Facebook Creates “Hyper-Local Ads” For Local Businesses

October 20, 2014

Hyper Local Ads by Facebook

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What’s This?

One of the most effective ways to get the maximum bang for your buck out of your advertising dollar is to target ads to the demographic most likely to purchase your product or service.

With Facebook’s recent launch of what the company calls hyper-local advertising, brick-and-mortar businesses can target ads to anyone who lives within a specific distance of their store.

Local awareness ads are supposed to be more cost-effective than traditional advertising channels like newspaper, and offer more precise targeting and greater reach. Facebook suggests that when it comes to driving in-store sales, advertisers claim an ad’s reach is far more important than the engagement it receives.

Advertisers can set a radius as small as a mile and the ads will show up on people’s phones or web browsers. After business owners select an address, or one from their Facebook Page, along with choosing a radius, gender, and age range, they can add a photo and message, and Facebook routes these ads to people in the vicinity.

local-ads

Advertisers can even select to include directions in their ad via a button that will launch a map app in a user’s phone. You can also choose the people on the basis of age, sex and profession.

Around 1 billion mobile users give Facebook access to their location, and desktop users volunteer their current city or can be located by IP address. Facebook even has real-time location on some users in the US thanks to its recently launched ambient proximity feature Nearby Friends.

As TechCrunch notes, imagine walking down the block scrolling your News Feed and getting an ad for a bar or clothing ship just a few hundred feet away. “Those ads probably wouldn’t be that effective if targeted to the entire city. But by reaching people within a mile of the business, Facebook may be able to drive foot traffic that leads to real sales.”

Privacy

Facebook insists that advertisers select locations, not specific individuals, for local awareness ads. Facebook does not tell advertisers which specific people are in any audience and, as with our other advertising products, all audiences must meet a minimum required size. People have control over the recent location information they share with Facebook and will only see ads based on their recent location if location services are enabled on their phone.

Getting Started

1. To get started, head to the Ads Create tool and select “Local Awareness”. Then select the Page of the business you want to promote. (Advanced advertisers can also access this feature in the API.)

2. Next, enter your business’s address (if it’s already provided on your Page, the address automatically populates), and the radius around which you want to advertise (for instance, an area covering 1 mile around your business). A map will show you the area covered by your ad. Our system uses all this information to create an audience for the ad that includes people who live nearby or were recently near your business.

3. Then choose the age and gender of your audience and set a budget and duration for your ad. Based on your settings, we’ll show how many people you can expect to reach each day your ad runs.

4. Last, enter the imagery and text for your ad. For example, if you’re promoting a daily special at your restaurant, you might want to choose a picture of the dish along with some text enticing people to come in and try it. You can also add a call-to-action button for your ad — “Get Directions” (to help people find your store) or “Like Page”.

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