social media how toDo you advertise on Facebook?

Looking for ways to get your ads in front of the right people?

With Facebook, you can set up location ad targeting for a specific address.

You can then refine that audience to people who live in, have recently been to or are traveling in that area.

In this article you’ll discover how to use Facebook’s advanced location targeting to drive engagement for your business.

facebook advanced location targeting

Discover how to use Facebook advanced location targeting for more engagement.

What Is Advanced Location Targeting?

With Facebook ads, you can already target users based on their country, state and city. This is useful if you’re a local business and you want to target users in a particular city, like Seattle, rather than show your content to the entire state of Washington.

location targeting in facebook

You can target ads to serve to Facebook users in a geographic location.

To bolster their location targeting, Facebook now lets you target users based on a specific address. In the Locations field, you can enter a physical address or geographic location and target users who are around that area.

Suppose that you want people to visit your bakery in Seattle. Simply type the address into your ad targeting and choose to target people who are in and around the business.

adding a location to targeting

Add relevant locations to your targeting.

You might be a little skeptical about targeting people who are “around the area.” After all, someone could just be passing through or working in the area for the day.

For more precise targeting, click the Everyone in This Location drop-down menu and choose from any of these targeting options:

  • Everyone in This Location (default)
  • People Who Live in This Location
  • People Recently in This Location
  • People Traveling in This Location

For a bakery, it makes the most sense to target “people who live in this location” because they’re more likely to become repeat customers.

Here are some ways advanced location targeting might benefit your business.

#1: Attract Walk-In Customers

With a brick-and-mortar business such as a café, bakery, hotel, gym or retail store, you’re looking to drive foot traffic. So targeting your Facebook ads to people in your city or state would be ineffective because you’d be casting too wide a net.

The better option is to use extended location targeting. Send a quick message to people who are in and around the area to let them know that your business is just a few minutes away.

target area based on business location

Use location targeting to reach people who are near your business.

If you add contextual cues to your messaging, you can make an emotional connection with people to drive slightly higher interaction. For example, if you own a café, you might try these contextual cues to drive traffic:

  • On a warm sunny day, ask people to stop by your store for ice cream or other refreshment.
  • On a rainy day, ask people to take shelter where you are and enjoy a hot cup of coffee.
  • A few hours before lunchtime, send a targeted message to people promoting your lunch special and asking them to stop by to eat.

#2: Drive Purchases During Sales Events

If you’re planning to have a sale or make a push for revenue during a specific time period, you’re likely committing advertising dollars to spread awareness and build anticipation for the event.

That’s a great way to let people know about your upcoming event. But during the sale itself, you don’t want to cast a wide net to reach as many people as possible. Instead, target only the people who are near your location.

timeline of sale cycle

During the sale, target your ads to drive foot traffic.

During the sale period, convey urgency to nearby customers. If you have a retail store, here are a few ways you might do that:

  • Send a targeted message to people around your store, letting them know that the sale is happening now and it’s nearby.
  • If you’re managing a chain of stores, set up customized messages for each location. Talk about special deals that may not be available elsewhere.
  • Send a picture of people shopping in the store during the sale.

By following this strategy during a sale period or product launch, you can more effectively optimize your ad spend.

#3: Stand Out From the Competition

Your business may not be the only restaurant or coffee shop on the block or the only hotel or electronics store within a few miles.

So it’s vital to set yourself apart and let your target audience know how they can benefit from doing business with you, rather than your competitors. Here are some ways you might do that:

  • Focus on superior service, prices or loyalty programs, or a better ambience.
  • Bring out the nuances of the surrounding area so people connect it with your business.

Remember to avoid mentioning your competitors by name. Instead, talk about your location and position your business as the best choice.

#4: Build Loyalty and Advocacy

Unless you’re in the central business district of a large city, your business is likely located in an area that people call home. Most people are inherently proud of their neighborhoods, and where they live is significant to them.

arbor crossfit location mention facebook update

Use location targeting to promote things happening in your neighborhood.

Here are some ways you can use location targeting to make an emotional connection and drive loyalty:

  • Talk about aspects of the neighborhood that you’re proud of.
  • Post pictures of well-known people in the neighborhood interacting with you. Think of them as influencers who lend authenticity to your brand.
  • Portray your business as part of the community.
  • Showcase testimonials from people talking about why they do business with you.

When making an emotional connection, it’s important to be authentic. Otherwise, your actions could have a negative impact on your business.

#5: Leverage Traffic From Local Landmarks

Every city has popular landmarks that it’s famous for. These landmarks are where you can expect people to engage in a lot of social chatter and take lots of photographs.

There’s a huge opportunity here for your business to tap into. With location targeting, create an association between popular landmarks and your business. Target people who are near those locations and deliver messages to them in real time. Talk about the location they’re visiting and link it back to your business.

landmarks mapped in new york

Identify popular landmarks near your business.

It’s helpful to create a list of popular spots and mark them on a map like the one above. The map is a visual reminder of where you’re driving these associations and helps you come up with the messaging for your ads.

