For builders, there have been few marketing avenues as effective as Facebook—and the reason the platform has been so effective? Facebook’s advanced targeting options.
Facebook has some of the best targeting in the advertising world; you can target your ads based on age, sex, location, interests, and—the feature that’s been particularly effective for builders—whether or not those people are likely to move.
But in recent months, Facebook (and, in particular, the way Facebook uses third-party data) has come under serious scrutiny—and that scrutiny has caused them to do some major overhauls to their platform, including their ad targeting options.
And while these changes are being made in an effort to protect the privacy of Facebook user’s, it’s going to completely change the way advertisers are able to reach their audiences—and that includes builders.
Why Facebook is changing their ad platform
The changes to Facebook’s advertising platform is a direct result of the Cambridge Analytica data breach, where Facebook exposed data of 87 million Facebook users to the political consulting firm after they created a quiz app that exploited a loophole in the Facebook API, gathering data not only on Facebook users who took the quiz—but on the entire friends list of those users as well.
In response to the outrage, Facebook started looking at how third-party data was being used on the platform and announced they would be making changes to the platform to better protect users.
And one of those changes is going to have a major impact on builders.
Getting rid of the “likely to move” feature
The change to Facebook that’s going to have the biggest impact on builders? The elimination of the “likely to move” feature.
The “likely to move” feature, which analyzes third-party data to determine how likely a person is to make a move or purchase a home, has completely revolutionized the real estate industry, giving builders access to millions of Facebook users who are getting prepared to move—and allowing them to show targeted ads showcasing their properties to those users.
But on August 15, Facebook will be removing the “likely to move” feature from their platform (the rest of the “partner categories” options, which utilize data from third-party partners, will be phased out by October). Once this feature is removed, builders will no longer be able to identify and target Facebook users based on third-party data that indicates they might be ready to make a move.
Don’t panic—there are other options
Now, before you panic, take a deep breath! Is Facebook removing an effective tool for builders from the advertising platform? Yes. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other tools you can utilize to reach your target audience.
Facebook will still offer the option of targeting ads based on life events, so builders can still target based on when a user gets married or adds a child to the family—both times when people are typically looking to purchase homes. There’s also a “house-hunting” feature that allows you to target people who identify as on the market for a new home—and while it isn’t as large an audience as the “likely to move” feature offered, it’s definitely still worth exploring.
You can also target your ads based on the “custom audience” feature. With this feature, you can create highly targeted ads to specific custom audiences; so, for example, you might create a custom audience of all the people who “like” your biggest competitors and try to win their business. Or, you could create a targeted ad campaign for people who have toured your homes in the past but didn’t make a purchase and attempt to reinstate the relationship and close the sale.
The point is, there are still plenty of advertising options to help you reach your audience—and while losing the “likely to move” feature is a definite blow to builders, Facebook is still a fantastic platform to help you reach potential buyers and close sales on your home.
Next steps
Are you worried about how this change to Facebook is going to affect your ad campaigns? Get in touch with Marketshare today to find out how we can help you effectively reach your audience and drive more sales for your communities—no matter what changes Facebook decides to make.