The Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal was a major political scandal in 2018 when it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica had harvested the personal data of millions of people’s Facebook profiles without their consent and used it for political purposes. The Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, went on trial before the House of Representatives and produced a massive fall in Facebook stock prices. In order to prevent similar problems from occurring in the future, Facebook has made some major changes that affect Realtors and MLO’s advertising on Facebook. At Liberty AI, we dove into researching the 2 biggest changes and the remedy to actually turn this negative situation into a competitive advantage.
Change # 1 – No More Facebook 3rd Party Data for Targeting
Over the course of 2018 changes have been made that limit the effectiveness for targeting potential clients, especially in the real estate industry. The best targeting Facebook offered was targeting people who are ‘likely to move‘. This targeting feature utilized third-party data from other vendors to predict the likelihood of someone to move and has now been removed from Facebook’s targeting options. The result is a higher CPC and lower ad relevance, which means your leads cost more. Removing this third-party data also results in leads with lower intent, which costs you more time to wade through the tire kickers.
Previously Facebook directly handled third-party data and relationships, but it doesn’t any longer, and now this responsibility falls directly on marketers’ (or real estate professional’s) shoulders. For instance, marketers who use Facebook’s Partner Categories third-party data still can, but it’s much harder. Since the data isn’t available through Facebook anymore, they will have to work out deals of their own with third-party data vendors. Good luck striking a deal with Experian. So what’s a Realtor or Mortgage Loan Officer to do?
Remedy # 1 – Use 1st Party Data
The remedy to the lack of 3rd party data is to use 1st party data. There are many advantages such as:
* Own & Control the Data
* Less Risky Regarding Privacy
* Not Restricted
At Liberty AI, we have 1st party data of over 225 million adults in the United States with an average of 2.5 devices and 2.6 email addresses. Privately, we have the largest such database. Even though we are the market leader, in 2019, we plan to have the database up to 260 million adults which would cover virtually the entire US adult population. Technology is always advancing and it’s important that you have a tech partner that can provide the necessary 1st party data needed to compete in the advertising world’s new frontier.
Change # 2 – Facebook Users Clearing Their Activity
When the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, marketers became nervous. Facebook changes, like the scandals, are particularly a concern to marketers because they can suddenly put their paid social media efforts in peril. Take this example: Facebook just made changes to its ad targeting program by giving users the ability to delete their browsing history and have more control over their privacy settings. This will negatively affect Facebook’s targeting data moving forward since some people are now clearing the data that advertiser depends on. Don’t be a Realtor or MLO that puts all your eggs in one basket (Facebook, Zillow, etc) where powerful suppliers can change terms or usage rights that could cripple the growth of your business.
Remedy # 2 – Diversify Your Digital Advertising
Facebook is still an efficient platform to connect and interact with their audiences, but we advise having more than one source of digital advertising in place to spread your risk by not depending on any one platform. These massive digital advertising companies have all the cards so there is nothing holding them back from continually raising prices. What if they double your ad cost? Triple it? You get the point.
Liberty AI can expertly guide you and provide 1st party data that tells you who is in the market to buy or sell within your service area. We not only have unmatched real estate in market data but allow for its use on any platform. For example, Facebook’s data, as good or bad as it is, only is allowed to be used on Facebook. With Liberty’s data, you are free to utilize it on any major advertising platform. Contact us today to learn more and schedule a demo.