Want to drive better foot traffic? Facebook has the ads for you

Social Media Strategies

After reading the title you’re probably thinking, “I already know how to target ads locally on Facebook. You select the city where you’re located.” While you’re technically correct, you’re still not picking the best option. If you haven’t tried Facebook’s Local Awareness ads, then you’re missing out on an even better ad format for local targeting.

Alexey Boldin/Shutterstock.com
Alexey Boldin/Shutterstock.com

What’s the difference between regular location targeting and Local Awareness ads? Good question. First, let’s review the default Facebook location targeting options. Currently, you can target people who live in a location, recently were in a location or are traveling in a location. With Local Awareness Ads, Facebook starts the reach radius from your actual business location. Then, the advertiser selects how far it wants the ad reach to go. Local Awareness Ads will only appear to users who are in the radius during your desired times. This way, a restaurant running ads in Milwaukee won’t show its ads to people who live in Milwaukee but work out of town. It can now show its Facebook ads to users who are near the restaurant at that very moment.

Here’s another way you can use Local Awareness ads: Say the marketing manager for a bar in West Allis wants to drive more traffic after every night of the Wisconsin State Fair. An ad can be created targeting a small radius just covering the State Fair grounds. When people check Facebook while at the fair, the manager can show ads highlighting after-fair specials. Layer this location targeting with proper demographic targets and you have a hyper-focused campaign that won’t cost a ton of money.

Stop wasting spend by showing “local” ads to users who might not even be in your targeted location. If your goal is to drive local traffic from users who are actually near you, make Local Awareness ads your new best friend.

-Joe Martinez is senior manager, paid media and community at Milwaukee-based Granular.

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