Tag : facebook

post image

Options for Finding Commercial Bidders & Buyers

Almost every month, an auctioneer asks me to target their auction’s advertising to the owners of a specific kind of business. Last week, a client tasked me with finding owners of dealerships that sold used farm equipment but not new farm equipment. In the past, my customers have requested people who own wineries, bed & breakfasts, golf courses, warehouses, or medical research facilities.

I get asked for these lists, but I don’t oblige. More accurately: I can’t oblige. I buy dozens of lists every year for clients, but I’ve never purchased a business owners list across my two decades as a virtual marketing assistant. 

When any of us purchases a list of businesses from a list broker, the best we can do is procure the highest-known employee from public records at companies that register under specific SIC codes. So, first, that kind of company has to have its own SIC code to target it. Second, that employee may or may not be the owner, and that employee may or may not be the decision maker for purchasing new equipment or new real estate. Also, that employee may or may not be the one who sorts through the mail, depending on the size of the business.

Another option would be to buy a membership list, where available, from one of the target industry’s trade associations. But again, these folks may or may not be the business owners or the people who open the mail.

B2B Auction Advertising kitchen

For many auctioneers, these next-best options are close enough. For personal property and equipment campaigns, we can upload a purchased list to Facebook and have them anonymously replicate the people on that list that Facebook can match to its users. Up until August of 2022, we could do that for real estate, too. As part of its compliance with HUD anti-discrimination, Facebook no longer allows us to use lookalike audiences for real estate. We can still use purchased lists, but now we have to buy much bigger lists which turn out not to be anywhere near as efficient as lookalike audiences.

It is possible to buy a list of commercial real estate owners in a zip code or in a radius from an address, but that list would include all business types. You can also mail to all business addresses in a mail route using the USPS’ Every Door Direct Mail (EEDM) program, which doesn’t require the purchase of a list. Again, though, that mailing can’t be sorted by business type or SIC code; and you must mail to all business addresses on the postal route to mail to any business on that route.

B2B Auction Advertising kitchen industrial production

So, if we’re trying to reach end users in similar businesses, what can we do?

First, I would ask if you need to reach business owners. Are they actually your most likely buyer(s)? Just because someone owns one golf course or rural airport doesn’t mean they’d be interested in buying another. They might own a crane company, but they might prefer to buy only new cranes or late-model cranes from a place with a service department. You get the idea.

Facebook allows us to target personal property and equipment ads to people in specific industries, in certain occupations, and with any of a number of executive titles. They even have audience categories for small business owners, founders, and similar designations. My clients and I have found that a surprising amount of business liquidation assets and other commercial equipment goes to the scavenger/reseller community, which is very inexpensive to reach on Facebook. In fact, that audience typically outperforms ads targeting professionals in targeted end-user categories.

For real estate, we all know that most properties—even many special-use properties—are bought by local investors. It’s easy and cheap to saturate a local area on Facebook. Even under Facebook’s months-old real estate restrictions, I’ve found that general public ads for real estate even work well out of state. Surprisingly well, actually. 

You can create a lot of buzz with huge signs, press releases, and even neighborhood mailings. For special-use real estate, press releases to applicable trade associations can put blood in the water. (My client’s auction of seventeen gas stations made the news page of a national convenience store association within 24 hours of their press release submission.) You’ll have a better chance of publication if you write the headline and other copy about the assets, the uniqueness of the situation, and/or the distress behind the sale instead of about the auction.

While you’re searching online for such potential associations, Google companies in that field to find mailing addresses, phone numbers, and even emails of people for direct correspondence. You can also search for commercial connections on LinkedIn—where you can still create real estate ads from purchased lists and lookalikes of the people on those lists. Just know that you need much longer campaigns on LinkedIn to get exposure similar to what you can create with Facebook, direct mail, email, etc.—because people visit the site & app far less frequently than other social media and definitely their physical & electronic mailboxes.

This isn’t a popular piece of advice, but I also recommend taking auctions only in your wheelhouse and referring the specialty items to the auctioneers who’ve built followings in those niche spaces. A joint venture with a specialist inside or outside the auction industry would be another option. Above all, I highly suggest that you explore what marketing options are available on any new asset type or buyer base before you sign that sales contract. What you don’t want to do is promise the seller a solution or an audience that isn’t available for you to deliver.


Images purchased from iStockPhoto.com

post image

“Why Can’t I See My Facebook Ads?”

