Recently, Facebook announced a new way of helping local businesses reach more customers. The yet-to-be launched advertising feature will allow businesses to show local awareness ads to customers within a specified radius of a given business location. For example, a coffee shop in downtown Charlotte, NC, will be able to create a mobile ad, specify their exact location and remind those within certain proximity that a new seasonal latte just hit the menu.
This feature could have a major impact on how small businesses market to their customers and may cause a dramatic change in the relationship between retailers and consumers.
A Forbes article, “5 Ways Facebook Geo-Targeting Will Change Your Life”, shares the likely implications of Facebook’s local awareness ads:
- Consumers may spend less time waiting in line as businesses may use geo-targeting feature to inform locals when there is less traffic in their establishment.
- Consumers may experience increased efficiency in running multiple errands due to exact notification of when particular services (hair salon or oil change appointments for example) can take walk-ins.
- Consumers may benefit from special sales due to their geographic proximity as businesses may offer special discounts on first-come-first-served basis.
- “Geo-targeting will allow retailers to reward consumers for shopping at specific time or locations, leveling supply and demand.”
- A renewed notion of community may be spurred by local businesses marketing to local customers.
The ads will only target those who have their location services enabled, and while advertisers can target consumers within certain geographic radius, Facebook does not share which specific people are in any particular location.
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