Facebook Location Targeting: A Detailed Guide with Geo-targeting

Facebook Location Targeting_ A Detailed Guide with Geo-targeting

Facebook is one of the premium platforms to generate leads and advertises. From big and small entrepreneurs to social media activities, Facebook helps everyone to grow. It has various superb features that are blessings to people who cannot afford a big ad agency. Facebook location targeting in one of those features that have changed the way people advertise on social media.

Before moving forward to understand what is Facebook location targeting, let’s have a look at some important statistics and data about Facebook to make an idea of the power of this social media giant.

  • According to the 2018 social media marketing industry report published on SocialMediaExaminer, 93% of advertisers on social media use Facebook ads for their product promotion.

What is Facebook Location Targeting?

Facebook Location Targeting allows people to advertise exclusively on a particular location, city or country of their own choice. If you are new to Facebook ads, you can check our recent post on How to Use Facebook Ads to Generate Revenue and Leads.

We all know that Facebook has millions of users across the world. However, if you are a small business providing services locally in the USA, it is useless to advertise in Australia. The process is cumbersome and perhaps you will not get the organic result. Here comes Facebook Target Location.

Through this, you can choose the exact location to advertise and narrow down your leads. If you live in Los Angeles and run a small flower shop, you get leads only from Los Angeles. Of course, the Facebook Location Targeting service is paid but it is worthy of your investment.

The Benefits of Using Facebook Location Targeting

As you have understood what is Facebook location targeting, now it’s time to know about the benefits of the same.

1. Refine Your Audience:

Refining is the primary benefit of location targeting. You refine the audiences who could be the potential customers to your business. Now, you can choose the location based on:

  • Everyone in the location (default):

When you select this option, you can reach to all the Facebook users who are living in that particular location. You can also collect the leads of those who recently visited the location you have selected. This option is useful when you are advertising for a big event. For example, you are organizing a music concert and what to advertise everywhere in the selected location.

  • People who live in the location:

You can refine your search a little more. Here, you select only those people having their home in a selected region. For example, advertising for a local grocery shop.

  • People recently in this location:

If you want to advertise for time-sensitive sales, this is the right option. For example, your business is located in a tourist place. The peak months of tourist business are the perfect time to grow your business.

  • People traveling in this location:

Let say, you are into a rental car business. You need the leads of travelers who can be your potential customers. You can gather their information and advertise if they are using devices.

In concise, location targeting helps business owners or others to advertise on specific geographic areas. You get the precise leads from the relevant locations. In addition, you advertise on only those places where you want to do so to target the most relevant customers.

You can also target potential clients by:

  • Country
  • State or region
  • City
  • Only a few places within the city through Zip/Postal Code
  • Business Address

If you are in the United States, you can choose DMA (Designated Market Area) to advertise. DMA is based on local television viewing and is measured by Neilson.

It might be possible that you need to target multiple locations without changing the targeting group (say you want multiple dishes in a single plate). Facebook location targeting enables you to do so as well. For example, you can include many countries or cities in a single group for targeting leads. However, Facebook has limited specific target parameters. In a single group, you can include a maximum of 25 countries or up to 250 individual cities.

Facebook also offers multinational companies to use “Worldwide Target” option. You can enhance your targeting capabilities by broad region. For example, you do business in Asia that includes all the countries in Asia. You can advertise all Asia excluding countries where Facebook is banned.

2. Attract Foot Traffic to Your Shop:

You need foot traffic for your brick-and-mortar business. Those who walks-in to buy your product or even for a window-shopping are your real target. For this, you need to advertise in a specific area from where you operate your business. Of course, targeting the whole city is worthless. What can you do in such instances?

You can refine your target audience to “everyone in the location”. Through Facebook Location Targeting, you can send them a welcome message. You can tell them about your business and invite them for a glance. Even those people do not come right away, but you know that now they know your business.

You can allure them through meaningful emotional messages. Add contextual cues to your message.

For example, if you own a book cafe, you might try these cues to drive traffic:

  • On a rainy day, ask people to shop for a coffee treat and read a nice book while enjoying the peter-patter of the raindrops.
  • On a sunny day, ask them to come along for a refreshing cold coffee and a book discussion.
  • Arrange a book review or author’s specific day and ask people around to join the discussion and buy some snacks.
  • You can send a targeted message to attract the attention and increase the foot traffic to your shop.

3. Encourage Customers to Buy Through Various Events:

Let’s say, it is the starting of winter. You know the people will buy winter clothes in bulk. You can plan a sales drive just before winter for your garment business. However, just planning the event is not enough. You need customers to reach at your store to shop during the planned event.

