X Marks the Spot! 5 Tips to Use Geo-Targeting on Facebook
Published: August 12, 2013
Author: Sean Burke
You can find many creative ways to use geo-targeting on Facebook (if you haven’t set up geo-targeting yet, here’s a quick guide). What type of geo-targeting you choose will greatly depend on the size of your business and the geographic size of your market.
Here are 5 tips for different-sized businesses to make the most of geo-targeting on Facebook.
Grouping states into regional events is a great way to leverage geo-targeting. For example, weather systems. Let’s say a massive snow storm is expected to sweep across the Midwest. Any big-box retailer could jump on this opportunity to advertise their snow removal products leading up to the storm.
Another example might be a hurricane. An insurance company could build an ad to inform current fans, who are most likely current customers, about a page on their website that houses important information about the storm.
Beyond weather systems, other regionalized events include holidays, food trends, or community activities.
2. Timing is Everything
Time zones are another great opportunity. If a business operates online and is advertising a one-day sale, they could create ads for each time zone to maximize awareness. Consider a campaign of ads that is set to expire at midnight on the east coast. Without geo-targeting, a business’s fans on the West Coast would see an advertisement that says the one-day sale ends at midnight, when in reality the sale may end at 9 p.m. in their time zone (6 p.m. in Hawaii).
Tip #1: Make it easy by creating a “Saved Target Group” for each time zone in the Power Editor to reduce the amount of repetitive work.
Tip #2: Remember, Facebook users could be far away from their home address and still see your ads. So, be sure to include the time zone if you list a specific time of day.
3. Recruit Top Talent — Anywhere
Businesses big or small can use geo-targeting to recruit new employees. You can target qualified candidates within the city where you are hiring, and even expand the radius around the city based on how far you think people would be willing to travel to work.
4. Don’t Forget Home
Businesses with multiple locations have a unique opportunity to create custom ads for each city in which they have locations. Instead of making one ad for an entire city or state, consider taking the time to create an ad for each city. This personal touch shows a greater understanding of your market. Seeing the name of the city in an ad will not only draw attention, but your audience is likely to appreciate it.
This type of method also works great for traveling events such as concerts, plays, or even food trucks.
5. Think Local
ZIP codes are a fantastic targeting opportunity for small businesses. Most large corporations would have to devote much time and resources into managing Facebook ad campaigns that target ZIP codes; however, local targeting is a no-brainer for businesses with a shorter reach. For example, if a restaurant owner in a busy business district could use a lunch-hour boost, she could easily target the surrounding ZIP codes with a mid-morning newsfeed ad that features a popular entrée.
These are just a few tips on the many ways you can use geo-targeting on Facebook. Some of the ideas above could even be combined to create unique ad experiences. How do you use geo-targeting on Facebook? Have you had any success with the techniques suggested above?