This is a guest post by Alex Houg
Michael Houg is a Minneapolis mortgage broker. He’s my dad, too.
That’s me in the middle. We play soccer together.
And here is his Facebook ads account. This is a Facebook business page that I set up for him. It’s not his personal profile.
Only 11 ads in there, all geared toward driving awareness of his new fan page. He has only 112 fans, so we have to start with building a base of quality fans. Then we engage with them, get them into our email nurture list, and help arrange a loan when the time is right.
After all, our goal is to help homebuyers get financing.
That means connecting with folks who are just beginning to look for houses, as well as developing relationships with realtors, who will pass along folks who need financing.
So on Facebook, we’re connecting with folks early in the process. And we’ll need multiple ads to span these stages.
Let’s first connect with realtors within 25 miles of Michael.
Facebook tells us there are 7,600 of them. We are able to target people by their job titles, the organizations they are a member of, pages they like, and things in their profiles.
In this case, we’re wishing realtors and their families a Happy New Year. So we’re narrowing this down by realtors who are also parents.
It cost us $10 to send a virtual greeting card on Facebook. And we were able to reach 245 folks (less than a nickel each). On top of that, we got 6 clicks and 4 of these people became fans of the page.
Not bad, I’d say. Are you still sending out a ton of expensive postcards?
Now we’d like to get some PR attention- to warm up folks who work at the local newspaper– the Star-Tribune.
So we targeted the folks who work there, not the people who subscribe to the newspaper.
We’re being social at these early stages. So instead of saying “I will help you get financing on your new home,” we’re wishing them warmth in the crazy minus 70F weather from last week.
You can see that 27 people clicked like on that post.
We paid 44 cents per engagement– about average.
Down the line, they’ll remember Michael Houg for being human. People do business with people they like.
We also created something called a “sponsored like story” to amplify when someone becomes a fan of the page. Until Facebook takes this ad type away in early April 2014, we can continue to run this word-of-mouth ad to influence friends of our fans.
People trust what their friends are doing more than anything you might say as a business. So we want to maximize the social endorsement angle.
And the more we can get people to engage with us on Facebook, the more power these ads have.
When you create an ad to “get more page likes”, Facebook will automatically create these sponsored stories.
Shoestring social budget
In total, Mr. Houg is spending $3 a day on Facebook ads.
But that’s not much more than what you need to get started, especially as part of a long-term strategy to build your name in your market.
Once his audience on Facebook begins to grow, we will create ads to drive ongoing engagement and then conversions to the site. He is offering a free ebook to first-time home buyers on how to go about buying their homes.
Facebook’s new “business objectives” campaign flow allows you to choose the goal you have, as opposed to having to select which of the 15 ad units is best for you.
We’ll cover these campaigns next for you.