How to Combine Location-Based Targeting with Social Media Marketing

by | Jun 15, 2020 | Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing

Location marketing: Expand your Reach with Location-Based Social Media Marketing

Pairing your existing social media strategies with location-based marketing tactics is an incredible way to boost the impact of your marketing campaigns exponentially.

This strategy makes your social media marketing more effective by targeting a specific location-based audience. At the same time, location-based marketing helps build your social media following by attracting new audience members in your area.

By leveraging location-based and social media marketing together, you can expand the reach of your content, learn about your customers, and open up new options for targeting your audience.

What is location-based marketing?

Location-based marketing is a strategy that allows you to target your audience based on foot traffic patterns, places your audience visits, and other behavior. Using this information, you can serve relevant messages to your clearly defined audience through display ads.

Marketing to location-based audiences is a powerful tactic to beat out your competition. By capturing shopping and visitation patterns in your area, you can divert traffic away from rival businesses to your location.

This strategy is especially effective for business owners or marketers promoting brick and mortar businesses, real estate, and large events and festivals.

Business owners can use location-based marketing to push location ads to anyone that goes into a competitor’s business. Similarly, a real estate agent can be the first to reach house hunters by serving their message to those browsing open houses in your area.

Large events are also fantastic for location-based marketing — you can capture a large new audience all interested in a topic relevant to your business by delivering your message to anyone attending a large conference or event.

The rise of social media marketing

Social media marketing, the strategy of using social media outlets to share content, build your audience and promote your brand, has become the most common—and crucial—marketing method over the past 10 years.

Over 72% of Americans use some type of social media, and signing up for social media accounts is free for both individuals and businesses. Therefore, social media marketing can allow marketers and business owners to reach a large and diverse audience.

Each social media channel also provides a different context for a variety of content and audiences, making this tactic versatile as well as affordable.

In the past few years, Facebook marketing has particularly changed the social media marketing game by using interest and demographic data to deliver targeted ads to Facebook users. Facebook allows you to define different audiences based on the education, income, gender, location, interests and other data that Facebook collects from all users as they sign up for accounts and use the program.

After launching your targeted ads, Facebook provides you with valuable data about the engagement and impact of each ad campaign with no added cost. Facebook’s targeted ads are also incredibly cost-effective, since they allow you to reach a specific audience for a relatively low price.

Getting Started

The first step in starting your location-based social media marketing campaign is to create your location audience.  Create a list of locations your target customer is most likely to frequent.  You will then build a location campaign using this list of physical addresses.

Now, every device that enters these locations will be exposed to your display ads and be added into your social audience. 

After you gather the audience data from the location targeting, you can use this information to build a social remarketing audience. This social remarketing audience will consist of users who have been exposed to your location ads.

By using a social remarketing strategy with your location audience, you can increase the exposure of your ads  past the current constraints of existing location ad networks.

How to connect the location audience to the Social Campaign

The social remarketing audience is gathered using an external tracking pixel.  To start building this audience  you will need to create a custom facebook tracking pixel.  This pixel will allow you to start building your social campaign from your location ads.

Once your pixel starts collecting data you will be able to start building and segmenting your audience. You may want to create several different custom audiences tailored to different locations or events.

Finally, you can use your custom audiences to build an ad campaign on Facebook or Instagram. Craft a unique message for each group of people who are likely to take the actions that lead to conversions. As you draft each message, consider where that audience has been and what would appeal to them for a maximum impact.

Practical Applications for this approach

There are endless ways that you can integrate location-based social media marketing into your current strategies. Some effective applications of this tactic include:

Large conferences: You can build an audience consisting of everyone attending a conference or event that is relevant to your business. Use the list of attendees to market through social media to encourage new conversions.

B2B client acquisition: Use location-based social media to find new clients for your B2B business. In addition to marketing conference attendees, you can use the demographics, interests and even time of day that your prospects browse the web to create a streamlined strategy to maximize conversions.

Brick and mortar business: Restaurants and retail businesses can benefit by targeting customers of businesses that serve your market. Don’t just focus on your competitors- customers of complementary businesses are great prospective converts.

Offer incentives and rewards: By pushing location-specific special offers, you can cultivate loyalty and increase foot traffic to your existing client base.

Real estate: Build a list of people looking at real estate offerings and open house events and show them a message about your real estate services before they step foot in a showing.

Monitor, adjust, then repeat

Using location-based social media is an excellent method to increase your audience, prospect list, and ROI.  The data that you will gather in your campaign over time will also be invaluable in developing new campaigns.  Since this type of campaign continuously updates data based on foot traffic, you can also ensure that your campaign will be up to date and relevant to your audience even as marketing trends continue to rapidly evolve and shift in today’s digital world.

Bill Reinhart

Bill has been an active marketer for over 15 years with experience leading teams in web development, SEO, and lead generation. Bill founded Signature W Studio in 2018 in Charlotte, NC. Bill's goal with Signature W Studio is to create lasting partnerships with his clients.

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