This blog post, like most I’ve written over the past few years, is a response to a question I get asked often. So far in 2022, I’ve worked for 65 companies; and 16 are companies that tried my services for the first time. The question that spawned this article comes primarily from those new clients.

I actually get the question in three forms:

  1. “Why don’t the ads you created show on my business’ Facebook page?”
  2. “Why can’t I see the Facebook ads you created when I’m on Facebook?”
  3. “Why can’t my seller see my Facebook ads when they’re on Facebook?”

The answer to the first question is the easiest to answer. Unless a client requests me to build a photo album or video post on their Facebook page, I don’t. Facebook doesn’t give much organic (free) distribution of page posts. Promoted posts can be optimized only to those who Facebook’s algorithm knows are likely to like, share, or comment on that post. Neither boosted nor promoted posts can be optimized to distribute to those most likely to click on links and go to my client’s website. Since I’m paid to drive traffic to auctions and find bidders, posts are inefficient vehicles for accomplishing what I’m hired to do. And as you can see in the diagram below, it’s harder to click to a client’s website from a post than from an ad.

Facebook Ads vs Posts Ryan George

In contrast, ads can be optimized for those likely to go to your website. But ads only show in the various feeds of the Meta platform: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and the Audience Network (Facebook ads on news and entertainment sites—similar to the Google display network). So, the way to see an ad is to be one of the people we’re targeting with the ads.

As with all Meta ads, if a prospect in our targeted audience doesn’t like, comment, share, or click the link in the ads they see, eventually the algorithm determines they’re not interested and moves the ads in front of other viewers. So if you see one of your auction ads in the wild, make sure to engage with it in some way to teach the algorithm to show you them more often.

Another way to see your ads more often is to install a free Facebook tracking pixel on your website. As you post your auctions and review the content on your website, you’ll automatically be included in any audience that targets people who’ve been on your site. That said, being included in an audience doesn’t guarantee you’ll see the ad in question. Facebook rarely saturates an entire audience with ads, because it knows not everyone in that audience will be interested. It doesn’t waste advertisers’ dollars by forcing the issue. (That’s why your cost per click will generally go down the larger the audience is.) Meta’s algorithms are trained by thousands of each user’s online interactions to know what they’ll click on and what they won’t.

For all of these reasons, while I’m building Facebook ads, I screen capture them for my clients to save for their records and/or seller presentations. I see maybe 5% of the ads I create in my own Meta platform feeds. So, I can’t rely on encountering them in the wild. But I don’t worry that Facebook isn’t running them or showing them to the wrong people. I’ve got Facebook’s real-time data reporting that details distribution metrics; and my clients and I can verify enough of that data in Google Analytics to know it’s reliable self-reporting.

There’s mystery, nuance, and uneven results in most, if not all, Facebook advertising. But the same has been true of newspaper advertising for decades. It’s been the case for email marketing since SPAM filters were invented. You can’t know in advance how many and exactly who is seeing TV ads or hearing radio ads, either. We can’t know in advance how many people will see our road signs—let alone if the right drivers will. We don’t know how many people will open an envelope or brochure from a mailbox, either. At least Facebook ads come with live tracking.

I can’t tell an auctioneer why their seller can’t see our ads. What I can tell them is that their seller can see their results.


Stock image purchased from iStockPhoto.com

post image

230: The Real Estate Shots That Get the Most Clicks on Facebook

Three years ago, I went fishing for the first time in my adult life. My buddies wanted to introduce me to fly fishing. So, we booked a weekend of guided fishing in drift boats. On the first day, I caught more fish than anyone and netted all four types of trout known to inhabit the rivers of Paradise Valley. Meanwhile, the experienced fly fishermen in the boat with the other guide couldn’t match my beginner’s luck. They groused later that their guide didn’t adapt his bait to the conditions as our guide did.

The next morning proved their assertion correct. We surrendered our guide to the other boat and got a new one, who happened to be a solid guide too. We caught enough fish to stay engaged with the river, but the boat with our former guide absolutely smoked us. My brother-in-law caught 16 fish, including the full Yellowstone Grand Slam.

