These days everyone knows how important Social Media is for real estate agent brand building. Most agents have a facebook page they post to, and every now and then someone hits that “boost” button in desperate hopes of generating some better results from the page. But if you actually evaluate that properly it doesn’t deliver results or value for the expense. It won’t generate you leads and is highly unlikely to gain you a new listing.
Now let me show you how things can work.
Ever gone searching google for something you need, and suddenly facebook shows you ads for similar items for the next few weeks? And you thought it was mind reading right? No need to wear a tinfoil hat – thats just Facebook Pixel hard at work.
So let me introduce you to what Facebook Pixel is.
It’s literally that, a hidden dot that is linked to facebook and gets installed onto a website. It tracks anyone that visits that website to see if they are logged into facebook on their browser. If they are, it logs them for later use (but does not release this information).
On it’s own this is useless. But put this to hard work in a highly engineered marketing campaign and fantastic things can be achieved. You can target those people with very specific marketing campaigns to retarget them with your services. But you can do much more than “profile” build when you do this properly.
Theres a few things needed to get you going. Obviously you need a website, and you need a facebook account with a facebook page. You need Pixel installed on your website and linked back to an “ad management” account within facebook. That starts collecting data from your website.
The next thing you need is existing traffic to your website. In fact to be specific you need at least 1000 unique page views (but ideally 10,000) that have been identified & tracked by pixel before it can start to become properly effective.
How can you get enough traffic to kick start pixel?
Good old hard work I’m sorry to say. Your website needs to have good quality content that engages people.
It needs to be properly search engine optimised (SEO) and have as many links pointing back to your site a you can.
You need your website being actively crawled by google, bing etc, and you need to rate well on the key words your target audience may search for.
You also need to post facebook, instagram & twitter links as much as possible to the content on your website pages. And that content has to be engaging enough that people want to click through to your website page.
So far this is all fairly old marketing news and this has been the backbone of web and social media marketing for almost as long as social media has existed.
From this point forward though this is where we can start to really take control of facebook ad manager and pixel technology to set up some very specific campaigns and outcomes.
The information that the pixel has collected is used to create a custom target audience and then applied to a campaign and ad set. It’s very important that this ad set be engaging and configured to achieve a specific result. Once this is done then the cost can be associated directly to specific outcomes.
That means that the money spent on this ad set doesn’t go off into facebook boost yonder, never to be seen again like you used to do it. It means that the advertising money spent is far more targeted and outcome driven. Now facebook is starting to work properly to achieve actual measured results.
Once you reach this point heres the goal; someone visits the website. Pixel identifies them. A custom Facebook ad campaign re-targets them back to your goal. The people visiting your website pages, are your most likely potential customers, but websites alone are less likely to catch them on the first time around. Pixel retargeting gets them back for a 2nd or 3rd chance to achieve the desired outcome.
Bonus points – more you can do
Now thats the basics out of the way, we can get really tricky with this tech.
We can use the pixel information to create a “lookalike” audience. This means that facebook looks at who the average person is that was captured by the pixel, and tries to match that to other people it thinks are similar. The more unique website page views tracked by the pixel the more accurate this can become.
By creating well functioning lookalike audiences and well managed campaigns and ad sets, now you can target people that were not even remotely on your radar. Potential vendors and potential buyers depending who you are targeting. You may even find vendors long before they start making calls to other local agents and before they even start looking at websites. But for that to work you also importantly need to create the environment to convert that anonymous facebook person into a lead you can follow up. You need to offer them value strong enough to enter their details into a form so that you can contact them and nurture them into a signed listing contract.
You can also upload custom user databases into a custom audience to target, or again create a lookalike audience. You can use information like open home attendees and target them with carefully manufactured campaign ad sets. At this stage I am not doing this but will begin testing in coming months.
