How a local business can kick butt with Facebook advertising

Suzanne Trainer by Suzanne Trainer | 13th October 2016

Do you want more local customers through your door?

When it comes to investing money in local marketing, Facebook advertising really kicks butt.

It delivers a low investment, low cost and highly targeted means of reaching out to those people likely to buy your wares, in the location you are targeting.

Still think Facebook is for posting trivial pictures of what you had for tea last night? Think again. As a business, it’s one of the best tools you have.

Here’s why…

target local customers with facebook

Ridiculously tight targeting

You can be so precise with your targeting, you could target just say, 10 people, but those 10 people may be the ones that could account for your month’s takings if you’re a premium jeweller. The kick-butt ways of targeting customers are:

Life events

Let’s say you are that jeweller in the high street, you can use life events as a targeting parameter, by targeting ‘recently engaged’. Other life events include newlyweds, college kids, anniversaries, moving house and renovating a house. Facebook has pretty much every conceivable life event targeting option, since we tend to post these to our timelines.

You can even target friends of people having a life event – how cool is that! A card shop could have a field day with this little gem.

Custom Audiences

Facebook Custom Audiences are one of – if not the most – essential tools for successful Facebook advertising campaigns.

Do you have an email or telephone list of people that have enquired or purchased with you? All you need is a minimum of 100 names. Upload your list into the Facebook advertising platform and Facebook will create a lookalike audience to target your ads to by looking for patterns and characteristics your current users, leads, or customers, have in common – such as age, gender, or interests – and create a much bigger list of very similar users.

Website custom audiences

Wouldn’t it be great if you could know who’s been on your website and get your message in front of them to entice them into your shop?

Creating a website custom audience makes it possible. And what’s more, Facebook can create a lookalike audience based on your website visitors to widen the net and reach more people likely to buy from you.

All you need to do is add a Facebook Pixel tracking code on your website and it will track your visitors to create the list.

Drop a pin on your customers (or your competitors)

I wouldn’t blame you for thinking I’ve saved the best for last. This one is pure gold, are you ready?

If you drop a pin on your location, ads will show on mobile devices in your set radius. So, let’s say you’re a fish and chip shop, wouldn’t it be great to target everyone in your local area between 5 and 6pm on a Friday, or maybe a little later if you’re a local curry house?

How about this? You’re that jeweller on the high street, a bridal boutique or local wedding cake maker and there’s a big wedding fair at the Brighton Centre. You could drop a pin on the Brighton centre that day or even for an hour of that day and everyone there will see your ad.

Local sports retailer? How about dropping a pin on the AMEX stadium when a big game is on? 30,000 sports fans see your ad. Boom!

And it gets better, drop a pin on your competitors and target their customers with your best promotions. Ouch!

About Location Targeting and how it works

A few months ago, Facebook updated its ads platform that allows advertisers to target users within a 1 mile or 1km location. Previously you had to search for a location that already existed and if your location didn’t show up then you would have to target people using a nearby location. This would mean people out of your area would often start engaging with your ads.

So now, you can “Drop Pin” to the exact target location. You can define if the location is to be included or excluded and you can target the correct people or exclude anyone who is not wanted.

You will be faced with 4 options, with explanations of what they mean:

1. Everyone in this location (default): People who live in the selected location as stated under “current city” on their Facebook profile as well as people who have that location as their most recent, based on information from their mobile device.

2. People who live in this location: People who live in the selected location as stated under “current city” on their Facebook profile. This is also validated by IP address and aggregate information about their friends’ stated profile locations. For a take-away shop, it makes the most sense to target “people who live in this location” because they’re more likely to become repeat customers.

3. People recently in this location: People whose most recent location is within the selected area, as determined by information from their mobile device. This includes people who live there or who may be travelling there.

4. People traveling in this location: People whose most recent location is within the selected area, as determined by information from their mobile device, and whose homes are more than 100 miles from their stated current city on the people who have enabled location services on that device.

Evaluating Facebook advertising

Advertising on Facebook, just like any other form of advertising, is a case of trial and error. You need to continually test, measure and refine the audience targeting and ad creative to figure out what works best for your business.

Keep in mind that serving sales-related content too often to people might annoy them. My advice is always to keep a healthy balance, weighted to non sales versus sales content on your Facebook stream. Additionally, some people may be uncomfortable that you know exactly where they are so the location targeting won’t appeal to them. Avoid being too intrusive with your messages and monitor sentiment. If you get a lot of negative feedback, pause the ad and rethink your strategy.

Need some help?

And finally, if you need any help, give me a call I work with businesses to develop their Facebook advertising strategy and set-up and manage their campaigns and can do this virtually or with you so that you learn how to set-up a campaign yourself.

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