Task 1: Set Up your Facebook Business Page
Like most of Facebook’s ad offerings, News Feed Ads are associated with business pages rather than personal profiles, so you’ll need to create one of these before you can start advertising.
Part 1:Add basic details
On your Facebook profile, click the arrow button in the top right corner, then select “Create a Page.” On the next screen, you’ll see several options for your business. Select “Company, Organization or Institution,” then “Small Business.” Add a title that avoids confusion with your personal profile page, emphasizes the service you provide, and the brand you’re aligned with: “Jane Reynolds – Realtor, Keller Williams,” “Pearson Realty Group,” etc. Once you’ve chosen a name, click “Get Started” to continue.
Next, provide some details about your business, including your website address and a short description of your business and the market you serve. Then, choose a unique “vanity” web address for your Facebook page, taking care to make it as short and as readable as possible. Choose carefully: this URL can only be changed once.
Finally, add a high resolution photo or image. If you’re an agent, use a headshot in professional attire against a neutral background. If you’re building a page for your entire brokerage, consider using your company logo or name instead.
Part 2:Complete your profile
Once you’ve entered the basics, you can fill in your profile with more details that will improve your search visibility and offer visitors more insight on your business.
- Address & Contact Info: Enter your phone number, email, website URL, and office address. This will make it easy for visitors to get in touch.
- Long Description: Use this section to expand on you short description and explain to Facebook visitors why you’re the real estate professional they should work with. Consider your strengths and think about what sets you apart from every other Realtor in your area.
- Mission: Briefly outline your goals and demonstrate your commitment to delivering superior service.
- Cover Photo: This is the header image that extends the width of your Facebook page. Be sure to adjust your images to fit the space provided (851×315 pixels), otherwise your photo may get cut off. Visit the Facebook Help Center for a full guide to image formatting and dimensions.
Part 3:Invite followers
The last step in setting up your Facebook business page is to invite people to like and follow you. Clicking the “Build Audience” tab in the top right corner of your page, then select “Invite Friends.” This will pull up a list of all your existing Facebook friends, whom you can invite to like and follow your page. You can also refine your list to include friends from your city, or from a particular network, such as your university.
If you don’t have many Facebook friends yet, or want to reach out to people you know outside of Facebook, you can also share your page with contacts from other services, including email accounts like Gmail and Outlook, email marketing services like Mailchimp, or CRMs like Constant Contact. Simply select the tools you use, then enter your credentials and follow the instructions.
Bonus[Infographic] Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Social Media Marketing
New to social media? Use this infographic to create great optimized real estate bios and beautiful profile banners, develop a plan for engaging with influencers and fans, and learn what types of content actually work to get users’ attention.
Task 2: Create Your Facebook Ad Campaign
Once you’ve established a Facebook business page with a solid foundation of followers, you can begin using your page to advertise your business and drive leads to your real estate website. Facebook’s ad system operates at three levels:
- Campaign: Your overall ad project, this defines your advertising objective (promote your page, send people to your website, etc.).
- Ad Set: A group of ads targeted toward a specific audience.
- Ad: An individual ad, including an image, headline, and description crafted specifically to appeal to your target audience.
Let’s start by creating a campaign.
Part 1:Choose your campaign objective
To begin, head to your Facebook profile and click the arrow button in the top right corner of the screen, then select “Create Ads.”
You’ll see several options for campaign objectives. In this case, we’ll opt for “Increase conversions on your website,” which uses News Feed Ads to drive users to a landing page on your site, then tracks whether they convert to leads.
Enter the URL of the page on your website you want users to “land” on when they click your ad. (We’ll talk more about landing pages later), then select the type of conversion you want to measure. Since you’re targeting buyers with your Facebook ads, you probably want to capture your visitors’ contact information so that you can follow up with them via email or phone. In other words, you’re looking for leads. Select “Leads” from the menu, then click “Create Pixel” to continue.
Part 2:Install conversion pixel
To monitor user behavior off its site, Facebook uses a “conversion pixel.” This is a snippet of code that’s triggered when your visitors perform a desired action: signing up for a newsletter, creating an account, downloading a piece of content, etc.
After clicking “Create Pixel,” you’ll likely receive this message: “Your ad will not be optimized for conversions because your conversion-tracking pixel isn’t verified.” Before you can properly track conversions for visitors from Facebook ads, you need to insert this pixel into your website. To do this yourself, select “I can add the pixel to my website.” This will reveal a window containing a long string of code — your pixel. Copy this text, then paste it between <head> and </head> in the code of the page on your site you want to track.
