Digital Insights

How Facebook’s Local Awareness Ads Deliver More Traffic to Your Store


Published: November 12, 2014

Small businesses with a local market presence have received a much-needed boost to their marketing efforts with the recent introduction of Facebook’s “Local Awareness” advertising program. The new advertising option will allow local businesses to present geo-targeted ads to Facebook users who live within a designated radius of a store’s location or who have recently traveled near an advertiser’s location.

Facebook recognizes that an ad’s reach within a given geographic area is more important than the engagement it generates when it comes to driving foot traffic to local stores. The Local Awareness ad program will help local marketers reach more Facebook users within their core geographic market area and increase the volume of in-store sales. While the Local Awareness ads will display on desktop as well as on mobile devices, the emphasis is on the mobile user.

How Facebook’s Local Awareness Program Works

    use Facebook Local Awareness ads
  • Local Awareness ads appear within the user’s News Feed.
  • Advertisers can access the Local Awareness ad option by selecting “Local Awareness” from the ad objectives list on the Facebook Ads Create dashboard.
  • The advertiser will then select the appropriate Facebook page to be promoted.
  • The business address is entered and a radius in miles (one mile minimum) from that location is designated. While advertisers are free to adjust the target radius as they see fit, Facebook will offer suggestions for setting the target radius based on the advertiser’s business address.
  • Targeted area coverage is displayed on a map. This includes both Facebook users living within that radius as well as users who have recently visited the area.
  • Advertisers can refine their audience within the targeted geographic area by age and gender; targeting individual users within that area is not possible at the present time.
  • A budget and campaign duration timeframe is then designated. Facebook will display the number of users your ad will reach each day and your total campaign cost.
  • Enter the text information for your ad and upload an image. You can also add an optional call-to-action button to your ad such as “Get Directions” or “Like Page.” Clicks or taps to the ad outside of the button will be redirected to the advertiser’s Facebook Business Page.

Are Local Awareness Ads Effective?
According to Facebook, Local Awareness ads have been designed to be a more affordable alternative for the local business marketer than most local newspapers or even flyers. As an added bonus, Local Awareness ads offer more precise local targeting and greater reach within the designated target radius area.

A recent study conducted by Gannett G/O Digital concluded that the majority of consumers visit local Facebook Pages and read local business reviews prior to making an offline purchase. The study also found that “offer ads” were more effective for most local businesses than other ad categories such as “promoted posts.”

According to the local media research experts at BIA/Kelsey, locally targeted digital ad spend in the U.S. is expected hit the $31 billion mark this year and increase by 13 percent by the end of 2015.