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Are Facebook’s Promoted Posts Worth the Dough?

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Facebook offers businesses many marketing tools, but is its latest initiative, “promoted posts,” worth your marketing dollars?

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Marketing in real estate is all about utilizing different channels in unique ways, and it’s no mystery that Facebook is among the most tempting platforms for real estate marketing. After all, Facebook is, undoubtedly, among the most widely used advertising platforms today, with perhaps only Google generating more interest from businesses. In a recent survey by Advertising Age, 85 percent of marketers and media execs stated they use Facebook in their marketing.

However, Facebook, as of late, has been shaking up its marketing offerings behind its typical ads, and no approach has received quite the same attention as that of “promoted posts,” which involves Facebook prominently featuring your posts on the site. Are promoted posts a valid use of your marketing dollars? Here’s what we learned:

Promoted Post & Real Estate – A Match Made in Heaven?

The way promoted posts work is actually quite simple: you pay Facebook a fee, and the website agrees to display your posted content near the top of Facebook user’s news feeds; the more you pay, the longer your content will be featured.

One on Facebook’s strongest advantages as an advertising platform is its ability to subtly and organically inform users about concepts and information, and it is in that regard that promoted posts could be very beneficial to real estate agents. From new listings, to open houses, to special drawings and real estate-related events, you’d be able to promote your most important announcements to your Facebook community.

And promoted posts, as some news sites have pointed out, have already collected some noteworthy cheerleaders. The public relations firm for Reverb.com, for instance, reported that via promoted posts, Reverb quickly acquired 30,000 ‘likes’ on its Facebook page with only, as it put it, a “very modest investment.” Similarly, Adweek recently reported that Las Vegas-based MGM has generated 2.5 times more revenue from Facebook this year compared to the same time in 2012, and promoted posts were a key part of its 2013 social media strategy.

The Ambiguity of Promoted Posts

However, as big and impressive as those numbers may seem, tech journalist Erik Sherman pointed out a most important distinction regarding promoted posts – even if the promoted posts generate interest among Facebook users (particularly in the form of new ‘likes’ for your business page), that won’t necessarily translate into fresh business.

“In short,” Sherman wrote for Inc., “it is impossible to know in advance if Facebook sponsored stories will work for your business or not.”

The catch, therefore, regarding promoted posts and your real estate business, will be two-fold: first, you’ll have to track just how much interest your promoted posts generate for your brand; and two, you’ll have to evaluate how much of that interest translates to new leads for your business.

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