Here are some potential ways to make these connections:

  • Talk about the similarity in values between the landmark the user is visiting and your business.
  • Tell people they can receive a discount at your business if they present a picture of this landmark.
  • Serve up an interesting fact about the landmark to add something to the customer’s experience.


As is often the case with new features, there’s a potential to use them to the detriment of other aspects of your business. So in addition to using extended location targeting for your Facebook ads, also remember to target people based on age groups, interests and other classifications that you typically use.

Keep in mind that serving sales-related content too often to people might annoy them. Additionally, some people may be uncomfortable that you know exactly where they are. So don’t be too intrusive with your messages and monitor sentiment. If you get a lot of negative feedback, pause the ad and rethink your strategy.

Finally, make sure the number of people you’re targeting isn’t too large or too small. If you’re targeting a densely populated area, it’s understandable that your ad will be seen by a large number of people. However, if you’re targeting a sparsely populated area and your ad is still being served to 100,000 people, reduce your target radius and interest categories.

What do you think? Have you tried Facebook’s extended location targeting? Have fans responded positively to your ads? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

how to use facebook location targeting

Tips for using Facebook advanced location targeting.

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  • Hello! Thanks for taking out the time to read this article. I put this together because I feel this could be a very powerful way of sending out targeted messages to a niche audience on Facebook. 🙂 Happy to answer any questions or take part in a discussion you’d like to have about this!

  • Great article. I do have a quick question. How does FB determine where the individual is? Does the individual have to Check-In nearby? Do they have to post an enable location? Or is this done by GPS? Just curious. Thanks!!

  • Hey @Linwright:disqus, as I understand it, if you have location services turned on in your mobile phone, the Facebook app has access to your location and uses this to determine where you are. Additionally, each time you’re on Facebook Messenger on your mobile, it has access to your location. Each post you make with your mobile phone on Facebook is geo-tagged as well, even if you don’t share that location with your friends, Facebook does have access to it, but keeps it private. I believe these are the major ways they have access to a user’s location.

  • Great. Thanks!

  • Tracy Shipp

    Has this been rolled out to everyone? I don’t have the ‘everyone in this location’ option, nor will it recognize a street address when I type it in.

  • Hey @samsarazoe:disqus, I’ve had the feature for a few weeks now – I do think it’s been slowly rolled out across regions. My searching skills might be failing me here, but I can’t seem to find an official Facebook release about this as yet. Until then – perhaps just plan for what you plan on doing till this feature gets rolled out!

  • Saksham Makani

    Good read. Really helps in targeting a particular region, tried it to get more UK based clicks, as they generate better revenue.

  • Nikita Alok Sharma

    Thanks Avtar, This is really best way to target specific audience.

  • Breaking that down deeper by city and then by locality (as explained in this post) will hopefully increase your CTR and conversion rates too! 🙂

  • Glad you like it @nikitaaloksharma:disqus, let me know how your experiments go with this. 🙂

  • Mindy Rayer

    The “Things to do” image in the article obviously has more than 20% text in it. Is this a sample for just a straight page post without ad spend or are you suggesting that you can use an image like this in an actual ad (as opposed to restrictions for boosted posts)?

  • Hey @mindyrayer:disqus, that was just an example post from a pre-existing brand. Because of Facebook’s 20% rule, you’d be wise to perhaps just promote one event per post. 🙂

  • Bill

    There is also a CALL NOW button that was just enabled this week. It is pretty cool!

  • Hi! quick question, this feature is now available to all facebook users? or only U.S ones for now?

  • Hey @nirhuli:disqus, I’m based in Singapore and this has been available to me for a few weeks now. 🙂 So I’m pretty sure it’s not just in the U.S.

  • Thank’s 🙂

  • Ritu Sharma

    Very Nice and helpful articles. Provide deep information about Facebook advanced targeting

  • Geovani Perez

    Hello Avtar. Thank you for this article It is really useful. I have a question ¿How much precise is the near location? Can i target people around 50 meters?

  • Location services actually track the user’s whereabouts. Although I’m interested to know this too.

  • Ryan Smith

    Thanks for the great article! Question – is it possible to target specific addresses with FB ADs? For example – if I have a list of 1,000 addresses, can I import them into the Facebook ADs manager and send custom FB ADs to FB users listing that address on their profile? Just like you can with email addresses…

  • That’s a really interesting question @disqus_EzX9TDN7CS:disqus, short of creating a separate ad for each of those people – I don’t think it’s currently possible! Is your intention to target 1,000 people living in those addresses, or people living AROUND those 1,000 addresses?

  • I believe at present 1000 meters is the limit!

  • Glad you liked it @disqus_LgwvIcGNER:disqus!

  • Ryan Smith

    The goal would be to target the 1000 specific addresses, not people living around those addresses… I appreciate your insight.

  • Grace

    Hi guys,

    I have a question. I have seen some Facebook Ads with Variation Location, such as I’m living in Vietnam, the ad will show: “Hi, Vietnam”. My friend is living in UK, the ad will show: “Hi, UK”


    So, how to do that?

  • Bill Widmer

    Great stuff! Thanks for sharing!!