Is paid social media worth trying for estate agents?
The world is becoming a busier place, in 1970 people used to see 500 adverts per day, today it’s as many as 5000 a day. This is the battleground where businesses are competing for attention to stand out in an increasingly advertising-blind audience. So how does paid social fit into the mix and is it worth an estate advertising on these channels?
The rise in social media
Let’s focus on the biggest – Facebook, in 2010 they had 500 million users fast forward to 2017 they now have over 2 billion users. Of those users three quarters visit the app or website every day, that is serious growth and interaction. The reason they are one of the most attractive channels for advertising is that you can see how many people are seeing and interacting with the adverts. If you buy an advert in a newspaper, how many people will see it? Circulation estimates will give you an idea, but it’s hard to accurately estimate how many people actually opened that page and saw your ad.
The other factor is the broad spectrum of people you can target online. You’ve probably heard that newspaper circulations are declining but if you dig into the number you see that actually the decrease is even greater than you might have thought if you look at how different generations are (or aren’t) consuming print media. Take the audience of the main newspaper titles, 21-46% of readers are above 65 and only 17-18% are 55-64 years old. It is all weighted towards the older demographic that read newspaper media, this shows the swing to online and social media for news and information.
Different targeting options on Facebook
One of the benefits of using social media or most digital advertising channels is there are lots of targeting options. In Facebook’s case:
Choose people based on traits such as age, gender, relationship status, education, workplace, job titles and more.
Reach people in areas where you want to do business. Even create a radius around a shop to help boost footfall.
Find people based on what they’re into, such as hobbies, favourite entertainment and more.
Reach people based on their purchasing behaviours, device usage and other activities.
As you can see there are lots of options to narrow your advertisements as the more relevant it is the more cost effective the campaign becomes as there is no point advertising your services to people out of your patch, or even below the age where they are likely to be selling a property.
Select the most effective audience
Alongside the targeting options there are different audiences which can make your message even more effective. On facebook the main ones are:
Target your current contacts
With data from your CRM system or customer contact lists – such as phone numbers or email addresses.
By adding a Facebook tracking pixel to your website you target your adverts only to the people who have visited your website before.
This is based on either of the previous examples and builds an audience that matches the traits of the audience broadening that market easily and effectively.
As you can see you can be very niche with your choice of targeting audiences, the only restrictions are that you have to have a minimum audience size.
What are the costs of social advertising for an estate agent?
Obviously there is no fixed answer for this which will vary on the type of audience you are after and the competition. The more businesses who want to target the same people the cost of reaching those people rises.Despite this competition the costs are relatively low, sometimes as low as $0.05 per click, as compared with google adverts where I have not seen an advert cost lower than $0.40 in the real estate sector. Costs do vary but remember you only pay for someone visiting your website not for just having the advert.
In short the costs are very reasonable in comparison to other digital advertising so it would be wise to see how it goes with a relatively small budget.
Dipping your toes in
To just test the waters you could just target people who came to your website and are in your patch as this is a very safe audience who are aware of your brand already and you are just reminding them of your business potentially with local property market information. Unless you have a high traffic website the audience and cost will be relatively small.
Social media advertising is a great opportunity but needs to be maintained and monitored on a weekly basis, so if you have the time and a bit of extra marketing budget give it a try and see how it fits into your current marketing.