You can target specific pages and retarget facebook users back to that page. This would be useful for marketing a listing to potential buyers. If someone views your listing page on this website, it is possible to set up a custom campaign to retarget them with more ads promoting that listing. Or if you just sold it but have another listing that is similar you could promote it to them as well. This requires some VPA though. I have tested this and found it very successful at retargeting a listing. In my testing it was not expensive either, as I found the number of visitors that looked at the listing were quite small I found it cost me less than US$5-10 per day to retarget them. Your listing would depend on how many viewers you could drive to your listing page for the pixel to log. As I say, this would not be expensive for the vendor and may be far more effective use of their VPA than a REA premiere or feature listing, and this can really set you apart from the other agents trying to get the listing.
What Pixel won’t do
Facebook page “likes” might make you all warm and fuzzy but running a pixel campaign to properly drive an outcome like lead generation, or retarget your followers with custom campaigns will not increase your facebook page likes.
In fact the ad sets won’t even appear on your facebook page or ours.
They will however appear throughout the target users facebook news feed, in facebook messenger, and depending on the ad content in Instagram or even external websites that support Facebook marketing.
Here is what’s up with this www.RE-Invest.com.au website as of July 2018
This website is running pixel and has active targeted campaign ad sets and custom lookalike audiences. This website has only been working fully with pixel collecting data for a couple of months. It is carefully search engine optimised on every blog post and page. And it is actively being searched by google etc. The Facebook custom pixel audiences are still in the learning stages so this website won’t start to come into it’s own fully for a few weeks yet, but the more content posted and shared on this website the faster that will happen.
It will also be an ongoing process to keep that engine turning over with ongoing posts, customisation and maintenance.
This website has a popup on all pages offering a free market appraisal once someone scrolls past 50% of the way down a page. That information is collected for an agent to contact them back and offer a CMA. At this stage all of my paid advertising has been focused on the Northside of Brisbane, but this could be expanded to other regions as required.
This website also has a dedicated lead generation page with it’s own custom pixel retargeting campaign.
I have been, and will continue to produce original video content and ads.
In the near future this website will be upgraded to offer 3D interactive listing tours. I expect this to go live before the end of the year.
The listing pages on this website with 3D interactive tours can be linked in your REA listings, again to engage the more people with pixel.
This website is on track to become a very effective real estate lead generation and marketing system. Its taken a lot of time and skilled work to get up and running. To get this far this website has required specialist web development, and the assistance of one of the regions top facebook pixel specialists.
It would be better to have multiple agents posting content to the same website, mutually benefiting from a more educated and accurate pixel than have all different sites at various levels of focus and success.
If that all sounds too hard, let’s work together
If you are not interested in spending the time to do it on your own, let’s work together – use your name and brand but under this site as a marketing channel.
More traffic means a more effective pixel. I’ve discovered that on my own it will take 10x longer to have enough traffic to generate enough lookalike data for facebook to be able to accurately target brand new audiences. If you run your own website and pixel you will find the same problem. So if we can collaborate we can reach that goal much faster and together.
It would be a mutually beneficial relationship. To get the most out of it you would ideally write some regular blog posts under your own name, and upload your listings to this website. Then actively share links regularly of your blog posts and listings to engage the pixel, then if you choose to; be able to promote you within your area. You retain full control and ownership over your listings and content posted, and the choice to run a targeting campaign using this pixel is entirely up to you (and would be at your cost of course).
All leads and enquiries in a proximity to you, will come exclusively to you. I have no interest in agents arguing over leads so I would not parter with anyone too close to another agent using this site.
Obviously i’m in Everton Hills (Brisbane inner north west) so i couldn’t help someone in my own core area sorry, enquiries within a proximity of here will come to me. Obviously thats the entire point for me is for me to get new listings in my core area. The rest is up for grabs, especially anywhere too far away for me to list.
If you would like to know more contact me, Mike Rooney on 0431 646 373 or MikeR@atrealty.com.au
I hope this page and information is helpful.