Remember: you’re tracking whether your visitors have performed an action, not whether they’ve seen your page. Because of this, you should insert your pixel not on your landing page, but rather on the “Thank You” or “Success” page that appears after they’ve submitted their contact details. Once you’ve inserted your pixel, you can test it simply by navigating to the corresponding web page.
If you have a site administrator that works on your site for you, select the option marked “Someone else will add the pixel to my website” to send your pixel code snippet via email. If you choose, you can also skip the pixel verification step and proceed to defining your ad set targeting.
See Facebook’s Help Center for more information on conversion tracking and optimization.
BonusTracking multiple conversions and in-page events
Once you’ve installed the basic conversion pixel code in your site, you can modify it to extend your pixel’s functionality. For instance, you can use your pixel to track not only a successful lead capture, but also how long that lead spends on your page. If you use a lead capture solution that doesn’t lead to a separate page (for example, a pop-up window that allows users to submit their details without leaving), you can also use your conversion pixel to track in-page events like button clicks.
Since these functions require editing your pixel’s code, you should probably leave this step to your site administrator or other web professional. See Facebook’s developer article on conversion pixels for full instructions.
Part 4:Define ad set targeting options
To maximize your results, your Facebook ads should target a carefully defined set of users whose characteristics correspond to the consumers you serve (or hope to serve). Facebook allows you to filter your audience in a variety of ways in order to limit your ads’ exposure only to those users most likely to click and convert.
To start, enter your zip code or city into the “Location” field. If your market extends to multiple cities or towns in your area, you may choose to set a radius of 10, 25, 50, or a custom range around a central location. You can also further refine your audience according to their relationship to your area. For instance, you can limit your ad reach to people who live in your area, and exclude those who are only visiting.
Next, you can refine your targeting according to age, gender, and language. These options are useful for niche audiences. Do you specialize in senior living communities? Try targeting users over 55. Do you serve a specific ethnic population? Try targeting a specific language.
If you want to get even more specific, you can use the “More Demographics” menu to narrow your audience according to several categories. Some examples include:
- Relationship: Limit your ads to married Facebook users.
- Financial: Target users with a certain income or net worth threshold.
- Home: Limit your ads to homeowners, people in apartments, empty nesters, etc.
- Parents: Target users with children.
Part 5:Interests and behavior
In the next two targeting sections, you can continue to refine your audience according to their interests and behavior on Facebook. This includes profile details, liked and followed pages and posts, purchase behaviors or intents, device usage, and more. Here are some examples.
- Family and relationships: reach potential buyers looking to upgrade to a larger home by targeting interests like “Marriage,” “Motherhood,” and “Parenting.”
- Business and industry: find users who are already searching for real estate information by targeting the “Real Estate” interest category.
- Financial: Use the “Investments” behavior category to find users interested in investing in real estate.
- Residential profiles: Target users who are “Likely to move,” or who have recently borrowed from a mortgage lender to purchase a home.
To the right of the targeting menus, you’ll a see an Audience Definition dial that estimates the strength of your target audience. Too broad, and you’re likely to blow your budget on a lot of clicks from unqualified leads. Too specific (red), and you may not get any clicks at all. As you set your targeting options, aim for an audience on the lower end of the green range.
Part 6:Set your ad budget
Finally, it’s time to set your budget and spending options. Like most other online ad platforms, Facebook ads work on an auction system, which means you’re competing with other advertisers for the chance to serve your ad to target users. To maximize your return on investment, you need to decide how much you’re willing to commit, and how Facebook should allocate your funds. Facebook offers two options for setting your budget.
- Daily Budget: Set the maximum amount you’ll pay to show your ads each day.
- Lifetime Budget: Set the maximum amount you’ll spend over a longer period, which you can set using the start and end time fields provided. (You can also set a specific start and end date for an ad set with a daily budget.)
Next, you can use the Advanced Options section to determine how you want Facebook to spend your money. For instance, you can optimize your ads according to clicks, paying each time someone clicks your ads. You can also optimize by impressions, paying for every thousand unique views of your ad. Since you’re interested in using Facebook ads to generate leads, we’ll stick with the first option.
Finally, under “Pricing,” you can decide how you want to set your bids for ad auctions. By default, Facebook will set your bids automatically, optimizing to help you reach your objective. If you want more control, however, you can check the second option and set the maximum amount you’re willing to pay per click.
