Putting money into social media advertising can sometimes seem like taking a shot in the dark. Since customers and clients rarely arrive at your store or office and announce ‘I saw your Facebook ad at 2 PM and decided to come in’, it can be difficult to know what the real world impact of those ads is.
It doesn’t have to be that way anymore. Facebook has recognized that issue and introduced new tools that provide analytics on how and when ad views convert to store visits.
The social media network, which had already been providing retailers with information about people who were around their stores, is now starting to tap into their location tracking technology further. AdAge reports that “now, it's building on that, giving advertisers data about those who were served an ad and then traveled into a store, as well as adding features to its local ads designed to make store location easier for consumers.”
The Store Visits metric will be added to Facebook’s Ads reporting repertoire and works to help retailers get a sense of how foot traffic is influenced by running local awareness ads -- ads targeted toward people within a set distance of the advertiser. The new data will help advertisers “see how many people come into a store after seeing a Facebook ad; optimize the ads' creative, delivery and targeting based on store visits; and analyze results across stores and regions.”
The data while helpful will not necessarily paint the full picture – only those customers who have enabled the location-tracking aspect of Facebook’s app will be included in the data on ad-to-visit conversions. And, in order to protect Facebook users’ privacy the data on people will be anonymous and aggregated. That means you won’t be able to see the exact people who came into your store or were close by, but you will be able to get demographic insights like gender and age about the people making transactions in person and over the phone in real time.
The network is not only making it easier for advertisers to reach people but also for people to connect with those advertisers once they are served the ad. Facebook is launching Store Locator, a new feature which includes maps in people’s local awareness ad carousels. Advertisers can include information on hours of operation, phone numbers, and physical addresses on pinpointed locations on the map. With one click those served the ad can be taken to a map with directions to your location.
This is just one of Facebook’s many recent advertising innovation announcements -- including customized slideshows, Canvas and the Facebook Creative Hub. They are also working on developing technology for payment features, building on their peer-to-peer and messenger technology. All of these efforts are part of a broader campaign to help the network turn users into buyers, an effort that businesses of all sizes can benefit from.
For assistance in learning how Facebook may help your business, please contact us at www.BuddinghAssociates.com.
Pepper Erdmann is a Marketing Manager at Buddingh & Associates, Inc., an award-winning strategic marketing consulting firm in Naperville, IL. Contact her at (630) 961-4504 or visit www.BuddinghAssociates.com.