facebook custom audiences

Using the Facebook pixel to create custom audiences

Imagine you could get people to raise their hands, asking for your help with their real estate needs.

And imagine if they told you what they were interested in knowing more about. So that you could share with them the right information at the right time to convert them from suspects to prospects – and prospects to clients.

When you use the Facebook pixel to create custom audiences, that’s exactly what you can do.

In the first article of this series on using the Facebook pixel to improve your real estate lead generation, you learned how to create, install and test a Facebook pixel.

If you haven’t read that article, or you haven’t created and installed your Facebook pixel, I recommend you take a moment to read that article first.

What is a custom audience?

What’s easier; converting cold traffic, people who don’t know anything about you, or converting people who are familiar with you and your services?

I think we can all agree that converting “warm” traffic is much easier.

When you use the Facebook pixel on your websites and landing pages, Facebook tracks every visitor to those pages.

The people who visited your websites, or interacted with your Facebook business page, represent warm traffic.

They already know something about you and your services.

You can then create custom audiences based on those visits.

Furthermore, you can create audiences based on how the visitors interacted with your content. For example, you can create a custom audience of people who visited the seller’s information page of your website and use that information to show them Facebook ads.

Those ads may be for a seller’s guide or a free consultation to help the homeowner get their home ready to sell.

You could also create a separate custom audience of people who visited your buyer’s services page and use ads to retarget those people with ads promoting your services for buyers, a buyer’s guide or anything else that would move them closer to becoming a client.

greg lyles

Types of custom audiences

There are numerous types of custom audiences you can create.

Some of the audiences you will want to create include;

  • Any visitor to any page of your website.
  • Traffic to a specific URL, such as your seller’s or buyer’s information page, your home search page or specific listings.
  • People who visited one page of your website, but not another.
  • People who have visited your website in the past, but not recently. This is designed to re-engage people and provide them with a new reason to visit your website.
  • People who have visited your page, or performed a specific action, such as searching for homes, a certain number of times.
  • People who have registered on your website, whether to get a free offer, to save searched home or anything else you may offer.
  • People who visit your landing pages but did not register for the free offer you were making.
  • People who register on your landing pages and are shown the “thank you” page.
  • People who engage with your Facebook business page.
  • People who watch your videos on Facebook.

The point is, you want to start building custom audiences that reflect the unique ways that people are interacting with your websites and landing pages.

The larger your audiences, the more potential clients you can remarket to with highly-targeted Facebook ads that reflect their unique interests and desire for information.

Creating a custom audience for all website traffic

To begin creating your Facebook custom audiences, go to facebook.com/ads/manager/audiences to bring up the correct page as shown below.

You will find Audiences under the Assets heading.

My advice to you is that you start creating custom audiences for as many options as you can because it will take some time to build the size of your audience, even if you don’t know exactly how you’ll use the audience just yet.

facebook custom audiences

If you have never created an audience before, you will see a screen that looks like the following, with a button to create your first custom audience.

Once you click the Create Custom Audience button, you will see a screen that looks like the following. Click the link for Website Traffic.

The first custom audience you will create is for all traffic to your website.

Choose “Anyone who visits your website” from the Website Traffic drop-down menu as shown below.

You can select to build an audience for any time duration up to 180 days.

Keep in mind that the more recently a person has visited your website, the more likely it is that you will be able to re-engage them and convert them to a lead.

If you have had the Facebook pixel installed on your site for some time, but you’ve never created a custom audience, you should check the box to “Include past website traffic”.

If you’ve just recently installed the Facebook pixel on your site, this option won’t collect past website traffic.

It is worth noting that custom audiences are dynamic, meaning the people who make up the audience are always changing. If you build an audience of people who visited your site in the last 30 days, anyone who last visited 31 days ago will drop off of the list.

I recommend that you create a separate custom audience for 30 days, 90 days and 180 days.

Choose an audience name that helps you remember who is in the audience, the time frame and how you intend to use the audience.

For example, I would name this audience, Retargeting – Website Traffic – 30 Days.

Once you have created your custom audience, Facebook will begin to track the activity to your website.

Do not be surprised if, for the first few days, you see a note in your audience list stating that the audience is too small to use for advertising purposes as shown in the image below.

It often takes Facebook a day or so to calculate the traffic if your pixel has been installed for awhile.

If you’ve just installed your Facebook pixel, it may takes days or weeks to build your audience depending on your daily website traffic.

Creating a custom audience for specific website pages

There are times when you will want to track visitors to specific pages on your website, such as your seller’s or buyer’s pages.

To create a custom audience to track visitors to a specific website page, choose “People who visit specific web pages” from the Website Traffic dropdown menu, as shown below.

The next step is to enter the URL you want to track.

Here you have two options as shown in the image below; you can either choose the “URL equals” or the “URL contains” option.

