Facebook Ads | Local Targeting

Facebook Ads | Local Targeting

Trapica Content Team

Marketing Guides
6 min read
May 3, 2021

Facebook is the leading platform for targeting. With the blood, sweat and tears that go into a targeted ad, we want to be effective. Instead of trying to pull in disinterested users, there are features that maximize our budgets. Instead of being generalists, Facebook geo-targeting and location targeting allows us to hone in on the ideal audience.

What’s Location Targeting?

Location targeting enables marketers to reach out to an audience based on their city, region and country. With the Store Traffic objective, the idea is to connect internet users to the physical locations closest to them. For every other advertising objective, location targeting provides a new way of refining an audience and targeting people in a specific location.

If you use Facebook, you’ve seen ads for local businesses. If you live in Texas, you probably get advertisements for businesses in the area; if you see an ad for a business in New York, something went wrong.

How Does Location Targeting Work?

Geo-targeting technology allows a small business in Florida to deliver ads strictly to people in-state. This removes the need to waste marketing budget on people who don’t live in the area.

Benefits of Location Targeting

Location targeting opens paid ads up to even more businesses. Not every business has stores across the country, and not every business can ship to locations around the United States. With this tool, small companies can advertise to people strictly in their city.  

The most valuable benefit of this targeting feature is that it optimizes marketing funds. Integrating this capability means the people viewing your ads are likely to click through, which is good news for small businesses with a tight budget. Geo-targeting is a great opportunity for smaller ventures who avoid paid ads because they’re unaware of these targeting features.

Location targeting creates buzz. Even if the person who views your ad doesn’t convert, they may recommend your service to someone in their circle.

More personalized content and location targeting help marketers boost engagement and resonate with their target audience. This allows for relevance in the area, more efficient allocation of marketing spend, and happy customers whose needs are met.

Implementing Location Targeting

How do we implement location targeting and use it to our advantage? We’ve broken the process down into stages:

Stage 1: Research and Plan

Don’t be afraid to learn more from Facebook’s mouth. Often businesses and marketers consult third-party guides when Facebook’s instructions are easier to follow. When location targeting was first introduced, businesses could set the location by ZIP code, country and state; now, there are plenty more features to enjoy.

Stage 2: Remember Your Audience

Don’t get so bogged down in location targeting that you forget your audience. Think about your buyer personas and narrow down your audience to ensure effective reach.

Choose between different location settings:

  • Everyone - As the default setting, your ad will go to anybody based within the location you choose. This includes those who have set their current city on their profile. For businesses, the best Facebook users are the ones who can’t resist posting daily. Why? Because it tells Facebook where they are at all times. A great way marketers have leveraged this in the past is by creating a location-specific campaign in anticipation of a large event.
  • Residents - Based on profile information and connection/device data, Facebook will show ads to users who are determined to live in the location.
  • Recent Visitors - This setting leverages connection and device data to help businesses display ads to people who recently checked into a specific location. While some will be residents, others might be visitors or travelers just checking in for a day or two. If you have a special sale in-store, this would be a great option because you aren’t asking people who are passing through to become long-term customers.
  • Short-Term Visitors - These campaigns will reach out to people who are in the location (and are at least 125 miles from home). Campaigns of this nature are perfect for restaurants, hotels, rental car companies, and others who provide services for short-term visitors.

Stage 3: Choose a Location

As Facebook continually expands this setting, you’ll have more options from which to choose. Instead of businesses choosing between the country, state and ZIP code, you can now add a designated market area (DMA), business address and city to this list.

After you choose a location, you’ll need to set a radius around the area. In other words, how far away from this target location do you want to have reach? While some campaigns will need everybody to be within 10 miles, others could stretch to 50 miles.

Stage 4: Business Locations Targeting (Optional)

If you have physical locations, we recommend looking into Business Locations Targeting. This strategy will deliver ads to people who are near the physical address of each site.

Photo by Greg Bulla on Unsplash

Destination Marketing

Some companies rely on the business of people passing through rather than locals and returning customers. To help with this, we recommend using the ‘interests’ setting when you’re creating a campaign. Set the location and then reach out to people who have vacations, traveling and trips as interests. This will increase your chances of finding transient people.

Segmenting audiences based on their other interests is another good tactic. Beyond vacations and traveling, you could segment people based on sporting events, restaurants, museums, shopping venues, hotels, cruises and concerts. By highlighting these interests, you further narrow your audience.

There are a few more tactics you can keep up your sleeve. You can target recent visitors by informing and encouraging them to visit another location of interest. Behavior segmenting is also an option that allows you to segment frequent travelers, business travelers and international travelers.

We value a proactive approach. When we’re reacting to the things that people are saying and doing, we might just miss them. By the time they see the ad, the individual is on their last day and about to leave the location. Facebook is often aware of adventures before we even begin them. If somebody shows an interest in visiting New York, we can target them with hotel deals, restaurants and other attractions.

Make sure to pair your ads with strong Facebook and website content. The end goal should always be to get people to your website so they can make a conversion. You need an optimized and responsive website. As the user plans their trip, continue to retarget and make sure they visit your business when in the location.


Location targeting isn’t just for destination marketing, but for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Even if you own one little shop in a small town, it’s time to advertise to your audience base and a specific location. You will save money by targeting only those in the right location and build a great reputation in the area. Mark yourself as a credible service, and get started with Facebook geo-targeting today!

Learn how Trapica can help you automate and optimize your Facebook ad campaigns

Marketing Guides
6 min read
May 3, 2021