Task 3: Compose Your Ads
Now that you’ve defined your audience, it’s time for the creative work of crafting the images and copy that will make up your ad. A visually appealing ad that speaks to buyers with a clear, focused, and actionable message will make all the difference between a campaign that generates leads, and one that doesn’t.
Here’s an example of a Facebook ad for buyer leads:
Facebook offers four basic formats for ads:
- Desktop News Feed
- Mobile News Feed
- Right Column
- Audience Network
While the Ads Manager allows you to create and deploy all four ad types at once, margin ads have a fairly low conversion rate, and it’s best to separate your mobile and desktop efforts. For now, we’ll be focusing solely on Desktop News Feed ads, so be sure to click “Remove” next the other ad formats.
Part 1:Facebook ad ideas for buyers
As with any online ad, the key to a successful Facebook News Feed ad for home buyers is to offer people real, specific value that gives them enough incentive them to leave Facebook. Here are some ideas.
- New Listings. Since you’re specifically targeting buyers in your area, it makes sense to advertise newly available listings from your inventory. Choose a great exterior or interior photo of your property, highlight its best qualities in your copy, and link your ad directly to your listings details page. For best results, be sure to cater your listing choices to the audience you’ve decided to target, and vice versa. If you want to advertise condos, for instance, try limiting your ad set to people currently living in apartments or condos.
- Featured listings. If you’re not interested in creating and adjusting ads for every new listing, you can also entice buyers with photos of your most beautiful and distinctive listings, then direct them to a listings search results page. Again, be sure to calibrate your ad, targeting options, and landing page to a specific audience.
- Neighborhood or city guides. Whether they’re from out of town or just looking for a little added insight, many buyers start by researching information about the area they’re interested in moving to. Write a blog post or ebook detailing the history, businesses, attractions, and other noteworthy features of each neighborhood or city you serve, then promote this content in your ads.
- Market conditions and news. Before they dive into the home search, many people want to know what’s going on in their market, and whether the conditions (interest rates, property values, etc.) are favorable to buyers. With the data and expertise at your disposal, you can write and promote blog posts breaking down the local stats, trends, and developments.
- Buyer tips. Selling a home can be confusing and daunting, particularly for first-timers. Many sellers go online to find out more about the process. With an informative blog post or downloadable ebook about the ins and outs of buying a home, you can create value and show sellers that you speak their language. If you already have a blog, check your traffic and find out which posts are most popular with readers, then advertise those.
While it has long been a popular venue for sharing images, Facebook is more visual than ever. To engage your audience, you’ll need a vivid, high-quality image that illustrates both the value of your offer and the professionalism of your business. While Facebook allows you to search Shutterstock’s selection of stock photos, you’ll get more attention and better results by making your own custom images. (If the landing page you’ve chosen for your ad already contains an image you want to use, the Facebook Ad Manager will automatically retrieve that image from the link you provided.)
Facebook offers two options for News Feed Ads: single image, and multi-image. Since this is our first ad, we’ll keep things simple and focus on one image.
There are a variety of image-editing applications you can use to create your Facebook ad images. Alternatively, you might consider hiring a graphic designer to design your ads for you. While this may lead to higher up-front costs, a higher-quality ad will give you a better return on your advertising investment in the long run.
Here are a few guidelines and suggestions for crafting the visual elements of your News Feed ads.
- Sizing: When it comes to sizing, Facebook recommends that News Feed ad images be uploaded at 1200 x 628 pixels (a 1.9 to 1 ratio), though your actual ad will be smaller in the wild. If you select an image that doesn’t meet these dimensions, it may end up cropped or blurry.
- Text: Since you’ll have the opportunity to incorporate text in other parts of your ad, Facebook’s policy states that your ad image may not include more than 20 percent text. If you’re concerned about the amount of text in your image, you can test it using Facebook’s Grid Tool.
- Style and colors: If possible, your ads should reinforce the creative elements of your existing brand presence, including colors, shapes, and font styles. That said, your ads also need to draw your audience’s attention away from the rest of the content on their News Feeds, so you should avoid using Facebook’s blue, white, and gray color palette. Instead, opt for vivid, eye-catching colors. Above all, make sure everything is easy to see and read.
- Content: What you feature in your Facebook ad image depends on the specific value you’re offering customers. If, for instance, you’re advertising a blog post about buying a home with a pool, then you may want to include a beautiful photo of a pool from one of your listings. If you’re advertising a local market update, try a colorful graph of recent sales trends. Whatever you use, make sure your image sends a crystal-clear message about your offer, so that viewers can see the value of your post without even reading the headline.
See Facebook’s support article for more ad image specifications.
