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Facebook Makes Changes to Buying Ads for Housing, Credit and Employment

October 03 2019

delta fb ad changes housing credit employmentFacebook is currently the largest social media website in the world, boasting 2.32 billion monthly users. It's safe to say that practically every social media user is on Facebook. Its popularity makes it an excellent place to advertise your real estate brand and business.

What many real estate pros don't know is that merely creating a Facebook business page and placing an occasional Facebook ad is rarely enough.

We understand the social media landscape is in constant evolution, and companies like Facebook make changes to their policies and procedures regularly. Understanding how these changes impact your marketing strategy—and more importantly, how to adapt to these changes to achieve success—is crucial. To help you understand what was changed and how they impact your business, we've created this concise guide with everything you need to know.

Recent Changes to Facebook Advertising Related to Housing

As we're sure you are aware, Facebook Ads are useful resources for targeted advertising and marketing campaigns. Although many of these ads can successfully connect real estate firms and sales associates to their ideal clientele, there were concerns that these tactics potentially violated aspects of the law.

The question raised cited that some advertisers may be discriminating (whether knowingly or unknowingly) against certain groups of people via Facebook's targeted advertisement campaign process. The real estate industry isn't alone in this potential issue. Facebook's recent changes to their advertising application's process are also impacting businesses within the credit and employment industries.

Let's take a look at why their previous process enabled companies to discriminate against a wide range of groups potentially.

As a real estate professional, you may choose to run targeted advertising in conjunction with a much larger marketing strategy—for instance, targeting single individuals or couples interested in purchasing their first home. Your ad content may be intended for potential buyers in their early to late twenties, an age in which many men and women may consider purchasing their first home. By using Facebook Ads to target that age range, your company may be unintentionally violating discrimination laws that protect people of differing ages.

Unfortunately, this is also true for sales associates who may try to advertise to select individuals within a particular socio-economic class. For example, if the average income level of a zip code is significantly higher than a neighboring zip code, any ads purposefully targeted to the former zip code may be considered an act of discrimination against the latter.

Thankfully, the social networking giant has taken steps to prevent this from happening and compromising your business' integrity. To combat any instances of discrimination, Facebook has made changes to the process in which advertisers purchase Facebook Ads. These changes will impact housing, employment, and credit companies, all of which are considered special categories within Facebook's Ad Manager. The result of these changes, and how they impact your business, are as follows.

Companies within these categories will no longer be able to target their ads by:

  • Age
  • Zip Code
  • Gender
  • Multicultural Affinity
  • Any characteristics or descriptions related to groups protected by discrimination laws.

What Do These New Changes Mean for Your Real Estate Advertising Initiatives?

How does this new process impact your advertising strategy? Facebook's changes to their Marketing Application-Programming Interface now require companies within these groups to identify that their content belongs in the Special Ads Category within the Ad Manager. Facebook automation will police this new process, with human employees also reviewing the content. If you do not select the Special Ads Category when attempting to purchase an advertisement, your ad will not be shown on Facebook.

Unfortunately, you will no longer be permitted to use the Lookalike Audiences function because it also groups together people by categories that could also lead to potential discrimination. Instead, you now have the option to use a feature called Special Ad Audience in which they can discover similar audiences based on several behavioral factors.

To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.