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5 Crucial Changes in Facebook Ads for Realtors

Published on: November 17 2023 by Mike Sherrard

5 Crucial Changes in Facebook Ads for Realtors

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Background on Facebook's Special Ad Category
  3. Upcoming Changes to Special Ad Category
  4. Key Dates for Deprecation of Special Ad Audiences
  5. Reasons for Facebook's Policy Changes
  6. Shift Towards Google, YouTube, and TikTok Ads
  7. Importance of Organic Content
  8. Developing Video Skills for Broad Targeting
  9. Dialing in Your Personal Brand and Unique Value Proposition
  10. Remaining Calm and Adapting to Changes

Introduction

In this article, we will discuss the recent announcement made by Facebook regarding the removal of the Special Ad Category and Special Ad Audience. This significant change will have implications for anyone planning to run Facebook ads, particularly real estate agents. We will outline the upcoming changes, provide a background on the special ad category, and explain five essential steps to navigate these policy changes successfully.

Background on Facebook's Special Ad Category

The special ad category and special ad audience were introduced by Facebook to prevent discrimination in ads related to housing, credit, employment, social issues, elections, and politics. Advertisers were required to declare the special ad category to ensure they complied with specific rules and regulations. Failure to do so could result in rejected ads and potential account suspension. The special ad category limited targeting options to prevent discrimination based on age, gender, and location. Lookalike audiences and special ad audiences were alternative targeting options for the special ad category.

Upcoming Changes to Special Ad Category

Facebook has announced a deprecation of the special ad category and special ad audience. This change aims to address concerns raised by civil rights groups, policymakers, and regulators regarding how personalized ads are delivered, specifically in housing ads. While this policy change primarily affects the real estate industry, it also extends to employment and credit ads. Advertisers will no longer be able to create new special ad audiences, and existing ad sets using special ad audiences may be paused for delivery.

Key Dates for Deprecation of Special Ad Audiences

To effectively navigate these policy changes, it is crucial to be aware of key dates associated with the deprecation of special ad audiences. On August 25th, the ability to create new special ad audiences was no longer available. By September 13th, special ad audiences could no longer be used in new ad creation via the API. The most significant milestone occurs on October 12th, when special ad audiences will no longer be available for use in ad creation across the entire Ads Manager. Ad sets using special ad audiences may be paused for delivery, requiring updates to remove the special ad audiences to resume delivery.

Reasons for Facebook's Policy Changes

The changes to the special ad category and special ad audience stem from Facebook's settlement with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD expressed concerns about the personalization of housing ads and a broader goal of addressing discrimination in housing, employment, and credit. Facebook acknowledges that discrimination is a deep-rooted problem and is committed to broadening opportunities for marginalized communities. The deprecation of special ad audiences is part of Facebook's effort to improve fairness and inclusivity in its ad system.

Shift Towards Google, YouTube, and TikTok Ads

As Facebook's ad policies evolve, it is essential to explore alternative advertising platforms. Google, YouTube, and TikTok offer excellent opportunities for real estate agents to reach their target audience. These platforms still allow precise targeting options, such as in-market audiences, which include individuals actively searching for real estate-related services. Leveraging video content on platforms like YouTube and TikTok can yield positive results in attracting leads. Real estate agents should consider diversifying their ad spend and exploring these platforms to ensure effective lead generation.

Importance of Organic Content

In addition to paid advertising, real estate agents should focus on developing organic content to complement their marketing efforts. Platforms like Instagram Reels, YouTube, and TikTok can offer substantial organic reach without the need for ad spend. Consistent posting and engaging content can attract and retain audiences, surpassing the impressions gained from paid Facebook ads. Real estate agents should adopt a holistic approach, balancing both paid advertising and organic content creation for maximum exposure and lead generation.

