Though it’s hard to keep up with Facebook’s constantly changing algorithm that determines how and why content shows up in users’ feeds, the social media giant remains the go-to platform for multi-location brands to connect with customers on the local level.
And why not? Facebook’s family of services (Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger) boasts a whopping 2.45 billion-plus worldwide active users. An estimated 79 percent of the U.S. population is on Facebook—74 percent of those log in every day, and two out of three consumers visit a Local Business Page at least once per week.
With so many people using social to find local business information, companies that combine native advertising with accurate, up to date social pages and thoughtful, creative content will win the engagement battle. Your competitive edge starts with a clear goal and the smart use of Facebook Boost and Facebook ads. Both paid features have a place in localized social advertising, but there are important differences between the two, which we’ll cover below.
A boosted post helps you get your content in front of more than just the people who follow your page and is the simplest way to advertise on Facebook. Boosted posts are new or existing posts already on the Business Page that you want more people to see, like, comment on, and share. Multi-location businesses should boost content that is outperforming other posts.
Just click the little blue button next to any post, set a budget, and pay to boost a post to appear higher on followers’ timelines or push out the message to target users who don’t follow you for a wider reach based on Facebook’s location, demographics, and profile information. Use Facebook Boost to build brand awareness, drive engagement, promote an event, and increase the reach of the organic content you worked so hard to create.
SOCi’s research shows that boosting a post can lead to a 2000 percent increase in reach and a 500 percent increase in comments versus organic posts. While most of your paid social budget will likely go to Facebook Ads, don’t overlook the power of boost to maximize marketing efforts and ensure people see your posts. Boosting can be a game-changer when you invest the time and energy into developing creative, quality social content.
Facebook ads are targeted pieces of content that can appear in the desktop or mobile News Feed and in the right-side columns across Facebook. Right column ads only show up to people browsing Facebook on their computers. Compared to boosting posts, targeted ads provide more sophisticated features to reach a local audience on social. Content created through Facebook Ads Manager offers plenty of creative freedom and a slew of ad types, advanced customization solutions, and micro-targeting options based on marketing objectives and budget.
Different locations require different approaches. A Facebook objective optimizes a campaign for a specific result or goal and generally falls under the three broad categories of awareness, consideration, and conversions. The objective also determines how ads are delivered to your audience and what actions you hope users take when they see the ad.
Multi-location marketers can target audiences and set different ad objectives optimized to nurture fans and drive new leads, sales, and foot traffic near individual locations or properties—based on the different audiences. Objectives should be on-brand and locally maximized across the entire buyer’s journey.
Best practices suggest that every multi-location business use a mix of informational “learn more” and sales-focused “buy now” or “schedule a visit” ads. Gear informational content to new prospects; target sales-focused ads when you want to close the deal with folks who have already interacted with your brand or property. Audience retargeting can keep a brand top-of-mind for consumers, so when they’re ready to buy a product or sign a lease, they come to you.
Facebook ads are powerful, but the platform’s algorithm is always shifting. By monitoring paid social campaigns and then optimizing to make sure the budget is being spent properly, you can ensure your multi-location business is keeping up with the changes.
It’s important to note: Facebook Ads Manager doesn’t allow for posting across multiple locations at once. Multi-location marketers can look to partners like SOCi to run custom, localized campaigns across multiple locations, at scale, in one centralized place.