December 17, 2014

Local Targeting Through Facebook Local Awareness Ads

Most local business is won within a 5 mile radius of that company’s location.  How would you like to target consumers, in real-time, within a 1 mile radius of your locale?  Two months ago, Facebook announced specific geographic targeting to the social media’s users within a 1, 3 or 5 mile or more radius. This new solution called Facebook Local Awareness Ads is a great way for businesses to brand themselves within their surrounding community.

It’s all about location, location, location.  The new Facebook Local Awareness Ads allow you to reach thousands of people in your neighborhood, but people have to use Facebook to see those ads.  This has the potential to revolutionize the way local businesses advertise, but you have to be around a major hub of individuals for it to work.  Not every business should use this functionality.

The entire reason for Local Awareness Ads is to promote yourself with as relevant information as possible for nearby Facebook users.  A few ideas come to mind. Churches close to subdivisions could market to individuals before church services.  Retail organizations in a mall could target anyone in food courts by offering a deal of the day.  Restaurants in a business district could lure people in with lunch or happy hour specials. Accounting firms could market their tax services during their busy season. Farmers markets or businesses near coffee shops, colleges or large apartment complexes could take advantage of this new targeting ability to brand themselves as well.

It’s a great way to drive in store traffic and get people into your door through social media.  Here are a few different ways we feel you should use this new functionality including:

  • Offers, deals or incentives
  • Events
  • Open houses
  • Customer appreciation
  • Grand openings
  • Concerts

Here is an example of what the radius tool looks like.

Example of Facebook Local Awareness Too

Facebook Local Awareness Pros

We think there are three sizable positives when using Facebook Local Awareness Ads.

1. Real Time Targeting – In the past, you had to wait to target someone based on their past posts, interests, etc.  The real time ability to target anyone in a certain area provides a proactive approach to Facebook advertising.

2. Directions Tab – One great tool within the new functionality is the “get directions” tab.  This allows individuals who are interested in visiting the advertiser’s location an easy way to find it.

3. Extensive Reach – Facebook has an extensive reach with their local awareness tool, which they tout as one of their biggest assets.  Because of this reach, the odds are in your favor that you will see results when offering a discount or special promotion.

Facebook Local Awareness Cons

1. No Push Notifications – This is not a push notification service.  Individuals have to log into Facebook to see the ads on their feed.  So if you want to target individuals, you need to make sure there are ample people nearby with time on their hands to check Facebook.

2. Limited Demographic Targeting – This might be the biggest con as Facebook provides limited demographic targeting with their tool.  Many marketers, like ourselves, like to take a deep dive into demographic data and will be limited with this tool and the amount of research we will be able to digest.

Over all we feel the pros out weigh the cons.  If you are a local business and looking for an alternative way to advertise, we feel you should give it a try.  Let us know how it goes!

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Jeff Paulette

Jeff Paulette

Jeff’s shared passion for marketing and helping others grow their business prompted him to co-found Campaignium with partners Larry Paulette and David Church. He has two decades of experience in marketing and advertising.

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