To start off with a little activity, I want you to raise your hand if you’ve ever felt victimized by Mark Zuckerberg. (Yes, actually raise it.) From the housing restrictions on ads to the lack of text allowance on ads, Facebook hasn’t had a history of being kind to the housing industry.
But figuring out how to make your ads really work on social media isn’t about being tougher than Mark, it’s about learning to think like Mark and elevating your social smarts! How can you get creative with Facebook’s AI and your own tools in order to increase conversions across social media?
Setting Up Social Ads for Success
In order to optimize your ads for conversions, you must set them up to do so by installing a Facebook pixel on the back end of your website. Your web developers can do this or it can be set up through Google Tag Manager. Without the Facebook pixel on your website, you will not be able to optimize your Facebook ads for conversions.
When you have the pixel set up on your website, you will be able to set up events on Facebook — a form submission, a PDF download, and a chat with your OSC. With these events in place, you can choose Conversions as your objective when setting up an ad in Ads Manager! Facebook’s AI will then search for people within your targeting parameters that are most likely to convert. This means they are performing the action that you have now defined in Facebook as the action you want users to take on your website vs. simply visit your page without taking action. While you may see a decrease in website visits when you optimize your ads for conversions, you will see a higher conversion rate.
When you set up your ads, it’s best to use custom UTM codes in your links so that you can see on the back end exactly which campaigns are driving quality traffic, and to separate your organic activity from your paid efforts. Using naming conventions on UTM codes will allow you to organize your ads in Google Analytics and search for specific campaign names to see how they performed.
Measuring the Success of Your Social Ads
Aside from using Facebook Analytics to measure the success of your ads, you should also turn to Google Analytics for a more in-depth look at how people coming to your website from social media are interacting once they get there. With the right reporting set up, you can even determine what other traffic sources are being influenced from your social media campaigns.
In Google Analytics, be sure not to just look at sessions, but analyze how much time people are spending on the website and how many conversions your campaigns produced. It’s wonderful to see people coming to your website, but if they’re just coming to the website and bouncing right off, a change needs to be made!
Analyzing results is also important to see where your budget needs to be allocated. As a rule of thumb, 20-25% of the traffic to your website should be from your paid social media ads. If that’s not the case, you should consider increasing your spend on social media or changing out the creative/copy or targeting.
Your Marketing Channels Work Together
When you’re analyzing what’s working and what’s not, you must look at the entire picture. When it comes to conversions, many people give all of the credit to the source that had the “last click.” But your audience has the opportunity to see you on multiple channels — so why would you only give credit to ONE source for that conversion? In soccer, one player doesn’t run up the field and score a goal by themselves; there are teammates all over the field that pass off the ball to set up the best opportunity to score. And I give you… assisted conversions in marketing!
When looking at assisted conversions and goal conversion paths in Google Analytics, you’ll see that people take various paths before converting on your website. Social media is usually the point where people discover you, but they continue coming back to your website by directly typing your name into their search bar. When they eventually convert, “direct” will get the credit, but social was the source that led them there!
In order to optimize your social media, make sure to install a Facebook pixel on the back end of your website, properly utilize data from Google Analytics, and look at the entire picture of your conversions. Once you’ve mastered the art of outsmarting Mark, your social media will direct the leads you need to drive more sales.
About the author…
Chelsey Keenan is the Social Media Director at Group Two Advertising, a full-service advertising agency for homebuilders across the country. A trained expert on Myers-Briggs personality types and a seasoned speaker on topics such as online sales and social media, Chelsey knows what it takes for builders to make real connections with buyers. Apart from overseeing and developing social media strategy for builders, Chelsey keeps up with digital innovations and trends to ensure that builders stay ahead of the curve. You may recognize Chelsey and her rose gold mic, as she was just the official NAHB Vlogger for the International Builders’ Show in 2019.