Do you use social media to advertise your properties? It’s not entirely a bad idea, but there are several reasons it might be a waste of your time.
The majority of people using social media are looking for entertainment, quick connections, and just want to see what their friends are doing. It’s highly unlikely that anyone logs into Facebook or Twitter with the intention of finding a new home to buy or rent.
Businesses that sell products with a reasonably low price point can generate an impulse buy from social media users, but real estate doesn’t work the same way. Nobody is going to buy a house on a whim. If you’re going to rent or sell properties, you’re better off using property management tools that connect you with targeted databases for leads that are ready to buy.
There’s another serious problem with advertising on social media. It’s hard to target anyone without having your ad deleted for discrimination.
Facebook is enforcing Fair Housing Act regulations
In 2017, Facebook announced tighter policies regarding housing-related posts in order to make sure listings for rentals meet Fair Housing regulations. Since then, Facebook has been removing paid ads for real estate listings that target (or exclude) specific demographics related to protected classes like age, gender, and race. Facebook has also been removing regular posts containing property listings without explanation.
Facebook doesn’t want any ads on their network to violate the Fair Housing Act, so their algorithm automatically blocks ads that exclude any audience segments. It’s not fair, and your ads could be unfairly removed, but that’s the way it works. If you’ve been watching your ads disappear, now you know why.
If you can’t post ads to Facebook, you can still post listings to your feed. However, Facebook recognizes these types of posts as advertisements even though they’re not paid ads.
While you could just switch to posting your listings for free to your followers, that’s not an effective strategy. Even if your free posts follow the rules, your friends are not likely to be your target audience.
Your social media followers probably aren’t your target market
Your Facebook or Twitter followers are not likely to be your target market. The average user will see your post about a $350,000 condo and scroll right past. Only people specifically looking for a home in that price range will view your listing. This brings us back to the problem of Facebook deleting your ads for excluding demographics to target your market. You can’t target any market without excluding audience segments. However, doing so will get your ad automatically deleted.
Instead of wasting more time with social media listings, start advertising on channels that produce targeted results. For example, join the YouTube Partner Program to advertise on popular real-estate related channels or create your own YouTube channel for your business.
Focus on marketing channels that produce targeted results
Although it’s possible to accomplish, it’s getting harder for property investors to get targeted leads on social media. If you regularly post property listings to your social media followers, are you getting renters or buyers from your efforts? Or are you just getting a lot of comments on how cool your properties look? If your posts don’t translate into real leads, stop posting to social media and invest your time and energy into better advertising channels.
If you’re going to use Facebook, use a winning formula
Despite the challenges, some investors have been able to run successful ad campaigns on Facebook. However, you need a winning formula to get around the limitations. If you can’t make paid ads work, it’s time to move on. Don’t be afraid to stop posting ads on social media and devote your entire ad budget to marketing on other channels.
If you don’t already work with an ad agency, now is the perfect time to get connected. A professional ad agency will know all the ins and outs of running real estate Facebook ads that stick, plus they’ll help you find more targeted channels for your ads.
If any of your marketing efforts aren’t generating measurable results and you can’t figure out why, hire a professional to troubleshoot. It could be the platform or it could be your ads. Either way, don’t give up until you’ve consulted with a professional marketing agency so know you’re making the right choice.