10 Tips for Paid Ads on Social Media

Editor’s Note: The following information is adapted from a recap of a podcast from the Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD).
With the rise in technology, clients themselves now have access to all the listings on the MLS, as well as other off-market listings. The role of a REALTOR® has expanded to be the voice of the industry, as well as a transaction manager. The competition is high online, and you can't necessarily depend on what you've been doing in the past to be effective now. You have to at least have a presence online, or it could end up being a huge detriment to your business.
Social media is where the people are, and agents need to get their social media up and running so they can stay in touch with the clients they already have.

During a recent CRD podcast, Jamie Slough and Mor Zucker, two broker associates with Kentwood Real Estate Cherry Creek in Denver, CO, who specialize in marketing luxury properties, offered the following tips on using paid ads on social media.
1. Don't be intimidated. Don't let the fact that you think you can't do something prevent you from exploring and experimenting with different technology. Many video apps are increasingly user-friendly, and you won't know what works for you until you give them a try.
2. Leverage business pages. If you're wanting to make social media part of your routine, it may be helpful to use a page manager so you don't get distracted by the social media apps. You can also create a business page for your Facebook (business.facebook.com). Facebook Ads are a big way to advertise. When you go through the business page manager, you have more control, and it also tracks and provides analytics of your marketing.
3. Do A/B testing. Do A/B testing frequently so that you can test what content or ads do and do not work with your audiences. By changing different variables, you can test what combination of efforts and technology will maximize your return.
4. Clarify your objectives. Make sure you are intentional about what it is you're trying to achieve with your ad. For Slough and Zucker, the call-to-action varies based on the goal of the post or the ad campaign—but, in everything they do, the overall goal is to direct people to their website. The post leads people to their website, where they might be prompted for further information. Directing traffic back to the website helps them track statistics and evaluate results. As an agent, your website needs to add value to your clients. Always think about the consumer and why they should come back to your website.
5. Cross-promote for maximum exposure. Zucker also has a lifestyle blog, and the crossover here is very intentional. One recommendation she has for this is to write what you know about—your expertise will show through. On the lifestyle blog, the only advertisements they use are exclusively for their real estate business. The blog is linked on their real estate website, as well, so it works as a two-way street. They defer to their clients for ideas and recommendations for the lifestyle blog. This helps to keep previous clients engaged and involved. This idea of the lifestyle blog can be translated to other outlets in the same way—maybe you have a video blog or a podcast. The crossover can be shared with any marketing outlet.
6. There is power in the pixel. One new thing Slough and Zucker are trying is Facebook Pixels. The pixel grabs data about the people that visit your website, and holds that data so later you can determine how to retarget (serve up additional ads) to them. Installing a pixel is quite simple—it's just copying and pasting one line of code.
7. Make content that is visually engaging. People are visual creatures. They come to social media to escape the boredom of their everyday lives. Make sure your ad is mostly visual; a photo with a little bit of written content is more effective than one with lots of text. People also like when other people are in your videos and your clients can relate or see themselves actually living in a home or location.
8. Authenticity is important. One of the important aspects of how Slough and Zucker use social media is in their intention. They post when it makes sense, and try to be authentic in their posts. Be careful not to mix business and personal too much. They do share some of their business posts on their personal pages, but it's very strategic. You don't want to clog your personal newsfeed with your business posts.
9. Don't go chasing waterfalls. In other words: Don't try to do everything all at once. Pace yourself and play to your strengths. In their social media journey, Slough and Zucker learned that you can't do everything well, so it's better to choose one or two avenues that you excel in and push really hard at those, and don't try to do everything.
10. Be prepared to respond promptly. Before you spend any money marketing online, make sure you are ready to respond to your clients and viewers. Systems need to be set up for the appropriate follow-up. You have to be ready to follow up with any inquiries you might get online. It's important to respond promptly, so it's a good idea to make this part of your daily schedule.
To hear the entire episode visit CRD’s podcast website.

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