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Facebook Advanced Local Targeting

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New features in Facebook’s ad creation center are allowing for more advanced targeting than ever before. In the past, location targeting was tied to city, zip code, state, province, or country, but recently rolled out features are making targeting options even more powerful!

These new features include:

  • Targeting by specific address (and surrounding areas)
  • Excluding by specific address (and surrounding areas)
  • Differentiating between people who a residents of an area, recent visitors, people traveling in a location, and all people in a given location

Each of these Facebook features has some great advantages:

Targeting A Specific Address

When you create your ad, you’ll see that the location field now includes “address.” This means that specific locations can now be used as part of your targeting.

  • Select your specific location
  • Select radius

This kind of address-specific targeting has some powerful applications, especially when combined with the “differentiation” options we’ll look at soon:

  • Target people living in the same (small) region as a local retail business, with a focus on participating in the community
  • Target people who visit your competitor’s storefront
  • Target people visiting a monument or tourist attraction in your area, tying it to your business

Excluding A Specific Address

Just as you can select an address and associated radius for your target audience, you can also exclude users through the same criteria.

After adding your target location, you can choose to add another location and select “Include” or “Exclude” (or add additional locations to target). Excluding locations can have a few important uses:

• Exclude areas your company doesn’t service

• Ensure you aren’t confusing your customers by excluding other areas you have retail locations (to advertise for just one storefront)

• Exclude people immediately near your retail location to focus on drawing business from further away

Differentiating Categories

Facebook’s advanced location targeting allows you to choose among a few options.

These options can have a massive impact on your chosen audience, and each has its own usefulness.

– Everyone in this location

  • Cast the widest net for a given area
  • Target people regardless of whether they live in, are visiting, or just passing through an area
  • Can be useful for “universal” businesses like restaurants, convenience stores, radio shows, and other offers that can benefit residents and non-residents alike

– People who live in this location

  • Perfect for services and offers that require residency like political campaigns, insurance companies, schools, lawn care, homeowner services, etc.
  • Residency in a certain area can be an indicator of socioeconomic standing
  • Residents are more likely to become repeat customers of a retail location or recurring event

– People recently in this location

It’s important to note that “recent visitors” are not the same as “travelers” – the travelers are likely much further from home, but will also be included in these results, as will residents. This targeting category is based on the Facebook user’s most recent location data.

  • A great target for “things they may have missed” on their visit
  • Can enable offering targeted ads in real time, when people are actually in your target area
  • Great for short-term and limited availability offers, increasing immediate demand for people in the area

– People traveling in this location

This category will target people whose mobile location data shows that they are more than 100 miles from their “home” location data.

  • Best for services geared toward non-residents like hotels, car rental, tourist attractions, guide services, vacation packages for frequent travelers, etc.
  • A potential target for emergency services for people in unfamiliar locations

Each differentiating category has its own advantages, and can be used in conjunction with each other, as well as other targeting options (like interests, liked pages, etc.) to ensure that your ads are connecting with your narrowly defined target audience.

By strategically targeting certain locations, excluding others, and further defining how actual people exist within those locations, Facebook has provided a powerful way to get messages in front of highly qualified prospects.

In your corner,


P.S. A HUGE thanks to Jon Loomer for the insight and source material for much of this article!

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