You can hire an advertising company and spend a fortune to advertise your upcoming events. You can also seek the help of Facebook Location Targeting facility and spread awareness through social media. Facebook allows you to advertise among only those who are either native or visiting the area. These people are your real customers.

Encouraging the real foot traffic at your store is easy through Facebook. There are various ways through you can reach your target customers.

  • If you have a chain of shops in various areas, you can customize your message for every area. Let them know the exclusive facilities and amenities you are offering to them.
  • You can share the pictures of real people shopping and enjoying the amenities of your shop.
  • You can simply message them and tell them the date and exclusivity of the upcoming events.

This way, you discard the clutter of inorganic leads and optimize your ad spend to optimal.

4. Stay Ahead from Other Competitors:

Those who are wise, try to stand out from the competition. If you are a business owner, it might be possible that you run multiple businesses at the same time. If you use age long business techniques that your competitors are using as well, you are not going to succeed.

To become a leader, you need to gather the organic leads. In addition, you need to enhance your brand awareness. Facebook Location Targeting is the perfect tool for you.

Now, the question is how you can tell your target audiences about the benefits of doing business with you. Here are the ways:

  • Offer loyalty programs, special benefits, great ambiance, and super services.
  • Let the customers or clients know the specialty of your area. Let them have an emotional connection with your business.
  • You can talk about the neighborhood and share some pictures of the influential people. You can tell your customers about the core value of your organization. Use location targeting to promote things happening in your neighborhood.
  • You can also portray business as a part of the neighborhood community. For example, if you are selling art and craft materials, connect it with the native art.
  • You can put reviews and testimonies of your previous customers on your website. These testimonies work like honey for the potential customers.

The idea is very simple. Use Facebook Location targeting and reach to the precise customers. Connect with them and talk about your business. Enhance your brand value and credibility and stand out from your competitors.

5. Get the Benefits of Local Landmarks:

Every city has some history or some stories. You can share those historical stories and pictures and persuade customers in a discussion. Greater the people’s participation in your post, the higher be the hype your brand will get.  You can tap great leads and business from these discussions.

How Can You Target Ads to People in Cities?

You can choose your ads to reach people either

  • Within the city where the population density is very high, or
  • Outside the city with small population area

Facebook allows you to choose a specific target depending on your business in the city. It is a great option for local businesses and small events. Shops that are exclusive in a city or running brick-and-mortar operations can advertise as per their comfort.

If you are looking for expansion and want to broaden your target leads, Facebook has options for you as well. You can also advertise in small cities where you want to expand your business. For example, you sell products that are right now limited to big cities. Now, you want people from small cities also to buy from you. With the Facebook “Exclude city” option, you can target a precise city or location for advertising and generate leads.

A Guide to Target Your Ads to People in Cities or Outside the Major Cities

This is a systematic guide to learn “How to advertise within and outside the city.”

Steps to Create Ads for People in Cities:

Step #1: Open Ads Manager

Step #2: Chose an objective

Step #3: Create your ad based on your objective

Step #4: Click Audience

Step #5: Use Location box to choose a target country or region from the drop box

Step #6: Go to the country name and click  to open the drop-down menu.

Step #7: Select ‘only include cities’ from the list shown in the drop-down option.

Steps to Create Ads Targeting People Outside Cities:

Step #1-6: Follow 1-6 steps as above

Step #7: Select ‘Exclude cities’ from the drop-down menu.

How to Target Your Ads to Multiple Countries, or Many Regions, or even Globally Everywhere?

When you are operating from more than one region, city-specific ads do not work for you. You need to increase your reach and broaden your horizon to multiple regions. In addition, for precise targeting, you have to do lots of brainstorming. Such many works can eat up lots of your time.

What can you do in such conditions? Well, through Facebook Location Targeting, you can go beyond the city and target the whole region in a country. If your work area is in multiple countries, you can target all those countries under one roof. You can also choose worldwide leads through worldwide targeting. All these services on Facebook are paid services but you can optimize costing through Facebook Ad-set.

Let’s take a look at a systematic guide to target audiences for a large region.

How to Set Location Targeting?

If you are looking to generate leads through Facebook, first you need to create a Facebook page for the same. But, if you already own a Facebook business page or a profile page, follow these steps:

Step #1: Open your Facebook business/fan page. Check downwards on the right sidebar. You will see a  button, click on it.

Step #2: A box will open that will have some options. Select the “Promote Your Page” option.


Step #3: A new box will open that will ask you to make the necessary changes before publishing your ad to promote your page.


You can also go through Ads Manager to use Location target facility. First, through ad manager, choose your objective. Now click the Ad-set and then look for “Audience” button. Facebook allows location target for almost every objective.

