More than 1.5 billion people actively use Facebook, with nearly a billion users checking in every day. That is certainly a global reach but Facebook is also tailoring its ad platform to cater to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), offering businesses a way to reach local customers.
Facebook’s local awareness ads, or “adverts” as Facebook calls them, are designed to help you reach out to people when they are near your business—from walking distance to a few miles away.
Specifically, Facebook created these adverts to help you accomplish three main goals:
- Build awareness
- Drive foot traffic to your store
- Grow your customer base
When you run a Facebook advert, you choose your audiences in the following ways:
Reach your customers in the areas where they live or where they do business with you. Pinpoint your adverts by country, county/region, postal code or the area around your business.
Choose the audiences that should see your adverts by age, gender, interests and the languages they speak.
Choose from hundreds of categories such as music, film, sports, games, shopping and more and put your ad in front of the people most interested in what you have to offer.
You can filter your ads to your customers (and potential customers) by shopping behavior, the type of phone they use, or by what they are looking to buy (e.g., a car or a house).
You can also reach the people who like your Page or your app, as well as their friends.
Of course, you will need to setup a Facebook page to run local awareness adverts. From there, you simply set a budget, choose a photo, and create a message for the people in your area.
Within the ads themselves, you have four options with respect to a call-to-action message to help you drive offline sales:
- Send Message
- Get private messages directly from your advert in News Feed
- Call Now
- Get calls from your advert in News Feed and speak directly to potential customers
- Get Directions
- With this call-to-action message, people are guided directly to your location from their phones
- Learn More
- Send people to any page on your website to give them information
An example of the abilities of Facebook’s hyper-local ad platform: Local awareness adverts.
According to a post in Web Marketing Today, there are a number of benefits to Facebook’s local awareness adverts and they are listed here:
Pinpoint your audience
Easy-to-reach audience targeting is one of the useful features of local awareness ads. Local awareness ads can pinpoint the area in which a user is physically present; the option to include a “Get Directions” call-to-action (CTA) button is another useful feature for tourist destinations.
Local awareness ads present smaller businesses with an affordable means to reach potential customers in a hyper-localized area.
Local awareness ads were designed to be an entry-level alternative to Facebook’s existing suite of ads, with only a few steps needed to launch them.
Because geo-specific ads are relatively new the jury is still very much out on the relative success of various strategies, Facebook’s local awareness adverts included.
Gannett’s G/O Digital released a recent survey and found that 60 percent of users viewed a local business’ Facebook page before visiting the business itself; looking at the reviews on the page was also part of this process.
Also, according to a research study from Google, 32 percent of customers visited a store or made a purchase after viewing a location-based ad. Additionally, 19 percent of those customer visits or purchases were unplanned.
According to the social media ad agency, Ampush, using imagery of your physical location attracts more clicks and engagement than product- and lifestyle-themed imagery, not to mention adding a touch of personalization.