The guide from our first day and their second day could look at the grass on the banks and tell when to switch lures. An hour later, he knew to switch to something bigger or smaller—and where to cast to take advantage of that adjustment. He knew the insect shapes and sizes that accompany specific weather and seasons. He’d drifted the rivers of southern Montana so long that the cracks in his weathered skin seemed like maps of the watershed in which he worked.

real estate imagery Ryan George underwater

I’m no river sage, but I’ve spent almost $2 million on Facebook advertising. Thousands of auctions into this livelihood, I’ve tried all different kinds of lures while fishing for bidders. Thanks to gracious and patient clients, I’ve been able to test different headlines, different imagery, and different ad delivery formats. One thing I’ve discovered is that prospective real estate buyers don’t respond equally to the various types of visuals in your ads. In fact, there seem to be defined strata in terms of efficiency of results. 

From my experience here are the four types of imagery from worst cost per click to best.

#4 Video

I don’t know if video performs so poorly for my clients’ ads because of the production quality of the video, because the videos typically don’t follow Facebook’s recommendations for video ads, or because of something else. But video ads typically have a cost per click multiple times that of photo-based ads. They’re usually not even close.

#3 Aerial

Generally, my clients use aerials when they don’t have ground shots of the subject property or when winter snow hides valuable details. Sometimes, they use aerials because the properties are in dire need of—well—redevelopment. I can’t tell you why aerials perform worse than the next two options, but my guess is that the detail that makes aerial imagery valuable is mostly lost at the scale in which it’s seen on our newsfeeds.

#2 Drone Shot

It makes sense that images from drones outperform aerials because they’re usually captured closer to the subject property. Also, they put the property in context with an oblique view. Property lines pop with a more dimensional perspective, and the height of capture makes the surrounding scenery look more beautiful thanks to that horizon line. If a property is close to a beach, a lake, a commercial area, or other landmarks, a drone shot shows proximity you don’t have to mention in the ad’s restricted text space.

#1 Eye-Level Photo

Humans are accustomed to seeing properties at eye level. We also want a close-up view—especially within the tight confines of a social media ad. Buyers want to know as much what they’re in for before they click that link. That doesn’t mean the photos need to be boring MLS inventory shots. Show that sweeping view from the porch or along the fence line. Take the photo from the top floor of that commercial building or the top of the grain elevator. Snap a field picture through the windshield of the combine or from the deer stand. Take a picture from a canoe looking back at the lake house or at sunset with all of the lights on. There are lots of ways—even with our phones—to take interesting images that will capture attention. But even the mundane standard photos will typically outperform aerials, videos, and even drone shots.

It’s good to try new lures. I recommend it, actually—as long as you’re testing it and measuring it against your baselines. The differences between properties can make it tough for an auctioneer or REALTOR® to get enough apples to compare with other apples. From the scale of my time on the Facebook river, though, I can highly recommend your imagery tackle box holds more eye-level and drone phots than other lures.

post image

229: Facebook’s Current Real Estate Targeting Options

In July of 2019, Facebook changed targeting options for real estate, employment, and financial product advertising to comply with federal anti-discrimination policies. (It has since added political advertising to the list of Special Ad Categories.) While that shift removed some valuable demographic and interest categories from our toolbox, the remaining options prove robust enough for the vast majority of auction properties I’ve advertised since then. Here’s a list of targeting options still available for sponsored ads and promoted posts.

Local Residents

Most real estate is purchased by local residents, and this audience does the heavy lifting—and often gets the lowest cost per click—on most of my real estate campaigns. Because targeting a small area or a specific zip code could be discriminatory, Facebook’s minimum radius for all real estate ads is currently 15 miles. We cannot target counties, and the maximum radius for all Facebook ads is 50 miles. Facebook does allow adding additional radii, but I typically don’t recommend that for this specific audience.

Current Visitors

This is a great option for vacation and recreation properties, particularly during seasons when visitors are likely. The most likely non-local people who would buy a property as an end-user or an investor are those who’ve at least visited the area. The minimum radius for the area visited is also 15 miles. 

Recent Visitors

If you missed a holiday weekend, opening day, or other critical high-traffic time, Facebook will allow you to target those who recently visited the area in question. The minimum radius for the area visited is 15 miles.

Website Traffic

If you have a Facebook Business Manager pixel installed on your website, you can serve ads and posts to people who visited your website for up to 180 days prior. You can narrow that source traffic to those who stayed on your site for a designated length of time, those who visited a specific page (like a similar property), and those who performed specific actions on that site. In order to generate a larger group from which to generate lookalikes, I usually leave this option as just those who visited the auction and/or catalog page. 

Third-party platforms like BidSpotter and Proxibid do not allow pixel installation, and I’ve only seen HiBid allow them in a couple of situations. In my experience, BidWrangler and MarkNet Alliance are the platforms that make adding a pixel easy.

