Advertising Real Estate On Instagram… A Must Do!

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The face of real estate advertising has changed drastically over the past few decades. The marketing mix now tilts digital, and real estate professionals must be ever-vigilant about coming up with relevant, innovative ways to reach potential clients.

Millennials – those individuals born between 1982 and 2004 – make up a large portion of the home buying population and their share is growing each year. These young adults represented 32% of the market as of 2015. At the same time, the median age of real estate agents is 57. The disconnect that is created by this age gap has caused a challenge for real estate professionals who are attempting to strengthen their target marketing to Millennials. Expanding your advertising campaign to Instagram can bridge that gap and significantly increase your business’s exposure to this increasingly important demographic.

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Instagram

This social media community was launched in 2010, and in the short span of its existence has garnered over 400 million users worldwide. The premise is simple – users can follow each other, and by doing so they can see photos and videos posted by those in their feed. If a user posts publicly rather than privately, you can see their content regardless of whether you’re a follower.

How can you, as a real estate professional – whether broker, agent, stager, or loan officer – leverage the power of this popular platform to get exposure for your business? Instagram recently made this infinitely easier. It used to be that advertising had to be purchased through personal interaction with an Instagram representative. This meant that only companies with enormous budgets could afford to market there. Fortunately, with Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram advertisers have many more options.

SIMPLE, ACCESSIBLE, TARGETED MARKETING

In November 2015 Instagram launched a public API (application program interface), which allows users to customize their experience – including purchasing ads. Now you can get your company name out there in front of a targeted audience through the use of hashtags and location-specific marketing.

Instagram offers the option of photo ads, video ads, and carousel ads (posts that allow users to flip through multiple photos). You can embed links to your website and enable users to download your mobile app. This option opens up a whole new world of possibilities – you can post your current listings (high quality collages have proven successful for a number of real estate firms), share your company’s story through visual moments (creating a personal connection with potential clients), and encourage users to click through to the valuable content on your website.

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Does it work? Ask Poshmark, the online portal for buying and selling gently used women’s fashions – they’ve seen an 85% increase in their campaign objective. Canadian firm Bench Accounting has experienced 12.5% increased click-through rates through their use of Instagram advertising. Even brands that are already prominent are seeing the benefits of reaching Millennials through Instagram – Philadelphia cream cheese alone has seen a 41% rise in sales. That’s a significant result no matter what business you’re in.

How to Advertise on Facebook and Get Results!

I hear all the time that Facebook and other social outlets are a waste of time. That advertising doesn’t work. That posts on Facebook do nothing for my business etc. I am here to prove you wrong. In this tutorial I will show you how to post an Open House Advertisement and show you the results. I spent $100 over the course of three days on this add and the results were amazing. Read on…

 

1750_Hazeltiine_Way_Open_House_addThe above screen shot of the results demonstrate how effective an ad on Facebook can be. With my $100 budget spread out over three days Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This ad reached 17,040 consumers. This means 17,040 people saw this as a post on their Facebook feed. The ad also had 1,089 actions. 1024 clicks, 7 new page likes and 48 post likes. (I also had 27 people attend the open house on Sunday and as I surveyed them, the majority saw the ad on Facebook.)

To run this ad in the local papers open house section for the weekend would cost between $150 and $300. My local papers distribution is 17,000 papers delivered daily. this includes the stacks of papers left at stores and in dispensers for sale. 17,000! The population of Fairfield is 127,000. I ran the numbers for the city of Fairfield, CA (Where I live) and according to Facebook. 80+ thousand consumers spend at least 90 minutes a day on Facebook. That’s 63,000 more potential customers than the paper delivers. That’s Amazing Results!!!

How to duplicate these results for your open house ad.

First start by having  professional photos taken of the home. (Do not use your iPhone and take a pic and upload to Facebook). The quality of the photo is a huge part of the success you will get from the post. The home should look inviting and entice consumers to visit the property.

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Professional photos are the only way to go. Stop taking your own photos of the homes you are selling. If you lived in the neighborhood would you evaluate the way an agent markets the home? Photos tell the story and demonstrate your willingness to spend money to make money.

Once you have the photo selected you head over to Facebook and post the photo with the open house description.

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Once you have uploaded the photo and written your description (inviting the consumer to your open house) You need to select “Boost Post”. You can do this after you publish the post or do it instead. either way works fine.

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You must define your audience. This is where you can target your ad to a specific area, group, demographic, etc. Click on “Edit Audience”

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Give your audience a name, in this case I defined my audience as 32 to 65 year olds, living within a 25 mile radius of Fairfield, CA. You could also get very specific and define your audience even more. In the “Interests” box you can input specific categories like “Renters”, Home Owners, etc. This way Facebook will only target those individuals who are renting or are home owners etc. It is a great tool to use if you are targeting first time buyers, or perhaps running a home value ad (search “Home Value Ads” on this site to find a similar post about how to effectively run home value ads on Facebook with success.)