If you choose the “URL equals” you would simply copy the entire URL of the page you want to track and paste it into the field to the right of the blue box.

For example, if the URL of your seller’s page is http://janedoe.com/sellers, you would paste that entire URL.

The risk you must be aware of is that if you ever change the name of that URL, the Facebook pixel will stop tracking for this custom audience.

For example, if you change the name of the URL from http://janedoe.com/sellers to http://janedoe.com/sellers_guide, the pixel will no longer track activity to this page and your custom audience will become outdated.

If you choose the “URL contains” option, you can enter a portion of the URL, such as http://janedoe.com/sellers and if you decide later to change it to http://janedoe.com/sellers_guide, the Facebook pixel will continue to track activity on this page because the structure of the URL before http://janedoe.com/sellers did not change.

As we did in the example above where we set up a custom audience for all website traffic, you would enter a timeframe, in number of days, that you would like to track visitors to your specific pages.

I would encourage you to create a custom audience for 30, 90 and 180 days.

Then name your custom audience using a naming convention that helps you remember how you intend to use the audience, what the audience is tracking and the duration.

For example, I would name this audience, “Retargeting – People who visit seller page – 30 days.

Creating a custom audience to track people who visit some pages but not others

There are plenty of times where you would want to track people who have visited certain pages on your websites, or landing pages, but not other pages.

For example, on your seller’s page you may offer a free seller’s guide or a home valuation.

If you can identify people who visited your seller’s page, but did not take advantage of your offer, you could retarget them with Facebook ads that present the benefits of having the information you are offering and provides them with another opportunity to opt-in.

To create a custom audience of people who have visited one page, but not another, use the following steps;

First, choose Create Audience – Website Traffic – Anyone who visits your website – People visiting specific pages but not others, as shown below.

You will then see a screen that looks something like the following image below;

The first section is to identify the people who have visited your desired page.

In the “URL Contains” field, enter the URL of the page that visitors would have viewed, such as your sellers page.

Remember, you can also use the “URL equals” option and paste in the entire URL of the page you want to track. Just be sure to never change the URL on your website.

In the second section, you will identify the people who did not visit the second page, meaning they did not opt-in for an offer.

Here you would enter the URL of the page that visitors would see if they had opted in for your offer.

If you are using a service such as Leadpages, this would be the URL of the “Thank You” page that would be shown to anyone who completed the registration process.

If the visitor to your website has seen the first page, for example your seller’s page where you make an offer for a free seller’s guide, yet they did not see the second page, or your confirmation or thank you page that is only shown to those who complete the registration process, you are able to create a custom audience of people who you can retarget and offer your seller’s guide.

As before, I would encourage you to create a separate custom audience for 30, 90 and 180 days.

For naming purposes, you might use a name such as Retargeting – People who visited sellers page but didn’t opt-in – 30 Days.

Creating a custom audience of people who haven’t visited your site lately

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew who had visited your site in the past and be able to get them to come back?

By creating a custom audience based on people who have visited previously, yet haven’t been back in some specific time period, you can create ads to re-engage those past visitors, such as promoting blog posts of topics they may be interested in, promoting a new listing or sale, or an open house.

To create a custom audience of people who fit this description, start by clicking Create Audience – Custom Audience – Website Traffic – People who haven’t visited in a certain amount of time, as shown below.

You will then see a screen with the following options, as shown below.

To finish creating your custom audience, simply choose the time frame you would like to track.

In the example shown, the custom audience would reflect people who have visited the website in the last 180 days, but haven’t been back in the past 30 days.

You may want to create a custom audience for 30, 60 and 90 days and test each group with ads to see if you are able to re-engage those visitors.

Creating custom audiences based on interaction with your Facebook business page

Think of your Facebook business page as another website for your real estate business.

Your page has fans.

Your fans have friends.

All of these people may have visited your page, clicked on a link, watched a video or sent you a message.

By following the steps outlined below, you can create a custom audience based on how people engage with your Facebook business page.

First, click Create Audience – Custom Audience – Engagement on Facebook, as shown below.

You will see a screen similar to the one shown below.

At this point, you can either create an audience based on everyone who has engaged with your page, or select one of the options from the drop down menu, including;

  • Anyone who visited your page
  • People who engaged with any post or ad on your page
  • People who clicked any call-to-action button on your page
  • People who sent a message to your page, and
  • People who saved your Page or any post

In the next article in this series on using the Facebook pixel to improve your lead generation, we’ll explore some situations where you would want to use these custom audiences to move visitors to your Facebook page further along your lead generation funnel.

Conclusion

In this article, you’ve learned what Facebook custom audiences are, the types of audiences and how to create them.

I would encourage you to create a custom audience for each of the types mentioned in this article and for the recommended time frames.

In the next article, we will explore how to use Facebook custom audiences to create targeted ad campaigns and lead generation funnels using Facebook ads.