Facebook Pixel for absolute beginners

Have you ever wondered how that pair of shoes you viewed online starts following you around on Facebook for weeks after you left the site?

The answer is Facebook Pixel. We’re going to show you why it’s a great tool for real estate agencies, and where to go to get yours set up.

Let’s assume you use Facebook for your business and have run ads on the platform. Why should you bother with the Facebook pixel?

For a start, it’s free to everyone using Facebook Business Manager. But there are three main ways the Facebook pixel can transform your marketing strategy. It can help you reach the right people, spend less money on ads, and more accurately measure your success.

So what is it, actually?

The Facebook Pixel is a piece of code generated in Business Manager for you (or your IT person) to paste into your website. Don’t worry, Facebook tells you where to put it, and can even email the instructions to the right person for you.

Imagine the pixel as though you were strapping a little tracking device to your website. That tracker then lets you and Facebook keep tabs on the people that visit your site after clicking on a Facebook ad. But it can also keep track of other visitors too, and what pages they click on.

The pixel then feeds this information back to your Facebook Business Manager account. When it’s time to advertise on Facebook, the pixe… err, your tracker, will have built a specific audience of people it thinks you should show your ads to. And voila! It’s now helping your ads reach the right people.

It can also use this information to build custom ad audiences. For example, you might want to just target people who have looked but not taken action on your website previously. Or hey, you might want to target people who have previously converted on your ads. Custom audiences mean you can target your ads far more effectively to audiences on Facebook. In both cases, the pixel is helping you identify the right people to show your ads to.

Why do I care about reaching the ‘right’ people?

Principally because you’ll spend less on ads. Whereas the agencies in no-pixel land will have to target their ads in the right direction and hope for the best (also known as the spray and pray method), you will not. By homing in on just the people who are interested in what you have to offer, you will reach fewer people. But you’ll reach the ones most likely to convert or click on your ads.

And that means Facebook will charge you less for those ads. Hooray!

Target your competitors

Facebook is constantly making predictions about who to show which posts and ads to. When you open Facebook, the first post you see in your feed is the one Facebook has determined you are most likely to ‘like’. How it reaches this decision is through a complicated calculation called the Facebook Algorithm.

The tech wizards at Facebook HQ have made some incredibly sophisticated machines that use these algorithms to continually make better predictions about who wants to see what in their feed. The more data you feed it, the more accurate it gets. And this is where a pixel adds more firepower to your marekting strategy. By giving it more intel about your web and Facebook audiences, it starts to get a clear picture of who it thinks you should advertise to.

And this also means that Facebook can look at your audiences and their find look-alikes. Who might a look-alike audience be? Oh I don’t know… maybe someone who has visited your competitor’s website. Maybe someone who has googled ‘properties for sale near [your suburb here]’. Maybe someone who is exhibiting similar consumer behaviour on Facebook to the customers and prospects you are already targeting. That’s a good way to keep the edge on your competition. This alone might make the Facebook pixel worth it for your business.

Experiment, measure, tweak, repeat

Finally, looking at the data is crucial for improving your marketing strategy. With better (and easier to read) reporting, the pixel lets you  identify which of your Facebook ads is most successful. It can also tell you how much of your web traffic is generated by social media, and thus give you a better idea of how your social strategy is going. And thirdly, it can identify how people are behaving on your website.

With the pixel, it’s easier than ever to experiment with ads, measure how they did, tweak your strategy (if needs be) and try again. And once you’ve found the formula that works for you, let those leads roll in.

Why the pixel works for real estate

There has been debate in recent times as to whether it is wise to keep showing ads to someone after they’ve visited a website. Principally, there is a rather large problem where ads are repeatedly being shown to people who have already taken the action the ads are encouraging. In other words, if you already bought the shoes, you shouldn’t keep seeing ads for that same pair of shoes.

But decisions about whether to buy or rent a house are not like buying shoes. As page visit counters well note, people visit listings repeatedly before making decisions. Decisions about real estate, in other words, take time. To make sure its your agency that gets the business, you need to stay top of mind for these people for some time. And for this kind of situation, the Facebook pixel is perfect.

How to set it up

There are numerous guides around the internet, but Hootsuite’s advertising blog, Ad Espresso, has a straight-forward guide to installing the pixel on your webpage. It’s built for people who don’t work in IT, so never fear! We would also recommend simply checking out Facebook’s step-by-step strategy in Business Manager, or its Help Centre page.

Luckily, there is no shortage of resources available to help you get started. Since we’re in the real estate business, I would recommend listening to Elite Agent’s podcast episode featuring Emma Barr of iLeads. And for any other questions we haven’t answered, we would recommend checking out Hootsuite’s comprehensive blog post on the ins and outs of using the Facebook pixel for your business.

Now email those instructions, and embrace the power of the Facebook pixel!