As big companies and brands start moving the $80 billion they’re spending on TV commercials and print advertising over to where the eyeballs are (Facebook), ad costs are going to go up.
In fact, ad costs are already going up; according to AdStage from 2016 to 2017 Facebook ad costs increased 171 percent (CPM: the cost to reach 1,000 people).
As a local real estate agent, it’s going to become increasingly more and more expensive to reach people you don’t know (your unmets) in your community.
What changes will make the biggest impact?
There are actually several things you can do that make a massive difference in your ad costs and conversion rates.
From targeting, to message, to landing pages, you’ve got a plethora of areas that can be improved upon that will lower ad costs and increase results.
What will give you the fastest result?
It all starts with your Facebook business page.
Although there are multiple things you can do on your page that will increase your results (and lower your ad costs), let’s dive into the three key things you can do, right this minute, that will give you immediate results.
1. Carefully choose your Facebook business page name
Your Facebook business page name is a key piece of the ad puzzle. It shows on literally every single ad you run, and it’s the first thing people look at to decide if they’re going to respond to an ad positively or negatively.
Your Facebook business page name should not be (or include) your name, your brokerage name, your team name, homes for sale or real estate.
There are several reasons you don’t want your name, brokerage or team name in your page name. One of the biggest reasons is because Facebook makes it next to impossible to change your page name once you exceed 200 page likes.
Don’t put time and money into a business page that you can’t transition with you.
If you change brokerages, if your broker sells or goes bankrupt, if you get married or divorced, if you change teams — all of these require a name change if you put them in your page name. Don’t lose what you’ve invested by naming your page this way.
The second big reason is that when your page is focused on you, the consumer feels alienated and uninterested. You want to reach people you don’t know, and you don’t want them hiding your page or ignoring your page (and ads) because it’s a sales pitch.
Yes, the page name is the key in getting people to connect with you. In other words, the wrong page name lowers your conversions and increases your ad costs.
Your page name should be location specific and lifestyle focused. You want to connect on something mutual with people you don’t know — and this is how you do it.
Now, you need to realize that this is not about “stealth” pages. You need to make sure you have full disclosure in all of the places that Facebook gives you on your business page including the “Company Overview,” your “About” section and your “Story” section.
Disclose everywhere. This is not a bait-and-switch, and you don’t want to play secret agent. The whole point of your page is to connect you with people you don’t know so that you can create and build know, like and trust relationships.
In some states, you’ll need to include a text overlay on your header photo (at the bottom, clear and easy to read, but not obnoxious) with your brokerage and licensing info.
Read your state’s real estate commission rules on social media. I don’t advise doing this if it isn’t required in your state; having the disclosure right in the header photo can decrease conversions.
2. Update your Facebook business page header photo
Your header photo should not be a house or a sales pitch — ever. Remember, you’re here to connect with people you don’t know yet, and the last thing you want to do is approach them and say “hey buy a house from me.”
You also don’t want to use a collage and/or a lot of words. A huge amount of your potential customers use Facebook on their smart phones. Collages and headers with words are very hard to see on mobile, and people scroll right on past something when it doesn’t stand out in the newsfeed.
People want to connect with what they love and what they have in common with, so show them what they love about the area they live in. Give them a header photo that showcases something awesome about your area.
It should be local and distinguishable. The goal with your header photo is to connect with them on something you both mutually resonate with. Give them something that personifies your area, be it a sculpture, architecture, scenery, life in action — it doesn’t matter. Make it locally distinguishable.
3. Take a new Facebook business page profile photo
I’ll bet you think your page profile photo should be your logo or your professional head shot. I’m here to tell you something different. If you want your page to actually convert for you, if you want to leverage your page to create and build know, like and trust relationships, you must do something different.
Your page profile photo needs to be real. It needs to resonate. It needs to connect on a person-to-person level. That means it needs to be a selfie. Yes, I said a selfie.
A recent (within the past three months) picture of you that is easily recognizable and relaxed. This is about social connections, not “being in a suit to sell.”
People should be able to recognize you on the street from your page profile photo.
People should feel comfortable with you as soon as they see your profile photo. You do not want people to go into defensive mode when they see your profile photo (which is exactly where logos and “professional headshots” send people).
Logos and professional headshots prevent you from getting to the next step with people you’ve never met before. People do not want to feel like they’ll be sold to, so don’t make them feel that way.
Your goal is to create and build social connections. You want people to trust you before you even begin the connection. Remember, your page profile photo needs to be recent. Get comfortable taking selfies, and update your photo every three to four months.
Below are examples of Facebook business pages that work:
Christina Ethridge is the founder of LeadsAndLeverage.com, helping real estate agents capture, convert, and close Facebook leads.