Where Can I Target Worldwide?

  • Everywhere in the world – you have to choose the “Worldwide” option.
  • Specific geographic area – for example, type Europe in the box.
  • For areas that are free to trade – for example, type GCC (the Gulf Cooperation Council) in the box.
  • A sub-region that comes in a country – for example, type Los Angeles in the box.
  • Other features – for example, type in iTunes app store countriesor Emerging markets.

If you want more specific search, you can use the drop-down menu that list regions and countries to select. For this, in the browse section, chose the region and then choose dropdown:

How to Save Your Location?

Once you have chosen all the required locations, you can save those locations and use it for future advertisements. You can do that by:

  • Go to Ad Manager and look for Ad set section.
  • Then chose your target audience.
  • Browse the location and click on “Create List” under saved location.

A step-by-step Guide to Save Location:

#1: In the Location bar, chose your target location from “Countries, DMAs (designated market areas), Regions, State or countries, Cities, Postcodes, and Addresses.”

#2: Type your locations and hit Match Locations.

#3: Now check “Review your list.” Chose the option “Save this list to use it again” for the bulk location list that you want to use in the future. Click the button with blue background and confirm.

#4: Chose a name from the “Name this list” pop us and save list.

#5: If you want to delete one or more Saved locations from the list, click the Browse button. A box with a Delete list link will appear on the right. Click to delete the list.

Some Important Facts about Location Targeting:

  • You can save maximum 500 location in the saved location list
  • You can also manually exclude some locations

Global Targeting Options:

Here is a list of global targeting options that Facebook provides. The list is divided into country groups, free trade areas, and other areas.

Country Group:

Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America

Free Trade Area:


Lookalike Audience for Worldwide Market:

Let’s say, you want to target the global audience. But, you do not want to search every location. It is clumsy to go through the same process in the Facebook ad set to find your leads. Facebook saves you from hard work and wasting your valuable time.

If you are sure about the characteristics of your customers, you can use “Lookalike Audience” feature to target similar customers in another region. You can do it through the Facebook App on your mobile very easily.

How Facebook Finds the Lookalike Audience Abroad?

  1. Audiences: Facebook creates a Lookalike Audience abroad. It uses your source audience. For example, people who like and use your page or perhaps those people that your conversation pixel tracked. You can add those people from various countries as your source audience.
  2. Targeting: You can narrow down your search depending on the demographic search.
  3. Delivery: The Facebook system will automatically optimize these customers for your use.

Can I Exclude People From My Audience?

Yes. It is easy. You can exclude current customers from your new customer acquisition campaign. You can for example use lookalike or custom audiences and exclude customers by percentages.

Audience Overlap:

Facebook Location Targeting is a great relief for businesses for getting leads but there are chances for the audience overlap. It is literally impossible to get the correct data always. For example, if you select “People recently in” it can overlap with people having a home there and just travelers.

Confusion and overlapping are possible if you chose two lookalike target options. Let’s say, you choose “People recently in” as your target options. Facebook uses GPS in mobile phones to get the leads. For other targeting option, Facebook uses additional signals.

People who have switched off their GPS or logged out of Facebook profile due to internet problems are hard to find.

I was doing research and found this valuable information.

A blogger and Facebook marketer, Jon Loomer conducted an experiment using Facebook’s Audience Overlap tool. In his experiment, he first created audience groups through Facebook ad set. Then he compared these groups in Audience Insights. He also compared people recently in and people traveling in. The result was a little surprising. He found that his assumptions about the audience overlapping were correct.

His Findings:

Jon Loomer found that when he choose People Traveling In, Facebook did not include people recently in. When two data were overlapping, Facebook failed to merge the two data to give a real figure. The “Recently In” audience does not condense every “Traveling In” people. That means the businessperson who is paying for the services is not getting 100% outcome.


Facebook Location Target is a blessing for local and small entrepreneurs or shopkeepers. It helps them to get the real leads in a very less price. Because of the wide user base, Facebook has become the prime platform to advertise. Facebook helps to paid advertising on both Facebook and Instagram.

However, like everything, Facebook does have its own limitations. It is banned in some countries like North Korea and at many Islands. It has restricted applications in China. A person sitting in North California cannot advertise in China through Facebook location target. You can check the complete list of excluded cities in Facebook help resource page.

People cannot choose multiple countries in a single drop pin method. Let’s say, I use a city from the drop pin method but the radius of the circle crosses another city. Facebook will not include that city as my target. You can again check the Facebook help resource page for reminders regarding drop pin.

Location overlapping in location target is evident. It is not successful every time and gives misleading information sometimes.

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