Guide to Facebook Location Targeting

Recently I had a detailed chat with a friend of mine. He had joined an educational institute, was concerned about the overall way in which the campaigns were performing. His target audience is hyper local college going students who want to take on additional courses for skill development. After listening to his problems I suggested him why doesn’t he try the new location targeting feature of Facebook along with lookalike audiences. It really helped him turnaround his campaigns and he is hoping conversions will start flowing in soon.

Let’s see what this new location targeting feature is all about. This feature was recently rolled out to Power editor and ad create tool.

When you create a custom audience in power editor you will see a bit of change in the “Locations” filter. You can enter the name of one or more countries, states, provinces, cities and zip codes (US only) to show your ads in those locations. You can use any of the choices in any combination. After selecting a location, use the arrow on the right to choose a radius from that location or exclude a location that falls within the selected area.

Only the radius & exclusion feature has been launched in India. Other features given below have been launched in US.

There are 4 ways advertisers can choose to reach people within a location:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 traveling there.
  • 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 their Facebook profiles. Keep in mind information from mobile devices is only available from people who have enabled location services on that device.

Here I am creating a custom audience called “Test Location”.

Test location image

The feature allows you to include location along with radius as showed below. First type in the city name and then select the radius.

Location inclusion image

When you have to exclude a particular location just type the name of the State and start mentioning cities or areas that you want to exclude. Look at the images below. The second image red box is where you have to type city names that you want to exclude.

Exclude location image 1

Exclude location image 2

We will just have to see how fast the pin code based feature is introduced in India. That will be a game changer.

Now here are some interesting facts that you would like to know about the location targeting feature.

A) Maximum number of locations I can target:

  • 25 countries
  • 200 states/regions/provinces
  • 250 cities
  • 2500 ZIP codes or postcodes

B) What kind of local awareness ads can I create to generate footfalls or in-store sales:

  • Like: People who see the ad and click the button can like your business’s page
  • Get Directions: People who see the ad and click the button will receive directions to get to your business.

These buttons are included by default. If you’d prefer not to have a Get Directions button, select Call To Action > No Button. Facebook location targeting is based on information from sources such as current city from people’s profile, IP address, data from mobile device (if location services are turned on) and aggregated information about the location of people’s friends.

C) Some third-party analytics software, such as Google Analytics and Omniture (Adobe), may show clicks on your ads from outside of the location you’re targeting. This is because these platforms only use a person’s IP address to find a location. If someone is using a VPN, proxy server or even clicking ads from their mobile device, it can hide their true IP address and location. Facebook reporting will be accurate in these cases as it targets ads to people based on the data they’ve added on Facebook.

That’s it for today. Let me know if this feature has helped you in any manner and what were your insights.

Till next time, be awesome 🙂

(Content source – Facebook help center)


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