Facebook Advertising for Beginners

Facebook is a powerful tool for business and, within that, for real estate. With more than a billion monthly users, who log on an average of five times per day, there’s a huge audience available to those who know how to utilize Facebook to promote their business.

Unfortunately, not all good things are free. While you can absolutely capitalize on Facebook’s benefits without spending a penny, setting aside a part of your marketing budget for Facebook advertising will increase your returns substantially.

Without further ado, here it is: Beginner Facebook Advertising for Real Estate.

First things first, what do you need to get started? In order to get the most value out of Facebook advertising, you need to have a Facebook business page. Having a Facebook business page will allow you to utilize every type of Facebook advertising, and will give you the opportunity to promote your own Facebook business page. Other than that, you don’t need much to get started.

Step One. You’re going to need to start on your personal Facebook profile. In the upper-right hand corner, there’s a small downward facing arrow. You’ll want to click on that arrow and select “Create Ads.”

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Step Two. From there, you’ll be asked to select what kind of results you want from your ad. There are really only two options here that you’ll want to consider: Clicks to Website and Page Likes. (There are other options to look at, like Page Post Engagement and Video Views, but if you’re just getting started, these are the two options that will be the most useful for you.)

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The great news with these two types of ad is that the process for setting them up is very similar.

Step Three. We’ll start with Clicks to Website. The Clicks for Website option will drive traffic to a website outside of Facebook (ex. Your personal website, a property listing, your blog, etc.) When you first select this ad type, it will ask you for the URL of the website you want to drive traffic to. All you have to do is type it into the box and you’ll be started.

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Step Four. Once you’re entered the URL you’d like the drive traffic to, the next step is to select the images you’d like to represent your ad. You can select as many images as you’d like, and Facebook will automatically rotate which image someone will see.

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Important note. Make sure you utilize the “reposition image” button on this page. Facebook will automatically resize your photos to fit their ad templates, but they might not always select the most appropriate piece of your image. This option will allow you to drag the cropped area around  your image to get the best possible placement.

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Step Five. Once you’ve chosen and repositioned the images for your advertisements, you’ll get to continue personalizing your advertisement.  First, you’ll select the Facebook business page that your advertisement will be connected to. All you have to do is drop down the box and make sure that your business page is selected. Second, you’ll choose your headline. You only have 25 characters, so it does have to be short. This is what show’s up directly underneath the image of your ad. Third, you’ll write the text. Again, you only have 90 characters. This will show up above the image of your ad, and will hopefully be what compels people to click through to your website. Fourth, you’ll choose your Call to Action button—this is the button that appears on your ad that someone can click to be brought to your website.

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Important note. There are four main types of Facebook advertisements. The Desktop Newsfeed Ad is the most common—it shows up in a person’s Newsfeed, and it will say “so-and-so (one of your friends) likes this” at the very top. The Mobile Newsfeed Ad is the same as a Desktop Newsfeed Ad, except sized specifically for Facebook’s mobile app. The Right Column Ad is an advertisement that shows up specifically on Facebook’s right side. Finally, the Partner Mobile Apps Ad is the newest type of ad, and Facebook hasn’t released much information on where this ad will show up. You can choose to remove or keep any of these ad types—in our experience each ad location has its own benefits and drawbacks, it makes sense to run all at first and then you can always scale back if something isn’t working.

Step Six. The next aspect of creating your Facebook ad is choosing your Audience. Through this feature you’ll have the opportunity to narrow down the number of people who will see your advertisements. You can do this simply by location—choosing specific states, or even as narrow as zip codes—or by more in-depth demographics like age, gender and interests. What you select in this stage will really depend on who you’re targeting and in my experience, broad is always better because you never know who might refer a friend to your page one day.

Important note. To the right of the demographic information you’ll see a section called Audience Definition—this section will tell you the potential reach of your advertisement and will adjust as you narrow your demographics. Keep an eye on this to see how certain restrictions affect your audience reach.

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Step Seven. The last piece of the advertising setup is determining your budget. You can choose you have your budget be as small or large as you’d like, but you have to agree to spend at least one dollar a day. You can run your ad continuously, meaning it will keep running until you manually stop it, or you can set a start and stop date. I would suggest, for your first ad, running it for a month at first. This will give you an opportunity to assess how your ad is performing at the end of your 30 days.

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Once you select Place Order your advertisements will be sent to Facebook for approval. They’ll typically be approved within an hour, at which point you’ll receive an email notifying you that your ads have begun running.

Now, remember the second kind of advertisement we talked about at the beginning? The Page Likes option will drive people to your Facebook business page and will give them the option to like your page right from the advertisement. To set up this ad type, you’ll want to go back to the beginning and follow Steps One and Two, then, when you get to Step Three, when you first select this ad type, it will ask you for the Facebook Page you would like to add likes to. All you have to do is type it into the box and you’ll be started.

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From there, you’ll simply follow Steps Four through Seven for creating an advertisement, it’s that simple!

Now, once you’ve created your advertisements and they’ve run for a while, you’ll be able to manage your ads and see how they’re performing. To do this, you’re going to start on your personal page, click the downward arrow in the upper right hand corner and select Manage Ads.

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From here you’ll be able to see the performance of all ads you are currently running, and you’ll also be able to see a history of past ads, once they’ve been completed. You can quickly see how many likes or clicks your ads have garnered, the total amount you’ve spend and an approximate number of users who have been reached by your advertisements.

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If you click on one of the advertising campaigns, you’ll be brought to screen that highlights a little more information, including the number of clicks on each specific day and the frequency of how often each individual saw your ad. All of these metrics are extremely helpful when determining how successful your ad campaign is or was.

12Important note. In my experience, Facebook tends to underestimate the number of new page likes or website clicks from your advertisement. With Page Likes, I believe the contributing factor is that it only officially counts Likes that come from someone clicking “like” on the advertisement itself, not from people who click through to your Page and like it from there. For us, and, as infomercials always say, “results aren’t typical,” we see an average increase in likes of 3,000% when we run ads versus when we don’t.

If you made it through this blog post, you’re well on your way to starting your Facebook Advertising journey. If you run an ad, or have run an ad, leave a comment and let us know your results, or if you have any tips and tricks from your own experience.

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