Over the past few weeks we have talked a lot about using Facebook advertising to grow your real estate sales business.
We have gone over topics such as step-by-step instructions on how to set up an ad campaign, the tools and structure of an ad campaign, and all the basics that you need to know for creating your first campaign.
So what are we going to talk about today?
Hint – we are going to stay on the same general topic, but we are going to go a bit more in-depth.
Today we are going to cover a topic that may be even more important than any of the previous topics we have talked about…
We are going to talk about an extremely important tool you can use to track your Facebook marketing activities, and remarket to Facebook users who have visited your website.
What am I referring to?
The Facebook Pixel.
What is the Facebook Pixel?
If you are like most people, when you hear the term “Facebook pixel” you probably have no idea what that is.
Most people are confused when I tell them that they need to install a pixel on their website so that Facebook can track their visitors. It doesn’t make sense how a pixel, which most of us think of as an small portion of an image, can track the things that a visitor does while on our website – right?
So what exactly is a Facebook pixel?
Let’s start by looking at the technical definition from Facebook:
What does this mean for you in your real estate sales business?
It means that you can use this pixel to track the activities of Facebook users who visit your website, so that you can better target and advertise to them.
Simple as that.
How do I install it?
The first thing that you need to do is to log into Ads Manager on Facebook and go to Tools -> Pixels.
Next you will click on Actions -> View Pixel Code
Now you will copy the code so that you can insert it into your website. To do so, click on the code and right-click copy or hit control-c once the code is highlighted.
Now that you have the code, it is time to install it on your website. Depending on the type of website you have this can either be very easy, or somewhat difficult.
You will need to install the code that you copied between the <head></head> of your website.
Note: If you are using a hosted real estate website you may need to contact your website provider and have them install the pixel code for you.
Once you have inserted the Facebook pixel into this section of your website, you need to make sure that it is working.
To do this you can use the Facebook Pixel Helper. It is a free extension for Google Chrome.
Why Do I Need to Use the Facebook Pixel?
Having the Facebook pixel installed on your website allows you to do a couple of very important things.
First – it lets you build custom audience from your website traffic that you can use for remarketing.
What do I mean by remarketing?
Let’s say that you ran a Facebook ad, or really any other type of ad for that matter, with the goal of driving people to your website. Do you know what happens once those people make it there?
Hopefully you are using Google Analytics to track the movement of visitors on your website, but for most real estate agents this is the only thing that they may currently be doing.
If this is where you stop, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to capitalize on the success of the ads you are running, and hopefully increase your success even more.
Once you drive people to your website with the first ad that you run, you can use the Facebook pixel to track what they do on your site, and then create a custom audience that you can use to retarget and remarket to this group of people so that you can increase your likelihood of a conversion.
Facebook Custom Audiences
Ok so the first thing you may be asking is, “what is a Facebook custom audience?”
It is just an audience that you create based on data that is gathered through the Facebook pixel.
When a Facebook user visits your website, the pixel tracks all of their movements. This allows Facebook to know which pages they visit, and which pages they don’t visit.
There are so many great ways to use this data.
Unfortunately Facebook doesn’t just give us a list of people who made it to certain pages. Instead they allow you to create a custom audience, where the identity of the users is kept secret, but where you can directly choose to market to these people based on the actions they took while on your website.
The great thing is that you can create as many custom audiences as you want. Pretty much any audience you can think of that may be helpful in your marketing efforts can be created through the use of Facebook custom audiences.
Here are just a few audiences you may want to create:
- Users who have visited your website, but have never made it to the search registration page
- Users who have viewed a specific neighborhood page
- Users who have viewed a specific property page (use this for your listings)
- Users who visited your website in the past 180 days but have not been back in “x” amount of days (you determine the number you use for “x”)
How can this be useful in remarketing?
Let’s say that you have a new listing – 1234 Main Street – and you are running an ad campaign to get potential buyers to visit your single property page, or the page on your main site that has info about your new listing.
By having the Facebook pixel installed, Facebook will track which users click through the link in your ad and view the page that you wanted them to view. You can then go and create a website custom audience for the users who have viewed this page, and then run a second ad targeting only those people.
Why would you want to do that?
Because they have already expressed interest in the home. They are no longer “cold” leads. The hardest part of running a successful ad is targeting users who will be interested in the topic of that ad. But by running a second ad to this custom audience who has already expressed an interest in the topic of the ad, you have a far better change of getting the users to re-visit the website and ultimately take some type of action that you would like them to take.
That may be requesting a showing on that property. Or signing up for a home search of “similar homes in the area.” Or really anything else that you want to target this audience for.
If you want to go a bit more in depth on creating a custom audience, check out the Facebook for Business tutorial page.
To create a website custom audience you will go to Ads manager -> Tools -> Audiences
Next you will want to go to Create Audience -> Custom Audience
When the pop-up box appears, choose the option for website traffic.
Next, checkmark the terms and conditions box and click the “Create Audience” button.
Now you can set the criteria for the audience that you want to create.
You will see that it connects this audience to your pixel. You will have a handful of options for the type of website traffic you wan to use to create this pixel. Select the option that works best for the type of audience you are wanting to create. For example:
- Users who have not visited the search registration page -> select “visiting specific pages but not others.” You would then put your main domain as the page that they have visited, and the search registration page as the page they have not visited.
- Users who have viewed a specific neighborhood or property page -> select “People who visit specific web pages” and enter the page url for the specific neighborhood or property.
You will also need to set the amount of days for this audience. By default Facebook will include people in this audience if they have met the criteria in the past 30 days. If you would like to have a larger window of time you can go all the way up to 180 days, or anywhere in-between 30 and 180 days.
Last, you will want to enter a name for the audience that will be short but descriptive enough that you know what this audience is.
Once you are done setting your criteria, click the “Create Audience” button and Facebook will begin creating the audience for you.
The second important thing that the Facebook pixel allows you to do is track conversions.
This can be extremely powerful as it allows you to see which ads are connected with people taking the actions that you want them to take.
The ultimate goal of any ad is for the Facebook user who sees it to take the action that you are asking them to take in the ad right?
Let’s say that you run an ad telling people about a new buyers resource guide that you have created for them, and the ad has a call to action for them to download the guide. What would you consider a conversion in this case?
Them downloading the guide!
When you have the Facebook pixel installed, and create a custom conversion (you can do this in Ads Manager -> Tools -> Custom Conversions) that you attach to the ad, you can track how many people who click on your ad actually end up downloading your guide.
This can be used in so many ways.
Track how many people click on an ad and then end up signing up for a home search.
Track how many people click on an ad and then end up joining your newsletter.
Track how many people click on an add and then request a CMA on their home, or schedule a listing presentation.
And so on…
It’s Time to Start Using the Facebook Pixel
So what are you waiting for?
It only takes a few minutes to get up and running. Log into your ads manager and get your Facebook pixel code right now, and get it installed on your website.
In the next 10 minutes you can take one of the most important steps towards having more success with your Facebook ads campaigns just by doing this one simple thing.
The best part about the Facebook pixel is that it is entirely FREE. In fact, using the Facebook pixel can help you to better target and market to your audience, which could decrease the cost of your advertising efforts. It is the only free tool that Facebook offers that will help you make more money.
Don’t miss out on it.
Start using it today!