Facebook Interactors

This option has more subcategories than the others shown so far. Just one of the submenus is shown below. Basically, you can target people who interacted with your Facebook content. Rather than getting in the weeds on some of these options, I generally use only one of two options: (1) “Everyone who engaged with your page” and (2) “People who engaged with any post or ad.” For my clients who don’t have a Facebook Business Manager pixel installed on their site, I use this audience as a proxy for website traffic.

Customer Lists

Facebook allows you to accept the indemnity for targeting by uploading customer lists to their black box for distribution. That list can be past buyers, past bidders, past sellers, direct mail recipients, and email subscribers. These lists comprise “warm” prospects: those familiar or at least acquainted at one time with your brand. The lists must have all pieces of information in separate columns (first name, last name, city, state, email address, etc.). The more columns of information in the CSV file, (1) the easier it is for Facebook to match the list with its database and (2) the smaller the list it needs to build an audience. We can’t know in advance how many records it will take for Facebook to find its minimum number of matches, but we can always upload a list to find out. Generally, it takes several hundred records for them to find the minimum number of matches. 

Purchased Lists

Using the customer list loophole, you can upload any list you purchase. For real estate auctions, you can purchase at least four types of lists. First, you can buy a consumer list based on demographics like income, net worth, home value, and even a few interest categories (like equestrian enthusiasts and those with hunting licenses). Second, you can buy business records with highest-ranking known employee based on an industry’s SIC code. Phone numbers and emails are often available for an extra fee and help with the match rate. Third, you can buy lists of landowners, sorted by contiguous acres owned and whether they live on that land or not. Consumers cost less per piece than businesses, which cost well less than landowners. At my list broker, the minimum list costs are $100, $100, and $250, respectively for these lists. Fourth, I’ve also had clients purchase lists of members from a state or national trade association. Those are typically more expensive, where available.

It’s important to know that neither you nor I can purchase a list of investors. We can query based on income, net worth, or acres owned but not on whether someone is a known real estate investor. We can query real estate investment trusts, property management firms, and real estate development corporations but not individuals who do this work. In fact, we can’t target anyone based on profession (like farmer or developer)—only the highest-known employees at companies from our selected designated SIC codes. I don’t recommend buying farm lists based on SIC codes. (1) Most farmers want to buy properties within 15 miles, and (2) a landowners list provides a more accurate data set.

Special Ad Audiences

If you’d like Facebook to replicate your web traffic, Facebook interactors, customer list, or purchased list, you’ll need to use the Special Ad Audience tool in Ads Manager. The process for creating this is identical to creating a Lookalike Audience for ads that aren’t designated for a Special Ad Category.

Which and how many of these audiences I recommend depends on the asset category, budget, and data resources at my client’s disposal. (I don’t give recommendations for what client budgets should be, by the way. I just anonymously show what my other clients have spent and achieved on their campaigns of similar assets.) 

Across almost $2 million of Facebook ads, I’ve seen sponsored ads outperform posts more than 99% of the time in getting people off Facebook to client websites. I’ve also found that photo ads outperform video ads, especially when using Ad Manager’s Dynamic Content tool. Facebook data shows that (1) more than 80% of video ads are played on mute and (2) ads with videos need to communicate their hook within the first 7 seconds. In fact, Facebook recommends that videos in ads be 15 seconds or shorter. 

If any or all of this seems confusing or overwhelming, you aren’t alone in that sentiment. Thankfully, you know a guy who creates almost 500 Facebook campaigns a year; and I’d be happy to take the complicated work of advertising real estate on Facebook off your hands.

Stock photo purchased from iStockPhoto.com

post image

A Facebook Tool You Probably Didn’t Know You Have

For more than a year now, Facebook has quietly allowed advertisers to link their Facebook and Mail Chimp accounts. With this connection, you can target ads and posts to the people Facebook can match from your Mail Chimp lists and to the demographic lookalikes of those matches. As people sign up for your auction alerts through your website, your Mail Chimp audience grows; but so can your Facebook audience—automatically. Not only does this give you the opportunity for extra advertising impressions with your email subscribers, it allows your Facebook lookalikes audience to grow more and more accurate. If you’ve ever wished you could grow your email list faster, this Facebook-Mail Chimp partnership is the next best thing. 

And maybe even better.

One thing Facebook ads don’t have to worry about is a junk filter. And ads reveal the entire visual presentation of your content at once without hoping a headline will get prospects to open your ad. Also, Facebook’s algorithm allows the lookalike audiences tool to find people we were missing.

