In recent years, there has been a silent revolution going on in the advertising world in the way that target audiences are reached. The methods being used by Facebook are very targeted, very successful and ideal for estate agents!
In the past, advertising by estate agents was on the television, radio and in local magazines and newspapers. The advertisements certainly raised the general profile of the estate agency – which is always a good thing to do, but only a certain portion of each audience contained the people that the estate agency was trying to target – i.e. those wanting to move house and those interested in the local property market.
Property Advertisement on Facebook
Over the past few years, Facebook has been evolving a highly sophisticated database enabling advertisers to accurately target their chosen groups. The result is that a larger group of potential customers can now be reached more accurately. This development has proved invaluable to travel companies, car dealers and estate agencies.
In January 2018, 35.4% of the UK population had a Facebook account – about 33 million users and 23 million of these users were aged 30 years or over. Bearing in mind, that the total number of over 30’s in the UK is 40 million, this means that 60% of this age group is now on Facebook.
Using Facebook, a customer profile can be drawn up by a car dealership for example, of customers who could be interested in test driving the latest luxury model. The target audience list would be prepared using customers’ location, age, profession and income as likely definition markers.
In a very different marketing scenario, a baby food company could be interested in advertising a new range of organic baby foods to a target audience that would be created using area and age of both the parent and baby, plus data about the parent’s income, shopping habits and interests would be used to draw up the target audience data.
Marketing a Property to a Target Audience
This new generation of target advertising is potentially very effective for estate agents and can be drawn up from the current customer lists by matching clients with their Facebook profiles and by tracking website traffic. The targeted audience list will probably be 1,000 – 10,000 names, but importantly, because it is a ‘targeted’ list, the advertisement will be more effective. This form of advertising is not without cost, but importantly, the money is well spent because a defined target audience is being reached.
Facebook is a great way of connecting with your audience – providing you use it well, otherwise it will not do your company any good as ‘Smash down’ explains, using Facebook for your news is similar to using a megaphone!
There is an art to using Facebook and you must respect both Facebook as a communication platform and also your audience. Bearing in mind, that most people look at Facebook briefly at the end of the day or in a spare moment, they do not want dull and boring posts, but something short sharp and witty or thought-provoking. Your posts need to be well written and personal, something that the reader can relate to or would find interesting.
Once you have caught your reader’s attention, they will be motivated to look at your website. As a rule of thumb, if you are getting 100 new likes per year, your Facebook page definitely needs improving, most companies aim at 1,000 new likes per annum.
What Estate Agents Use Facebook Advertising?
At present, around 80% of estate agents use Facebook – but most use it for their own personal social life and they are definitely missing a trick! There are a growing number of estate agencies on Facebook including Foxtons of London, Chancellors in Bracknell, Hunters and Connells – to name but a few – but many more are expected to establish themselves on the platform in 2019.
It has to be said that most estate agents are reluctant to change and it has taken some time for many to realise the benefits of having a good website that offers 360º tours of each property ‘on their books’. As one estate agency with Facebook remarked ‘why leave the success of your advertising to chance?’.
Starting a Facebook account is straightforward, but thought must go in to how you want it to be! You should not over promote your company, but carefully raise ‘brand awareness’ and direct traffic to your website.
Once you have launched on Facebook, you need to remember that most users log on every single day, so you need to be writing something most days too! This is a commitment, but should be fun and importantly it will raise the profile of your estate agency on the most successful media network ever… food for thought indeed!