Facebook Ads: What’s the Skinny?

by Chicago Agent

Barbara Kleban works in online marketing, social media, branding and transition for the North Shore Region of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Chicago.

One of my No. 1 hot topics in trainings right now is Facebook ads. It can seem like an elusive concept at first – how can you capitalize on the target marketing platform available through Facebook?

However, once you start to dig into social media and learn about how it can help your business, it’s pretty exciting to watch the doors of a potential market open wide.

Many other agents tell me that advertising platforms like Zillow ZIP code ads or Realtor.com featured listings are too expensive for them to consider implementing in their business. Although I’m a believer in spending money to make money, it can be frustrating to feel like the advertising world is passing you by because you don’t currently have the funds to use.

Meanwhile, the established agents just become more successful as you try to figure out creative marketing techniques with your limited budget. If this is the case, Facebook ads might be just the right avenue for you to “get in the game.” Facebook gives you the opportunity to set your own budget threshold and cap out where you feel comfortable.

How to Begin an Ad on Facebook
Begin by going to www.facebook.com/ads/create. The very first blank is ‘Destination.’ Facebook gives you the option of selecting your business page as the destination consumers will arrive at when they click on your ad OR your ‘external url,’ meaning another website of your choice, like your personal website.

Once you’ve written your title, short 90-character ad and uploaded a very small photo of your choice, you move onto my favorite part – ‘Targeting.’ You’ll notice to the right of the targeting section you have “estimated reach.” This tells you that based on the criteria you are putting in to the left, how many people Facebook has that will fit into your search criteria. This is a particularly useful and very powerful tool for those looking to farm a certain University or community organization network and reach those individuals.

The Facebook Ad Financials: Your last section in creating your ad is setting the payment structure. They ask if your budget is per day or lifetime. For most beginners looking to dip their foot in the water with Facebook Ads, I suggest starting at $50 lifetime budget with your specifications in targeting set and see how long it takes you to hit that budget. Once you’ve chosen your total budget you can then decide if you want your ad to run continuously or only at certain times of the day. (Suggestion: Looking up the highest Facebook usage times might be a good strategy.)

Lastly, you get to pricing, and this section can be confusing to some. There are two options: Pay for Impressions or Pay for Clicks. Impressions mean you are paying every time Facebook shows your ad in the newsfeed of a user. Pay for clicks is you only pay if someone actually clicks on your ads. Though more expensive, the pay for clicks is the better value.

To simplify: if you said you would pay $1 per click your lifetime budget is $50 then you get 50 hits on your website or Facebook page.  The suggested range they give you is based on what others are spending on ads in your area and therefore is the “going rate.”

Lastly, the final benefit of using Facebook ads in my opinion is the ad management reporting information. Simply put, Facebook has a phenomenal database of information available about the type of people clicking on your ad and their demographics, so that you can make adjustments in the future to the targeting and effectiveness. The reporting shares details such as age and gender and can identify common interests listed in your consumer base. Here is a link to Facebook’s guide on using the reporting system.

If you haven’t tried Facebook advertising yet, what’s stopping you? You decide the budget, you manage the targeting, you view the report data and can adjust accordingly.

For more information and facebook user guides, ‘like’ my business page or subscribe to my Youtube channel

Barbara Kleban Broker® | Online Marketing, Social Media, Personal Branding, Transition at Coldwell Banker
Direct: 847.784.7393 

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  • Lorenzo says:

    Interesting article, thanks for sharing! We’ve heard some horror stories about how low the conversion rate from Facebook ads has been. I was wondering what your opinion is comparing Facebook ads to Google AdWords.

  • Sandi says:

    Wonderful article!!
    VERY helpful and easy to follow ….
    Can’t wait to read what ‘helpful hints’ you have next…

  • Hi Lorenzo – thank you! My opinion is that Google Adwords, while sometimes more expensive, does have the added benefit of catching people ready to purchase or sell since the search is what’s targeted, and might in some markets therefore have a higher conversion rate. However, if your strategy consists of brand awareness and higher name recognition in addition to conversion, Facebook is a platform that builds that for you better over time. In addition, I believe it’s better at describing who your audience is, which in turn helps you to adjust your ads to be more effective. I might suggest, when deciding between the two, an agent do one of two things: either run FB ads for 3-6 months and keep the report pdf’s of total clicks, impressions, audience, lead calls, and lead conversions. Then run for 3-6 months Google ads with the same criteria collected in reporting and determine which was more successful for their market. Or if you have a little more budget available, run both at the same time and make it your own little contest between the two. I have heard from agents here at CB they received viable leads from both, but anecdotes are often only helpful if they are your own 🙂

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