What if you don’t have Mail Chimp?

If you use another email program for building your emails, you can still use and replicate your email subscribers lists. You just have to export them manually. The process adds a few extra minutes but not much complexity. Both the automatic and download-then-upload methods use the Customer List tab of the Custom Audiences menu in Ads Manager. And the process of building the lookalikes audience is actually identical.

What if you have a small email list?

First, you’re in good company. Many auction firms are still growing their in-house lists. Second, you can use Facebook ads and your other advertising to drive people to your site (instead of your open houses or live events), where you can put an invitation to subscribe on every page they visit. Many companies find that offering something like a free buyer or seller guide in exchange for an email address garners more subscribers. If you’re wondering about how big your email list will need to be, Facebook has to match at least 100 (and usually more) of the email addresses and names on your list to be able to target ads to your list and lookalikes. So, you’ll probably need an email list of several hundred, maybe even more than 500.

What if you have no email list?

I buy email lists almost every week. Actually, I pay to include email addresses where available with mailing lists I purchase from my list broker. It costs significantly more than the addresses alone, but those opt-in addresses can be used both for my clients’ emails and their Facebook in perpetuity. Even if someone gets a new email address, Facebook knows who the original email address holder was. One benefit to this approach is that you can build multiple lists for different types of assets. You can save each one separately in your email distribution platform and in Facebook.

By the way, this same tool works for the bidders or consignors in your database and the lookalikes of those Facebook can match from those databases. If your auction software allows you to export these contacts from specific auctions or asset categories, you can imagine how targeted these audiences can be. 

All auctions can benefit from this connection between your email and Facebook marketing platforms, but real estate auctions have the most to gain. Since 2019, Facebook’s compliance with HUD anti-discrimination guidelines has prevented us from targeting real estate ads based on demographic and consumer interest criteria. But we can upload lists (or connect Mail Chimp), accept the indemnity of the targeting, and have Facebook create lookalikes through the Special Ad Audiences tool. So, segmented email and/or mailing lists can allow us to weed out members of the general population who are less likely to be interested in our properties.

Within reason, repetition of advertising impressions moves prospects closer to purchasing. This Mail Chimp Facebook partnership doesn’t just do that. It adds value to the two separate advertising methods in such a way that two plus two equals more than four.

Stock photo purchased from iStockPhoto.com

post image

226: Can Facebook Ads Settle Your Office Arguments?

I utterly admire the tolerance for speculation that auctioneers demonstrate day in and day out. My clients and their peers work so very hard at just the chance they might get a decent payday. Few professions I know swing for so many home runs, especially when knowing there’s already a strike or two on much of what we’re selling. As someone who gladly squares up every day for bunts and singles, I don’t know whether to chalk bid caller risk-tolerance up as bravery or insanity.

But that seemingly inherent trait of the folks I serve comes in handy when there’s a disagreement about the content of our advertising. Several of my clients are uncomfortable using text that gets my other clients cheap clicks—words like “liquidate” and phrases like “Buy at YOUR price!” And other customers want details or phrases in their ads that I find superfluous or even counterproductive. 

For almost two decades, I have often acquiesced to the man or woman signing my check (or lost them as a client). Over the last few years, though, I’ve found a compromise that appeals to the go-big-or-go-home mindset of the auction industry. I make a wager of sorts with them: let’s try the advertising BOTH ways, and let the best-performing version win.

Facebook ads offer A/B testing on steroids. At the time of this writing, Facebook’s Dynamic Creative tool allows advertisers to test up to 1,250 versions of a single ad per audience. We can include up to 10 photos or photo collages in the image area, and we can include up to five versions (each) of the sales copy, the bold headline, and the secondary headline. 

On a typical ad campaign, I’ll use multiple options each for the image area, the bold headline, and the secondary headline. (I rarely upload alternate versions of the sales copy.) As my regular clients can attest from my launch reports, it’s common for us to leverage between 18 and 45 versions of each ad in a campaign. Facebook’s artificial intelligence tests each variation to learn which one(s) get the most efficient clicks and then adapts each ad accordingly. So, our ads for the same auction with the same text options can look different to different audiences because each group of people responds differently to different photos and text. That’s especially helpful when we’re advertising the same asset(s) to multiple prospect pools.

