Last month, Facebook introduced a new ad platform for local businesses to serve location-based advertisements. At first glance, Facebook’s Local Awareness campaign looks very similar to Google’s AdWords model where businesses can set a monthly advertising budget, create text ads, and most importantly designate a geographic radius where their ads will be served. But where Google has focused and perfected their process on the personal computer, Facebook is aiming to conquer mobile.
Local Awareness advertisements use GPS data collected from a users device to serve nearby business advertisements, complete with a one-touch “get directions” feature. What’s exciting about this ad category is that it is working. A recent survey showed that 40% of mobile Facebook users viewed location based advertisements as the most likely to influence in-store purchases out of seven categories. As of now, small local businesses stand to gain the most from the new hyper-targeted ads. As Facebook introduces more social engagement features such as “buddy list” based reviews to Local Awareness, it will be interesting to see if they can translate the same engagement levels to national businesses.