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Navigating the Facebook Targeting Adpocalypse:

Help for Home Builders and Developers

As the premier digital marketing agency for mature consumers and experts in helping property developers and builders connect with home buyers looking for 55+ active adult communities and other senior living options, we're always on the lookout for the latest and greatest trends for our clients. This includes not only the new and exciting changes, but also unfortunate changes that have the potential to impact sales.

In March, Facebook announced upcoming changes to ad targeting for housing, employment, and credit advertisers. These categories are already federally protected from discrimination in advertising and now Facebook is taking additional steps to further protect people from discrimination on its platforms. Sheryl Sandberg, Chief operating officer of Facebook, said "Our policies already prohibit advertisers from using our tools to discriminate. We've removed thousands of categories from targeting related to protected classes such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion. But we can do better."

The changes, which will start to take effect on August 26, 2019, will affect Facebook and Instagram advertising, and will prevent housing, employment and credit advertisers from targeting by:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • ZIP code

How will this affect our clients?
Since many of our clients are property developers, home builders, and active adult communities, they'll fall under the "housing" category and we will no longer be eligible to use Facebook's age, gender or zip code targeting options. Not to worry, though! We already have already developed alternate ways to target the ideal audiences on Facebook.

Some of these strategies include layering in additional interests available to us in the Facebook ad platform, along with location pin drops with a fifteen-mile radius. Lastly, and probably one of our favorite ways, is to use first-party data that is collected from the client which includes name, email, and phone number. We can then upload the data into Facebook and target users with specific messaging or we can create lookalike audiences off of the data to help us find better prospective leads for our clients.

How will the updates be enforced by Facebook?
When creating a new campaign, those attempting to advertise in the aforementioned categories will check a box to let Facebook know that the ads qualify under a "Special Ad Category." When advertisers check this box, the targeting options are limited to only those that are approved for those categories.

What if housing, employment and credit advertisers don't check the box?
Their ads will be disapproved. Nice try!

As a Facebook Agency Partner, we are continuing to work closely with our Facebook representative to stay on top of these changes and any impact they might have on our clients' campaigns. If these changes have affected your ability to target your ideal audience, please reach out to us! We'd love to help you increase your marketing reach and meet your sales goals.

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