Part 3:Facebook ad copy
Once you’ve created an attractive ad image that’s optimized to fit your value proposition, you can supplement your message to users by adding copy.
- Headline (25 characters): The title of your ad. Briefly describe the offer you’re making (“Buyer’s Guide to Seattle”) or the need your ad addresses (“Beautiful Seattle Homes”). Use clear, direct, actionable language, and include the name of the town or city you’re targeting.
- Text (90 characters): The standard Facebook post body text that appears above the box with your ad image and title. This is where you’ll expand on your ad’s value. For instance, if you’re advertising a guide for first-time buyers, your text might read: “Find your perfect home at the right price with this expert guide.”
- Call-to-action button: This indicates the action you want users to take when they see your ad. Facebook offers several options for CTA button text. What you choose depends on the value your ad is promising. If you’re advertising an ebook or other piece of content, “Download” would be a fitting choice. Otherwise, “Learn More” is the most versatile and appropriate choice here.
- News Feed link description (200 characters): Located in the “Advanced Options” menu, your link description is an opportunity to offer even more detail about your offer.If you’re advertising a blog post, you might consider using this section to tease the first few sentences. Otherwise, explain further what users stand to gain. For example: “Seattle’s best selection of luxury condos. Find your dream home today!”
For more advice on designing and composing your ads, check out Facebook’s guide: Design ads that work on Facebook with these 10 tips.
One of the best ways to pique home buyers’ interest is to show them a range of the properties you have to offer. With multi-image News Feed ads, you can add up to five listings (or five photos of one listing) to your ad to create an engaging and interactive experience.
To create a multi-image ad, select “Multiple images in one ad.” In the section below, add the text that will appear above your slideshow of images (“Check out some of our best new listings!”). Then, in the “Images and Links” section, add a photo of each listing you want to advertise. Note that for multi-image ads, Facebook recommends an image size of 600 x 600 pixels instead of the usual 1200 x 628.
In addition to its own image, each slide in your ad receives its own headline, description, and destination URL. That means that each image can lead to its own landing page — in this case, a property details page.
Remember: if you plan to use multiple landing pages for your ad, you may need to install your conversion pixel in multiple places in order to accurately track visitors to these different pages.
For more information on creating News Feed ads with multiple images, see Facebook’s multi-product ads page.
Part 5:Publish your ad
Once your ad’s image and copy are finalized to your liking, you’re ready to publish your ad to Facebook’s network and start getting clicks.
To see a summary of your campaign, click “Review Order.” From here, you can either edit your campaign details, or click “Place Order” to submit your ad for approval. Facebook Ads are usually reviewed within 24 hours, though it may take up to 2-3 days. If your ad isn’t approved, you’ll receive a message detailing any issues. (See Facebook’s Help Center for examples of acceptable and unacceptable ads.) Once your ad is approved, your ads will go live to your target audience.
Keep in mind that unless you meet the targeting requirements you’ve set for your ad audience, you won’t see your ad running on Facebook. If you want to view or edit your ad going forward, return to the Ads Manager.
Task 4: Optimize for Clicks and Leads
The Facebook advertising process doesn’t stop when your first ad goes live. To ensure you’re maximizing your budget and earning both clicks and conversions, you’ll need to optimize your landing pages and track and adjust your ad campaign settings, as well as the ads themselves.
Part 1:Landing pages
While your homepage is a fine introduction to your business, people who click on your ads are looking for something more specific. That is, these people want answers to the questions that got them to notice your ad in the first place. If they can’t find them when they reach your website, they’ll simply leave. Instead, you should be using targeted landing pages with content and lead capture forms that are tailored to each campaign.
There are a variety of techniques for creating ad landing pages. Some tools allow you to build landing pages on the fly that automatically adapt based on the ad users have clicked. However, these are quite complex to implement. A simpler, but still powerful, option is to create a custom landing page for each campaign.
For instance, let’s say you want to target one of your campaigns to people looking for advice on moving to your area, and another to people who are actively searching for a home. For the first campaign, you could create a landing page on your site with an ebook description, asking visitors to provide their email in exchange for the download link. For the second campaign, you could direct Facebook users to a property details page for one of your listings, with a contact form they can fill out for more information.
Here are a few more tips for building great landing pages:
- Invest in a great website. A real estate website that’s ugly, outdated, or not mobile friendly won’t win converts. Before you spend money on advertising, make sure you have a professional-quality real estate website with IDX search and a mobile-friendly design.