Using this tool, we can test whether “liquidate” works better than “sell” or whether “no reserves” outperforms “regardless of price.” I regularly test “online auction” vs “online bidding” as well as “bidding closes” vs “bidding ends.” If it were my auction, I wouldn’t put the location in ads for online personal property auctions, but I’ll gladly include the pickup/shipping location as an option below the photo. If I’m wrong, I’m happy to be wrong. It’s hard to argue with thousands of people who respond to the location instead of my other headlines. The same holds true the other way. If an audience of 283,000 people choose my “Everything must go!” over the location, well then location isn’t as important for that auction as the auctioneer had thought.

Variable content makes advertising democratic in that it allows the consumer to determine how our ads appear to their peers. Without knowing it, potential bidders are voting for the best version of each ad—just by whether or not they engage with the option they’re shown. They’re the best people to settle your advertising disagreements because they’re the ones determining your commission.

Manager is insulting his colleague in an office

So, it goes back to the “person signing the check” after all; and I’m here for it. Facebook’s artificial intelligence won’t help you solve disagreements over whether the new company truck should be Ford or Chevy. The Dynamic Creative tool won’t help you and your partner decide whether or not to keep your mistake-prone nephew on staff. But it will help you settle disagreements over photos and headlines—and give you cheaper Facebook ads with only the best bait on your hooks.

Stock images purchased from iStockPhoto.com

post image

225: The Easiest Way to Lower Your Facebook Costs for Personal Property Auctions

In July of 2019, Facebook changed its advertiser policies to align with federal anti-discrimination guidelines for employment, finance, and real estate. From that moment forward, we’ve not been able to target real estate ads toward people based on occupation, wealth categories, relationship status, education, and interests (like turkey hunting or riding equestrian). Our minimum geographic radius for real estate ads expanded to 15 miles to prevent using geography as a proxy for wealth or race. 

Facebook Ads Manager debuted Special Ad Audiences, a system for building lookalike audiences for ads in these Special Ad Categories. Over the last 24 months, we’ve been able to replicate past Facebook interactors, past website (pixel) traffic, in-house lists, and even purchased lists. While we can’t target real estate as narrowly as we can personal property, I’ve found that with some extra time we can still get efficient traffic within these parameters.

Special Ad Category

For personal property ads, though, we bump into no such hurdles or restrictions. If we want to target people who like Ritchie Bros and Machinery Trader, operate an excavator, and purchase used items, we can still target them. If we want to target middle-aged men who like kayak fishing but not deep sea fishing, we can serve ads to that specific audience. If we want people who like estate sales, Antiques Roadshow, and barn finds, we can easily serve ads just to those people. If we want farmers who like John Deere and TractorHouse but not FFA and The Progressive Farmer, we can narrow that tightly.

I wouldn’t, but you can.

Well, you can if you put your personal property auction on web pages that don’t mention real estate.

See, Facebook’s automated approval system doesn’t check only the content of the ads. It also evaluates the content of the pages to which you’re sending people who click on your ads. First, it checks for items and services on Facebook’s list of prohibited advertising content. Then, it checks to see if any of the content would fall under a Special Ad Category: real estate, finance, employment, and now political topics. If any of those contexts apply, so do the restrictions that come with them. Those Special Ad Category restrictions hamper the efficacy and efficiency of personal property ads far more than they do real estate.

So, the easiest way to make personal property ads more efficient is to list personal property and real estate auctions separately on your website. Even without Facebook, this should be your standard practice. The buyer pool for personal property is almost always larger than the real estate where it’s housed. That’s true of farm equipment, commercial machinery, estate collections, and business liquidations. Yes, there’s a little overlap in prospect markets but not as much as you might think. The Venn diagrams look more like binoculars than Olympic rings.

Your Facebook ads should use their limited text space only for the content of interest to each targeted audience. Hopefully, you have separate email lists for real estate and personal property (if not subcategories beyond those two main headings). If you’ve sorted your bidder database by asset type, you can use variable data printing to send postcards with different emphases to different prospect pools. Sure, mention the real estate on the equipment version or vice versa; but give more space to what each list wants to see first.

The better you match the content of your advertising to a buyer’s interest, the more likely they are to visit your website. When they get to that website, you want them to see primarily what drew them in the first place. Anything less gives them cognitive dissonance and makes you look less professional. Facebook is just pushing us to best practices.

Let your competitors throw everything together as though an auction is just a community event. Let them cram everything into one ad or email or sign. On your auctions, market each asset category to its likely buyers—and then grin as you cash those bigger commission checks from more motivated bidders.

Stock image purchased from iStockPhoto.com