How to Use Facebook as a Hyperlocal Marketing Tool

Adam Dorfman

Hyperlocal marketing is becoming essential for brands that want to connect with prospects and customers using a geographically concentrated and targeted area.

The growth of personalized, local search has been exponential in recent years. Google reported 500% growth in “near me” mobile searches that include a variant on “can I buy” or “to buy” between 2015 and 2017. Searches that start with “can I” alone grew 85%, while “do I need” searches grew 65%.

While Google remains the preferred search tool for most consumers, Facebook is looking to take a similar approach to help drive local traffic to businesses.

Facebook has added tools recently that help businesses pinpoint potential customers with relevant, local content that responds to the “near me” trend in search, especially among mobile users. Let’s take a look at the strategy and the best practices for using Facebook as a hyperlocal marketing tool.

All Marketing is Local

Hyperlocal marketing targets prospective customers within a restricted geographic area, sometimes just a few blocks or streets. It’s designed to point users, most of them on mobile devices, to a nearby business location.

Hyperlocal marketing campaigns are particularly valuable to businesses seeking to drive foot traffic to a physical store location and attract potential customers with a declared intention to buy.

In 2014, Facebook introduced Local Awareness ads, aimed squarely at businesses looking to improve local marketing to increase foot traffic and raise awareness of physical locations. Facebook rebranded the practice as Reach ads in 2017.

Here are a few tips to using and refining hyperlocal Facebook ads:

  • Know your audience. Starting in Facebook’s Ad Manager, you’ll want to build your local marketing ad campaign by creating an Audience type. The app’s features let you pinpoint the target radius from a store location and choose whether the ad will target everyone in the location, people who live there, people who have recently been in the location or people traveling in the location.
  • Choose your intent. Do you want the ad shown to the maximum number of people? Are you looking for your ad to get seen as many times as possible? Select Impressions.
  • Refine your audience more. Whether you have a clear handle on your prospective customer demographics or want to test ads with specific audiences, ad targeting tools give you even more granularity. For example, do you want to target grandmothers over 55 who went to college and are divorced? Done. Facebook gives you a host of targeting options beyond location, including:
    • Age
    • Gender
    • Languages
    • Relationship status
    • Education level (including schools, subjects studied and undergraduate years)
    • Employer, job title and industry
    • Income and net worth
    • Homeownership and type, and household composition
    • Ethnicity
    • Political affiliation
    • Recent or upcoming life events
  • Use Insights. Facebook’s Audience Insights tool gives you aggregate information about people connected to your page, everyone on Facebook or a custom audience. A dashboard delivers information on your target audience compared to all of Facebook. You can sort by the demographic criteria above to learn more about audiences, and use that information to define your next campaign further.

While Facebook provides an excellent platform for hyperlocal marketing campaigns, the hyperlocal trend extends beyond the popular social network. Search marketing is becoming increasingly targeted at the local level, which means customized advertising, user experiences on your websites and timely reviews are more important than ever. Download our How to improve your reputation with effective social media management report to learn how can help your company wrangle its customer data in order to improve your hyperlocal ad campaigns.

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