Developing Video Skills for Broad Targeting

With the upcoming shift towards broad targeting, it becomes increasingly crucial for real estate agents to improve their video skills. Clear and compelling video content can captivate audiences and increase engagement. Real estate professionals should practice delivering concise and persuasive messages on camera, honing their language to drive conversions. By developing video skills, real estate agents can adapt to the limitations imposed by broad targeting and create impactful ads that resonate with their target audience.

Dialing in Your Personal Brand and Unique Value Proposition

To differentiate themselves in a competitive market, real estate agents must establish a compelling personal brand and define their unique value proposition. Agents need to identify their competitive advantages and articulate why clients should choose them over other agents. Simply stating a desire to help or work hard is insufficient. A clearly defined unique value proposition will allow agents to stand out and connect with their target audience effectively. Strategic posts and videos that highlight the agent's unique value proposition can strengthen their personal brand and attract potential clients.

Remaining Calm and Adapting to Changes

Above all, real estate agents must remain calm and adaptable amidst Facebook's policy changes. While the removal of the special ad category and special ad audience can be perceived as a challenge, it also presents an opportunity for growth and improvement. Adapting to new platforms, developing new skills, and embracing a changing advertising landscape are essential for long-term success. Rather than panicking, real estate agents should see these changes as a catalyst for personal and professional growth.

Conclusion

The removal of Facebook's special ad category and special ad audience requires real estate agents to navigate a changing advertising landscape. By understanding the upcoming changes, exploring alternative advertising platforms, focusing on organic content, developing video skills, refining personal branding, and remaining adaptable, agents can continue to generate leads and thrive in an evolving industry.

Highlights:

  • Facebook announces the removal of the special ad category and special ad audience, affecting real estate agents running Facebook ads.
  • Key dates for deprecation of special ad audiences: August 25th, September 13th, and October 12th.
  • Facebook's policy changes aim to address concerns about discrimination in personalized ads, particularly in housing, employment, and credit.
  • Real estate agents should consider shifting ad spend to platforms like Google, YouTube, and TikTok for precise targeting options and effective lead generation.
  • Developing organic content, particularly through platforms like Instagram Reels, YouTube, and TikTok, can complement paid advertising efforts and maximize reach.
  • Improving video skills is essential to adapt to broad targeting and deliver compelling messages that engage and convert audiences.
  • Establishing a strong personal brand and defining a unique value proposition is crucial for real estate agents to differentiate themselves and attract clients.
  • Remaining calm and embracing change is essential for long-term success, as real estate agents navigate Facebook's policy changes and the evolving advertising landscape.

FAQ:

Q: How will the removal of Facebook's special ad category and special ad audience affect real estate agents? A: Real estate agents who rely on Facebook ads will need to adapt their targeting strategies and explore alternative advertising platforms to compensate for the loss of specific targeting options. Emphasizing organic content creation and developing video skills will become crucial in engaging with audiences effectively. Adapting to the changes and remaining flexible will be necessary for continued success.

Q: Which platforms can real estate agents explore as alternatives to Facebook ads? A: Real estate agents can consider platforms like Google Ads, YouTube Ads, and TikTok Ads. These platforms still offer precise targeting options and can effectively reach a target audience. Leveraging video content on YouTube and TikTok can be particularly advantageous, as these platforms are currently less saturated compared to Facebook.

Q: How can real estate agents enhance their personal brand and unique value proposition? A: Real estate agents should take the time to identify their unique value proposition, which sets them apart from other agents. They should emphasize their strengths and articulate why clients should choose them over competitors. Strategic posts and videos that highlight the agent's unique value proposition can strengthen their personal brand and attract potential clients.

Q: Should real estate agents panic about these policy changes? A: No, panic is not necessary. While the changes may present initial challenges, it also offers an opportunity for growth and improvement. By adapting to the evolving landscape, exploring new platforms, developing new skills, and refining their marketing strategies, real estate agents can thrive in a changing industry. Remaining calm and adaptable is crucial for long-term success.

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