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Facebook’s targeting capabilities empower property managers to put ads in front of their ideal renters. These powers come with a catch, however, as Facebook’s audience targeting features involve hundreds of variables that marketers need to consider with each ad campaign. Still, the ability to target specific audiences has helped convince 30 percent of marketers that Facebook delivers the best ROI among advertising platforms.

Using detailed ad targeting, property management companies can narrow their audience to specific subsets of Facebook users. This target audience can be defined by a number of factors, including:

    • Ads the audience members click
    • Pages they like or engage with
    • Facebook-related activities such as the person’s device usage and travel tendencies
    • Demographic information such as gender, age, and location
    • The type of mobile device they own and their internet speed
    • Lookalike audiences for people who visit your website

Property managers can use Facebook’s targeting capabilities to display ads to an ideal target audience of renters. If you have a large budget, consider using broad targeting parameters such as a Lookalike audience; a cross-section of people who have similar interests, behaviors, and demographics as those who already follow or engage with your property’s Facebook Page, or website viewers, if you have the Facebook pixel on your website.

It’s important to avoid getting too specific with audience targeting parameters if you’re working with a large budget. Narrow targeting parameters can reduce your target audience so substantially that the same users continue to view your ad, over and over again, which is defined as ad fatigue.

Facebook users who experience ad fatigue can sometimes go so far as to remove the ad from their feed. The user can select “Hide ad,” and Facebook will prompt the user to select a reason why they removed the ad. Users experiencing ad fatigue will select, “repetition” as the reason. Considering your target audience includes your ideal renters, you never want them to grow tired of seeing your ads. There are ways to avoid giving your audience ad fatigue, and they all have to do with the relationship between your audience targeting parameters, budget and creative messaging.

Adjust your budget to avoid ad fatigue.

Your Facebook ad will be shown as many times as you pay for it to be shown. That’s why it’s vital to protect your audience from ad fatigue by budgeting according to audience size. Using a large budget on a small, specifically-targeted audience will result in that audience seeing your ad too many times.

According to SOCi’s paid social media specialists, a smaller budget — approximately $20/day — is the ideal daily spend that property management companies should utilize to reach their target audience without oversaturating them with advertisements. For a small budget like this, you can use narrow targeting parameters. If you’re going to spend over $100 per day on Facebook ads, it’s best to choose broad audience targeting parameters such as a Lookalike audience or a retargeting audience.

Be wary of audience overlap.

Modern social media advertising strategies involve A/B testing different audience targeting parameters and comparing the resulting metrics and reporting. Problems arise, however, when one person falls into multiple audience categories. It’s possible for the same person to be targeted in a Lookalike audience, a retargeting audience, and a demographic-based audience. When this happens, it results in that person being shown your ad much more often than you want. This audience overlap can result in ad fatigue.

Facebook does have a tool that shows advertisers how much their various audiences overlap. You can use that to make sure your audiences don’t overlap and identify which audiences to exclude. Excluding one audience from another means that members of one audience will be removed if they meet the requirements of your other target audiences. For instance, you can have set up a retargeting audience that excludes people who also fall into your Lookalike audience parameters.

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Target audiences based on your sales funnel.

Best practices dictate that marketers should align audience targeting with ad messaging. A retargeted audience knows about your property already — because they’ve visited your Facebook Page or website — and should receive different ads than a Lookalike audience; which contains people who may or may not be aware of your community.

Before you identify your target audiences, break your property’s advertising down into two different categories; ads with a sales call-to-action and ads with an informational message for brand awareness. A warm audience — one that is familiar with your brand — should see the ads in which you’re asking renters to “sign today.” A cold audience — people who aren’t yet familiar with your property —  should see the ads which you’re asking people to “take a virtual tour,” or “view amenities.”

Brand awareness is key for these cold audiences because while they may not be ready to sign a lease, they are deep in their search for a new apartment. Deploying brand awareness campaigns can bring your property top-of-mind, which increases the likelihood that the renter will remember your property and reach out when they are ready to sign a lease.

With Facebook’s intelligent targeting, you can quickly identify your warm audience. Facebook’s Behaviors section allows property managers to target ads to people who have already been researching competitors’ properties. These users should be shown a sales-focused ad, as the users have been identified as already being interested in making a rental decision.

All these targeting features make Facebook an effective advertising tool, but it isn’t a “set-it-and-forget-it” platform. Audience targeting parameters and the accompanying trackable metrics require constant management for every ad account in a property management portfolio. A social media advertising tool like SOCi can help you target engaged audiences, launch ad campaigns and track the success of every property’s individual or grouped campaigns — all within one platform.

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