Facebook Ad Targeting: Separating the Tourists From the Locals

touristsOne of the many benefits of Facebook targeting, is the ability to really hone in on your target market with all of the hyper-specific targeting features.  One of Facebook’s lesser known features is the ability to identify select users within their geotargets.  Sometimes it’s easy to spot a tourist on the street but digitally, not so much. Facebook targeting helps to make that a little bit easier!

As you likely already know, Facebook allows advertisers to target users based upon:

  • Country
  • State/Region
  • City
  • DMA
  • Zip Code

As the default, Facebook will target everyone within the selected location.  However, advertisers also have the option to be selective about their audience. Instead of targeting all users within a location, advertisers can choose any of the following segments:

  • People who live in this location: this is determined by the user’s “current location”, as identified in their profile. Facebook takes this one step further and validates their location with their IP address and their Facebook friends’ stated location.
  • People who have recently been in this location: this will target people whose most recently identified location is the geotargeted area. This is determined solely by the user’s mobile device. This may target people who live in the area or people that traveled there.
  • People traveling to a location: People whose most recent location is at least 100 miles from the “current location” identified in their profile. Their location will be determined by their mobile device. (FYI – this is a setting that could cause issue if the person has not updated their “current location” or if the person has a temporary home – such as a college student or a snowbird.)

Google has taken aim at a similar feature, allowing advertisers to choose “people in the targeted location” or “people in or searching for the targeted location”. Bing has taken it even one step further, allowing advertisers to target “people in the targeted location”, “people in or searching for the targeted location”, or “people searching for a targeted location”.  Because of Facebook’s wealth of personal data, though, including “hometown” and “current residence”, it allows for accurate targeting of visitors versus residents – assuming the Facebook user has updated their profile.

There are many ways to utilize these features. For instance, if you’re a local business with a recurring membership fee, you’d likely only be interested in locals. If you consider yourself more of a tourist attraction, you might be more interested in visitors. If you’re a local business that appeals to both locals and tourists – such as a restaurant – you might even want to test creating separate campaigns to target locals and travelers using different messaging. You might find that one audience works better than the other, or at least that different messaging resounds with each.