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.

1. Regionalize

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.

geo ads facebook

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).

facebook ad west coast

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.

career ad facebook

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.

home facebook ad

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.

facebook ad local

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?

2 Comments

  1. Dennis Yu August 13th, 2013

    Sean– good tips!
    Don’t forget to split test by zip, so you can measure lift from exposure and without exposure.

  2. Sean Burke August 14th, 2013

    Great insight Dennis. Performing the split test would definitely provide some new insights.

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Sean Burke
Sean Burke is the Digital Marketing Coordinator at PMAC Lending Services in Columbus, OH. He has managed social media advertising for clients around the country, from iPhone apps to a reality show contestant. Although an Ohio State Buckeye at heart, Sean is currently pursuing a Master’s in Social Media from the University of Florida.