- Don’t bait-and-switch. Don’t promise anything you and your business can’t deliver: make sure your landing pages contain content about services and results you can actually offer your leads.
- Include a lead capture form. Converting leads is about building relationships, and the first step to building a relationship is getting a visitor’s contact information via a lead capture form. Be sure to place your form “above the fold,” so that visitors don’t have to scroll down to see it. Don’t ask for too much: Stick with a simple form that asks for basic details like name, email, and phone number. Remember to add your conversion pixel so you can track these transactions.
- Provide a clear call to action. The goal of any landing page is to convince your visitors to perform a specific action: sign up, log in, fill out, download, call, etc. When building your landing pages, make sure that your call to action is simple, concrete, and prominently displayed. (For more on how to craft an effective call to action, check out our Academy post: Calls to Action That Generate Real Estate Leads.)
- Create value for visitors. If you really want leads to create an account on your website or provide their contact details, try giving them something valuable in return: an email newsletter with your best real estate tips, for instance. Not only will leads leave your site with something tangible, they’ll have proof of the expertise that only you can offer.
For more insight on landing pages, check out our guide at the Academy: 12 Real Estate Website Lead Conversion Tips and Tricks.
Part 2:Fostering audience engagement
Remember, your ad is not just a static image with a link and some: it’s also a Facebook post, which means your viewers can like, share, and comment on it just like any other post in their News Feed. By encouraging users to engage with your ad, you can increase your reach and make others more willing to indulge their curiosity.
- Always respond to comments. Show commenters that you care and you’re listening. Whether it’s with a thoughtful response or just a like, respond to every post. If you need more time to answer a question, let them know that you’ll get back to them as soon as you can. To find out about comments right away, make sure you’ve enabled email notifications.
- Be timely. Because your ads are also posts, you should treat them as such by responding to comments quickly. Wait too long to answer, and your followers may get distracted by the next post or ad and move on—or, worse, assume you don’t care about what they have to say.
- Don’t delete negative comments. Sooner or later, every business receives a critical post or comment from a dissatisfied customer or prospect. While you may be tempted to contain the damage by removing a negative comment from your ad, this will only tell viewers that you’re not willing to listen to your audience and make things right. Instead, acknowledge the commenter’s feelings and provide your contact information to continue the conversation offline.
- Keep the conversation going. If you’re fortunate enough to have people commenting on your ads, you should try to get as much mileage from them as possible. Ask follow up questions and tag commenters’ names to ensure they receive your response. Even negative comments offer an opportunity to hear suggestions for improving your ad or linked content.
Part 3:Track results with Ads Reporting
Once your ads are underway, you can view reports on their performance from the Ads Manager. Simply click the menu arrow in the top right corner of your Facebook page and select “Manage Ads” to see a dashboard with stats on campaigns, ad sets, and individual ads. You can also filter your results according to date range, as well as status (Active, Scheduled, In Review, etc.) Your Facebook Ad Reporting dashboard tracks various key metrics at each level, including:
- Results: The number of website conversions you’ve earned.
- Cost: The estimated average cost of each conversion, based on the number of clicks your ads have received.
- Reach: How many people saw your ad.
- Spent Today: How much you’ve paid for a campaign’s placements that day.
- Total Spent: How much you’ve spent over your campaign or ad’s lifetime.
- Frequency: The average number of times an ad was shown to each person.
To see more detail on any campaign or ad, including graphs of performance over time, simply select it from the list provided. You should monitor your Ads Reporting dashboard regularly to see which of your ads are producing results, and which are not. If, for instance, your ad is getting very few clicks, or you’re paying a substantial amount for very few conversions, you should consider editing or discontinuing an ad or campaign. To turn a campaign or ad on and off, simply click the blue toggle switch next to its name.
See Facebook’s support page for more information on using Ads Reporting to monitor your campaign performance.
Part 4:Testing and refining your ads
As you continue to fine-tune your Facebook ad campaigns, you can begin to do testing to improve lead engagement and conversion. For best results, you should always create multiple ad variations within your campaigns. This gives you multiple chances to find the ad recipe that will resonate most with your viewers.
To create a second ad in your Facebook campaign, simply upload a second image on the ad creation wizard (each image creates a separate ad with the same copy), or click “Create Ads” in the top right corner menu and select your existing campaign. For optimal insight, try creating ad versions with slightly different headlines, colors, or layouts, as well as ads with completely new images and text. By tracking which version gets the most clicks, you’ll hone your design approach and gain a better understanding of the message your prospects want to see.
For more information and resources for advertising on Facebook, see the Facebook Ads Guide.