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Facebook Advertising is becomingly increasingly popular with Real Estate Agents. A lot of people still do not take advantage of the biggest advantage of Facebook Ads; their targeting feature. It’s a great tool to be to leverage to boost ad performance.

So I’m going to give you a very basic introduction today to Facebook Ad Targeting. In the future I’ll provide some more in depth “How-To’s” for the more advanced users but today let’s start with a basic introduction.

On Facebook you will have to go to create an ad. When you do they are going to ask what your campaign objective is. For today we are going to simply pick “send people to your website”. When you become more advanced you will move to “Increase Conversions On your Website” but for beginners I recommend starting with just sending them to your website for now.

Once you click on send people to your website you need to submit the link of where you want to send them on your website. I do not recommend simply sending them to the home page of your website. Pick a page, or have a page built that is going to match the ad itself. By sending people to you’re homepage instead of a specific page you are going to drop the rate of people who convert into leads by a large amount.

Now you get to start targeting ads on your site. Facebook collects so much information about people its a really effective tool to target specific people. Just note that for those of us in Canada we have less targeting options than are available in the United States but the targeting here is still really strong. First thing you are going to do is target by location. Previously you could only target by cities, province, or country which made targeting specific areas hard.

In the past few months however Facebook has added the ability to either target areas by the first three characters of Postal Codes or by dropping pins on the map and choosing a radius. Let’s start by looking at Postal Code targeting.

When you are targeting by Postal Codes in bigger cities, such as Toronto, it is very useful. As you can see below, by targeting M5M it allows me to target a very specific area. If you’re a neighbourhood specialist in Toronto this becomes a great tool for spending your ad dollars to make sure it goes out to just the right people.

So if you live in an area with multiple postal codes then this tool becomes very valuable. Move out of the city where Postal Codes don’t cover as much area and some of the usefulness is lost. For example, in my hometown of Aurora the entire town is covered by the same three characters at the beginning; L4G.

So if you are trying to target a specific part of Aurora then postal code targeting is not your best tool. If you are in an area where one postal code covers a wider area than you want to target than you want to use the second location targeting option that Facebook has recently unveiled. That is the “Drop Pin” feature.

You can now click on Drop Pin on the map and then select where you want it to go.

By default Facebook will usually do your targeting with a 25 mile radius (They use imperial, not metric). If you click on where it says 25 miles you can go to custom and type in your own. So as you can see with the example above I have a 0.63 mile radius around where I dropped the pin. This allows for much more specific targeting for the neighbourhood(s) you want to target. You are able to drop multiple pins into the same map if you want to target multiple locations at once.

If you notice at the bottom of the map it says “Everyone in this location” by default. That means that anyone who has their device (be it laptop, phone, or tablet) inside that boundary can see your ad. If, for example, you are running an ad targeting sellers then you will want to click on the Everyone in this location and switch it to People who live in this location.

Now you can move on to the next step of targeting. By default Facebook will target users from 18 and up. Since most 18 year olds aren’t buying property I generally recommend raising it. What ages you target depends on your target market. If you’re targeting first time buyers you will keep it lower but if you are targeting sellers you are going to go higher because most people are in their 30s when they go to sell their home for the first time.

I will often target based on relationship status as well depending on my niche and price points. In a lot of areas in the Greater Toronto Area for example, single people will have a harder time buying anything but a condo. So I’ll target the ads to people in a relationship, engaged or married. If I was trying to target single buyers I would do a separate ad specifically tailored to single people to help them learn about the process of buying a place on their own.

You have a lot of other options for targeting as well. On the above photo you can see on the right side it says “Potential Reach: 16,000 people”, that means that there are 16,000 people who meet the criteria I’ve chosen with my ads. I generally have found that the lower that number is the more effective my ads are. I’d rather run several ads to smaller groups than one ad to larger groups. The more specific you can make your ads to an audience the better your ads should perform.

When you click on “More Demographics” one of the other great tools can be Job Titles. So if you have a major employer in your area you can now target people who work there specifically. How much better do you think your ad will perform if, for instance if you were in Oshawa, your ads would perform if you could tailor ads to people who worked at GM with a relevant ad that could hit a coord specific to people who worked there.

For beginners this is a good start for targeting. When you are looking at the meter on the ride side you should try to get that below 40,000 people you are targeting. I’ve found too that the more specific your audience the lower the cost ends up being as well so it can also save you some money too by being more specific.

Stay tuned for future posts where I’ll go more in depth on Facebook Ads and the different ways to structure them.

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