Facebook ads are immensely popular because of the platform’s powerful audience targeting capabilities. These targeting features are especially relevant to multi-location businesses, as they allow marketers to target specific audiences in each individual community around each business’ location. As mentioned in this research report created by SOCi and the Local Search Association, 32 percent of consumers say that Facebook impacts their purchase decisions.
The best way to make an impact on buying decisions is by targeting consumers in your community with localized social media ads, and using these seven best practices to optimize your campaigns.
1. Incorporate both Boost and Ads.
Facebook has limited the reach of Business Pages to such a degree that it’s almost impossible to get your content in front of your audience unless you pay to promote it with Facebook Boost. Both Local and Brand Pages should be posting organic content regularly so the Page appears up-to-date and active. While most of your paid social budget will likely go to Facebook Ads, it’s important to dedicate some of your budget to Boost to ensure people see your posts.
2. Pay attention and optimize often.
Setting up a Facebook ad campaign involves dozens of adjustable variables and targeting capabilities, but the work isn’t done when the ad goes live. Every social media marketer should be monitoring ad campaigns and then optimizing the ads to make sure the budget is being spent properly.
To optimize existing campaigns, you can refine your target or scale your budget based on performance. One way to optimize across multiple ad sets is to set up an engagement campaign to build your base of warm leads; people who have engaged with your content. Then, set up a conversion campaign to target people who engaged with the previous campaign. Social media reporting tools like SOCi can give you the numbers you need to adjust spend and targeting parameters accordingly.
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3. Use conversion objectives.
Running an ad with the objective of “Link Clicks” or “Landing Page Views” tells Facebook to put the ad in front of people within your target audience parameters who are likely to click on the ad. However, just because someone is likely to click doesn’t mean they’re likely to convert; meaning make a purchase, fill out a contact form, request a quote, etc. If you run an ad with a conversion objective, Facebook will display your ad to people within your target audience parameters who are likely to convert, not just click.
4. Localize your creative.
Eye-catching visual content is an essential part of any strong social media strategy. According to Facebook’s advertising guidelines, images should be directly relevant to your product or service. What could be more relevant than the communities that your individual franchise locations serve? A franchise in Texas has a different target audience than a franchise in New York, and the ad visuals and messaging should be tailored accordingly.
Localizing your creative means making sure every Local Facebook Page has ads tailored to the specific location that you’re advertising. A social media advertising tool like SOCi allows marketers to use dynamic text and imagery to efficiently post localized ads across 10s or 100s of locations.
5. Take advantage of retargeting.
Facebook’s audience retargeting capabilities allow advertisers to target people who have already engaged with your business’ content. While targeting your ideal audience is tempting, it’s unlikely that you’re going to draw in new customers who are ready to convert if they have never heard of your business or engaged with its Facebook Page. You can retarget audiences based on a number of factors, including who views your videos, likes or comments on your posts, visits your website, fills out a contact form, and countless other actions. Building brand awareness through audience retargeting is key because this brings your brand top-of-mind for consumers, so when they’re ready to make a purchase decision, they come to you.
6. Consider every step in the customer journey.
With Facebook audience targeting, you can serve an ad to your ideal customer. However, some people have never heard of your brand and should be shown different content than people who have liked your posts or taken an action on your website, as the latter group is farther down the sales funnel. Multi-location marketing managers have to consider the different audiences around each location, plus break down each audience into the different stages of the customer journey. Best practice dictates that every multi-location business should use a mix of informational “learn more” ads and sales-focused “buy now” ads. Show the informational ads to people who have never interacted with your content, and show the sales-focused ads to people who have.
7. Protect against ad fatigue.
Ad fatigue refers to when a user sees an ad too many times. This happens most often when a large budget is used on a narrowly-targeted audience, which is why it’s so important to make sure your budget aligns with audience size. Ad fatigue also happens when you’re A/B testing two different audiences and they overlap. It’s often the case that one person can fall into both a retargeting audience and a lookalike audience. Advertisers can prevent this from happening by using Facebook’s audience overlap tool and excluding one audience from another when creating targeting parameters.
Facebook ads are powerful, but the platform’s algorithms are always shifting. By following these seven best practices, you can ensure your multi-location business is keeping up with the changes. Franchisors struggling to manage new paid social initiatives can find relief in the form of a social advertising platform like SOCi, which allows advertisers to see every campaign, account, and report in one centralized place.