Facebook’s “likely to move” ad platform culls data from third-party sites to identify consumers who show signs of relocating soon. Then real estate pros can target ads to these consumers. But in the fallout of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal—in which Facebook was accused of using third-party data for political leverage and other purposes—the social network has decided to sunset “likely to move” ads and other partner categories.
If you still want to use Facebook as a marketing tool, there are plenty of options to get your message in front of prospects. Andrew Fogliato, founder of Just Sell Homes Inc., recommends uploading your database to Facebook and leveraging the relationships you already have to then build new ones. You can use Facebook’s “custom audience” feature to create a list of your existing clients and target ads to that audience on Facebook, Instagram, and other sites. You can also use Facebook’s “lookalike audiences” feature to create a new audience based on common traits of one of your custom audience lists. If your database isn’t big enough to build lookalike audiences, Fogliato recommends using your website visitors (you can install a Facebook pixel on your site) or those who engage on your site.
“Facebook is constantly learning, and the more results you get, the better it understands what a lead is for you,” says Fogliato, who uses Facebook for about 90 percent of his team’s marketing. He says they keep their ad targeting minimal on Facebook because the more you restrict the audience, the harder it can be for Facebook to get a feel for your customers. He recommends limiting your target to location and age and leaving the rest up to Facebook.
Don’t forget to ensure that your targeted ads are ethical and legal. Facebook has come under scrutiny in recent months due to accusations that it’s enabling housing discrimination by allowing real estate advertisers to exclude audiences protected under the Fair Housing Act.
Nobu Hata, director of member engagement for NAR, recently shared some tips for leveraging social media in real estate, including:
Make sure you have a good website and a content strategy that feeds relevant content into your Facebook business page. You can find more tips on how content marketing can get you more leads, or you can use NAR’s REALTOR® Content Resource.
Target people who have “liked” local points of interest, such as restaurants, schools, and dog parks, and tout your local expertise with tips for home buyers, prepping a home for sale, and sharing local housing statistics.
Don’t forget to tag your sellers when you share video marketing or other collateral for their property. It will remind them that you’re working hard to sell their home. (Chicago-based brokerage @properties uses Adwerx for this.)
Market to warm leads within your social media circle by enabling customers to subscribe to your content blasts, such as upcoming open houses or home buyer and home seller updates. This is also a good way to use contact information you gather at an open house for follow-up.