Facebook is finally starting to tell us how lenders and banks will get more business from the platform in the future.
They’ve made big changes to ad targeting, and also began pivoting from public to private communications, which will eventually make it easier for banks and lenders to do business on the social media platform.
This is great news for banks and lenders. Let’s explore what’s going on so you don’t get left behind as Facebook resets the tone on digital marketing yet again.
Facebook has finally acknowledged that totally open ad targeting doesn’t comply with the Federal housing regulations, so it’s creating a new service allowing users to: “Search for and view all current housing ads in the U.S., regardless of whether the ads are shown to you.”
This means we can soon expect a Zillow-like portal within Facebook with home listings as well as advertising from real estate brokerages, banks, and lenders.
A new platform like this will give lenders a broad reach while being compliant. Also, it’s important to note that Facebook has removed anti-discriminators targeting functionality from its existing ad offerings, which also keeps you compliant.
Stress on Privacy
Even bigger than this forthcoming new portal is Facebook’s pivot from public to private communications.
The social media giant’s vision is to redo their entire messenger platform (across Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram) to ensure no one can read communications between you and your customer, not even Facebook.
As this plan matures, it’ll eventually give banks and lenders the comfort to engage more fully on through this platform rather than just trying to convert a Facebook engagement over to their own platform for nurturing.
The early nurturing can happen directly in Facebook, where 1.5 billion customers spend time every day.
Build Your Brand
Don’t forget Facebook is not just about lead generation and conversion.
It’s also about building brand awareness and trust with customers so you can engage them when the moment is right.
Think of Facebook as a digital version of hanging out at an open house. People aren’t necessarily there to meet a lender, but they’re happy to jump into a conversation a lender might be having about a listing or a financial topic.
Today you can still post and jump into conversations about these topics – whether you’re a loan officer, executive or corporate marketing team. This kind of social media engagement 101 is a must, and it’s a great way to build your brand for free.
If you want to invest some budget into your brand building on Facebook, focus on education-centric content. Publish reports on the current state of housing or interest rate markets. But do it in a way that humanizes your brand. Again, think of Facebook as a digital version of a face-to-face loan consultation. Be natural, even when educating someone on market dynamics.
This builds trust, builds a brand, and also nurtures them toward your own platform where you can then guide them along their homebuying journey.
Facebook on Your Radar
There’s no shortage of negative Facebook headlines this year. But they made $56 billion in revenue last year, and 1.52 billion people hang out there daily.
Numbers this big mean they will remain the biggest force in digital marketing, and headlines about Facebook’s challenges will actually speed up their plans to create a private communications platform in the next year or two.
In the meantime, don’t forget: Facebook’s news feed is an increasingly powerful tool for you to engage and build trust through over time.
The more visible your brand is on Facebook, the more likely you can engage the moment when those customers need you to help them on their journey.