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Now we need to define our budget and how many days we would like the ad to run. Here I have chosen a budget of $100.00 (You can spend more or you can spend less) and I have chosen to run the ad for three days. Our target reach is 10,000 to 27,000. Why does it say 10,000 to 27,000? As I mentioned earlier Facebook statistics tell us how many consumers are on Facebook. Although Facebook can not predict the future it knows that on any give day over the next three days we will reach a minimum of 10,000 consumers and a maximum of 27,000 with the criteria we have set. I usually get somewhere in between. And as the above ad results indicated we reached 17,040 consumers over our three-day ad period. The final step is to click “Boost”

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If you have not already set up a payment method Facebook will walk you through entering your billing information and setting up a Facebook Ads account. Facebook also has rules, terms and conditions for all advertising and you must follow specific guidelines for advertising. Facebook will review all ads prior to them posting so it may take a few minutes to an hour or so before your ad is live. Other resources of interest are Facebook For Business, Marketing On Facebook, Want to really dig deep and learn more about to effectively advertise on Facebook go here and to learn how to measure results go to Facebook Measurement Basics.

You can see real-time results as your ad runs on Facebook. It updates every minute with each click, share, like etc. Once your ad is completed you can view the results.

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A smart thing to do is to take a screen shot of your results (Cntrl + Print Screen) and then paste the copied screen shot into an email and send it to your sellers. It’s a powerful way to demonstrate that you are working for them and that marketing their home is important. It’s also a good idea to print some one sheets out that you can share with potential sellers at listing presentations to demonstrate your knowledge in social media advertising and again how this separates you from other agents.

I hope this was helpful and I hope it helps you grow your business. When it comes to Technology, RE/MAX Gold has you covered. Streamline your image with RE/MAX website templates, mobile apps, Design Center for creating marketing materials, social media integration, training and support. Every tech tool is designed to help make your business more efficient and profitable. To find out how a partnership with RE/MAX Gold could take your business to new levels visit www.joinremaxgold.com or message me below, I am happy to meet confidentially and share the many benefits a partnership brings.

Enjoy.

Changes To Facebook’s News Feed Make It Harder To Promote Your new listing

Will recent changes to FACEBOOK’s news feed policy make it harder for real estate agents to promote listings, open houses and stay in touch with their client’s?

Perhaps, according to a recent announcement from Facebook“Want to promote something on FACEBOOK? Buy an ad. That’s the logical conclusion for businesses after the social network said it will reduce the number of ‘promotional’ messages showing up in users’ information streams, known as News Feeds. Companies that previously sent advertisements from their free FACEBOOK Pages now face a harder time reaching fans.”

This means your posting for a open house this Sunday from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm will have less chance of actually showing up on your Fans News Feed after January. FACEBOOK announced a new policy designed to clean up users News Feeds last week. They wrote, “One of the main reasons people come to FACEBOOK is to see what’s happening in their News Feeds. Our goal with News Feed has always been to show people the things they want to see. That’s why we often look to people on FACEBOOK to tell us how we can improve. As part of an ongoing survey we asked hundreds of thousands of people how they feel about the content in their News Feeds. People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.

“We dug further into the data to better understand this feedback. What we discovered is that a lot of the content people see as too promotional is posts from Pages they like, rather than ads. This may seem counterintuitive but it actually makes sense: News Feed has controls for the number of ads a person sees and for the quality of those ads (based on engagement, hiding ads, etc.), but those same controls haven’t been as closely monitored for promotional Page posts. Now we’re bringing new volume and content controls for promotional posts, so people see more of what they want from Pages.

“Beginning in JANUARY 2015, people will see less of this type of content in their News Feeds. As we’ve said before, News Feed is already a competitive place – as more people and Pages are posting content, competition to appear in News Feed has increased. All of this means that Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.”

Example of a FREE Posting for a New Listing on FACEBOOKNew_listing_Posting

Above you see an example of a posting from FACEBOOK promoting a new listing. We see these kinds of posts all the time. this is advertising. And now FACEBOOK is changing how your fans will see these kinds of posts. People don’t want to be sold in their News Feed, they want to feel welcome. They crave content they relate to, content that engages them or makes them laugh. How do you use your own FACEBOOK Page? Doesn’t it annoy you seeing some agent or a small business posting nothing but sales…

We have to continue to find the balance between what’s just advertising and what’s conversation. I live by the 75% – 25% rule. I post 75% about life, fun, my hobbies, interest and activities and 25% about the business I am in. It’s okay to post and talk about the market, interesting challenges in a transaction, or for that matter even share your open house information. Just remember FACEBOOK wants you to share more personal than business. You should be safe in the 25% rule.

On the other hand, advertising on FACEBOOK is one of the most effective ways to generate business. Either through direct leads like a Home value request or a new listing or price reduction. Think about how you are going about your business now. many agents are spending $300.00 per house, per week on a newspaper “Open house” ad. ThiS is a huge expense. On FACEBOOK I can spend $60.00 and run the ad below for three days and reach 14,000 people. With this type of “Boosted” ad, FACEBOOK guarantees it will keep my post at the top of consumers News Feed’s until it has been seen by at least 5,000 consumers over the three day period. facebook_ads

This is the hard part. Many of you simply don’t know how to “Boost” your post, or create a “Pay-Per-Click” campaign for social media. Most of us are barley figuring out how to post the open house, let alone advertise it.  Take a deep breath, relax… FACEBOOK teaches us how to do this in this easy to understand video. “How to Boost a Post on FACEBOOK”

I do this daily and I generate lost of business for agents all over.  Feel free to comment and or reach out to me and let’s find a better way to communicate our success and grow our business.