Facebook just announced a new feature for small and meduim local businesses — local awareness ads.
With local awareness ads, businesses can quickly and easily find new customers by showing ads to groups of people who are near that business’s neighborhood. Local awareness ads are built to be more cost-effective than traditional advertising channels like newspaper while offering more precise targeting and greater reach. We think they’re the best way for local businesses to reach people near them, and the best way for people who use Facebook to discover more useful things in their area.
Creating an ad takes just a few steps. 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.)
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.
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.
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”.
Our conversations with advertisers have shown that when it comes to driving in-store sales, an ad’s reach is far more important than the engagement it receives (things such as clicks, comments or likes). So we’ve designed local awareness ads to help businesses reach the most people possible in an area.
Local awareness ads were built with privacy in mind. 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. (To see if location services are enabled, check your phone’s Settings menu.)
Local awareness ads will roll out to advertisers in the US over the coming weeks, and globally in the coming months. Give them a try and see what they can do for your business.