The Locations update is available globally through Facebook’s ads application-programming interface, with Power Editor coming on board shortly, and local insights are rolling out to pages in the U.S. “starting today and over the coming weeks.”
Locations is geared toward pages for businesses with multiple store locations, and the new tool introduced by the social network will allow page administrators of such pages to use information from each page to craft ad copy, links and call-to-action buttons that are customized for each individual location.
Facebook said in a Facebook for Business post announcing the new features:
For example, if a café with multiple locations in the Bay area decides to run local awareness ads, it could choose to automatically populate the city name in its ad copy, depending on where the people seeing the ad are. So, people in Menlo Park would see, “Join us for lunch in Menlo Park,” while people in San Francisco would see, “Join us for lunch in San Francisco.” Call-to-action buttons are also dynamic, so when someone clicks on the “Call Now” or “Get Directions” button, they’re connected to the store currently closest to them. This helps advertisers spend more efficiently, since they’re only connecting with people likely to visit the store, and the information they share is hyper-local and relevant.
These updates to local awareness ads also simplify ad targeting. Because each store page has an address associated with it, advertisers can now simply select the stores they want to run ads for and choose a targeting radius around each of those stores. And ad reports are now available for each location, giving businesses greater insight into ad performance than ever before. Location-specific ad reports help advertisers find out which locations are performing best, empowering them to advertise more efficiently by focusing their ad budgets on the best-performing stores and ads.
Facebook’s page insights section will also include a new local insights tab, which will feature aggregate demographics and trends associated with nearby users. The social network said in the Facebook for Business post:
Businesses can discover the neighborhood’s busiest days of the week and times of day, so they know when people are most likely to visit their store. And they can see aggregate demographics of the people nearby, including age, gender, tourists and local residents. So if their business serves tourists or people of a certain age group, they know when they have the best opportunity to connect with those people. Insights of this kind empower businesses to tailor their marketing to the people nearby and drive more people to their store.
Additionally, local businesses that run ads have historically had a hard time figuring out if their ads are reaching the right people—the people near their store. Now, for the first time, advertisers can see the percentage of people nearby who have seen their ad, helping them understand how well their ads are reaching their potential customers. Over time, this new metric can also help advertisers draw a connection between reaching a larger percentage of people nearby and accomplishing the business outcomes they care about.
Local insights was built with privacy as a top priority, and only includes data from people who have location services enabled to show trends about people near your business. To protect the privacy of people on Facebook, data is anonymized and only shown in percentages and overall trends, not absolute numbers. Local insights does not share location information about individual people with businesses.
Vice president of monetization product marketing Matthew Idema said in an email to SocialTimes:
People are spending over three hours per day on their mobile devices, and that creates new challenges for businesses looking to bring people into their store, whether they have one location or 1,000. These new products give businesses of all sizes the insights and capabilities to create more effective mobile marketing campaigns and drive results.
Readers: What are your initial thoughts on Facebook’s two new features for local businesses?