Changes to Facebook Ad Targeting: How does it affect Real Estate Agents

Changes to Facebook Ad Targeting

A larger number or real estate agents have utilized Facebook as part of their day to day marketing over the past several years. This has been due to the ability to reach a target audience very easily through their ad targeting.

However, a recent announcement about Facebook ad targeting being discriminatory has changed the way their ad targeting will work for housing, employment, and credit ads.

Why the change?

The first part of this which is important to understand is why this change is happening. For several years Facebook has been fighting accusations and lawsuits regarding discrimination being enabled through their ad targeting. The most recent of these was an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) alleging that Facebook allowed job ads to discriminate against women.

Due to this, Facebook has made an agreement to build a designated portal for advertisers to create housing, employment, and credit ads; which will not allow the ability to target users by age, gender, zip code, or other categories covered by anti-discrimination law. Additionally, they will also build a tool for anyone to view any housing ad anywhere in the US, regardless of who is targeted for or where they live. Other ad changes will include:

  • Anyone who wants to run housing, employment or credit ads will no longer be allowed to target by age, gender or zip code.
  • Advertisers offering housing, employment and credit opportunities will have a much smaller set of targeting categories to use in their campaigns overall. …
  • We’re building a tool so you can search for and view all current housing ads in the US targeted to different places across the country, regardless of whether the ads are shown to you.

How this affects Real Estate Agents

This means that agents will need to deal with broader targeting for ads. Instead of being able to target specific zip codes, an area with a radius of at least 15 miles from the center of a city or any address will need to be selected.

Facebook HEC ads will also no longer be able to specify targets based on the following discriminatory characteristics:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Religion
  • Family status
  • Disability
  • Multicultural affinity
  • Sexual orientation

Lookalike Audience Tool

The Lookalike Audience tool will also not allow you to consider any of the characteristics or targeting tactics that have been excluded. All of these changes will be reflected in the new portal Facebook is creating, which will ensure the new limits are applied to Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger ads.

What can you do?

The first thing that can be done is to increase your ads. If you are concerned about losing exposure with these changes, there are 3 ways you can increase your ads to draw more attention.

  • Use Video: Most marketing experts back video as the most compelling content out there. In fact, videos shared on social media get 1200% more views than the combined efforts of text and images.
  • Get Shared: Strong content that provides value or interest will help you get more shares and visibility. To make the most use of your ads/posts make sure they trigger emotion, offer valuable advice, and contain an engaging headline to attract attention.
  • Try New Tools: Use Local Expert to target in-market buyers with ads on realtor.com. You can then re-target the same buyers on their Facebook news feed.