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Hunch’s guide to Facebook geo targeting (+ 3 free playbooks)

Let’s run through a quick hypothetical scenario.

You’re an agency working for an eCommerce brand that wants to expand its reach in new regions and markets on social media.

What do you do?

  1. Run ads that target the entire country with a generic message
  2. Target locations like post codes, cities, and regions with tailored messaging

If you chose B, well done. You did exactly what Ruokaboksi, a Finnish meal kit service, did with the help of their full-service Nordic growth marketing agency, Genero. 

And it was a huge success - they lowered CPL by 82% and CAC by 62%.

But it’s not surprising. When two Facebook campaigns - one with localization and one without - were compared, ads with localized copy had 22% higher CTR among women and 87% higher CTR among men. 

And using geographical data is an excellent way to create granular campaigns on Facebook that captures attention and connects with audiences. 

What does geo targeting on Facebook mean?

Facebook’s location targeting allows you to reach people based on locations like country, region, or city.

You can refine your audience to serve ads to not only people who live in a certain location but also to people who were in that location or are traveling in a location. 

And that location can be either broad, like Worldwide or Asia, geographical regions, like Android app countries, or specific, like choosing the exact postcode.

Depending on the location type, you can set a radius to cover everyone in that particular area.

what does geo targeting mean

How location-based targeting can be useful?

Geo targeted ads on Facebook aren’t just for huge eCommerce brands. If any of these scenarios apply to you, then geo-targeted advertising could be the tool that puts your ads in front of the right customer:

  • You want to show your offers near your retail locations.
  • You want to run custom product offers for different neighborhoods.
  • You want to localize your messages depending on user location.
  • You want to target shoppers that are currently at a competitor’s location.
  • You want to target people who are attending a particular event.
  • You sell iPhone and MacBook covers and you want to target everyone visiting an Apple store. 
  • You run a restaurant and currently have a good limited-time offer. You want to target everyone visiting a nearby restaurant with your irresistible offer. Well, this is for you too.
  • You’re a yoga instructor who is new to the city. You want to reach out to everyone going to known busy gyms and let them know there’s lots of space at your new studio.

If you are geotargeting events or brick & mortar stores, promotions will rely heavily on the ability to micro-target locations. Facebook recommends the use of store traffic objective (Awareness) to connect people with nearby physical businesses.

Why use Facebook geo targeting 

If you’ve used Facebook ads, you know exactly how powerful well-targeted Facebook ads can be. 

But the wide proliferation of eCommerce brands on Paid Social means it's harder to capture and keep a person’s attention.

facebook geo targeting
Speak directly with your users on different locations, and avoid generic ads.

And generic ads just don’t cut it. In fact, they can cause ad fatigue which increases the costs of advertising.

One way to combat that is to produce loads of localized creatives, but there are two problems with that: 

  • A lot of the data points advertisers might normally use are no longer available to them due to privacy laws
  • Producing hundreds of creatives takes a ton of time, effort, and money

While Facebook’s dynamic creative and audience settings take care of both of those problems, there’s still room for improvement. 

Facebook geo targeting isn’t perfect

Equipped with location targeting, you would think advertisers would be able to get targeting down to the “T”, but that is not quite the case, and it's not allowed!

Geolocation is limited to a 1-mile radius on Facebook.

Meta uses various signals to show ads to people who fall within your selection criteria. But these signals can vary, and so complete accuracy isn’t guaranteed. Occasionally, you may receive a small number of ad impressions or receive messages or leads from people outside your settings.

Some localized ads may also be seen by people organically. And so you may receive likes, comments, and shares on the ads from people outside the targeted location. Meta also shows preview ads to people connected to the business who are outside of your settings.

Plus, users have often reported that the Business Manager doesn’t exactly have the most friendly UI. And if you have a large inventory, creating and running ads for each of those products may not be easy.

With Hunch, reach your performance KPIs easier by creating highly localized ads across multiple markets.

facebook geo targeting crocs ad examples

What you need is a creative automation + management platform like Hunch that can not only make it easy to produce and manage creatives but also is super easy to set up and hit the ground running.

3 free playbooks to run geo targeted ads 

Need help getting started with geo targeted ads on Facebook? Here are 3 simple playbooks you can use to hit the ground running:

1. Go local with your video ads 

If you thought you can only design static image ads for geo targeting campaigns, think again.

You can launch hundreds of video ads completely localized for your audience without having to manually create each one of them and overextending your design resources. 

First, you need to connect your data feed to a creative automation and management platform like Hunch. A data feed is just all the information you need to personalize your ads. For instance, a Google Sheet containing all the locations you want to target, all the zip codes, the offer, and the local language.

But if you don’t have one, don’t worry. Our experts can show you to create one easily.

Then, you can either have your design team work on a video for the ad or use Hunch’s powerful Video Studio to create videos in minutes by choosing from hundreds of dynamic templates available. 

When that’s done, you just need to combine the dynamic elements aka location, offer, and language with the video. And just like that, you now have hundreds of localized video ads.

Directly launch your campaigns from Hunch (all the ad settings are exactly the same). Plus, you can easily duplicate ad sets with a click. 

Localize your video ads and promote local stores.

2. Capitalize on the time of day

You can add another layer of personalization to your geo targeted ads — time of day.

Let’s use a hypothetical scenario to understand how it might work.

For those of us who don’t meal prep, cooking every day might seem like a chore. Early mornings in the kitchen can be quite chaotic as you rush to prep your lunch (and your kids).

Ruokaboksi, the meal-kit company, could run ads when most people are getting to work or have just arrived at the office advertising their service. Something along the lines of “Another rushed morning? Try our meal kit to cut down your prep in half".

Even local brands can benefit from this strategy. For instance, if lunch at the office doesn’t look appetizing and people see an ad for an amazing lunch combo nearby, they’d be tempted to check it out. 

With Hunch, you can set up these time-based ads to trigger relevant ads to users enhancing their experience and optimizing your ad spend in the process. 

time-based ads examples mcdonalds
Personalize your ads by the time of the day and get your audience's attention.

3. Use the weather to rain down the right offers

Combine location and weather intelligence and you’ve got a winning combination in your hands. 

weather based ads examples
Use weather data to promote relevant products.

How? Let’s say you sell summer dresses and winter coats. Would you show winter coats to your US audience in June? Probably not.

You could easily set up these ads based on the time. But that’s just surface level personalization. Weather changes from state to state, even postcode to postcode. You can get extremely granular with your targeting with your data feed and third-party weather intelligence.

Say, it’s raining in New York but it’s sunny in New Jersey. You could display an ad to sell umbrellas in New York and sun hats in New Jersey. 

And the best part? You don’t have to actually manually produce these creatives. Your data feed and Hunch can do all the heavy lifting.

All you have to do is create a master template that indicates where your offer and product should be placed. Then using the dynamic elements from the feed, this template can produce hundreds of ads for each of your products.

When weather intelligence indicates rain or shine, the relevant ads are launched automatically through Hunch. 


You’ve mastered Facebook geo targeting. What’s next?

Geo targeted ads aren’t unique to Facebook. All ad platforms, in general, advocate for localization to increase personalization. After all, it’s all about ensuring a better user experience. 

If you’re exploring other channels to run localized ads, consider Snap.

(P.S. Check out our recent webinar to unlock the power of advertising on Snap)

Especially if your target audience includes Gen Z. 75% of Gen Z report that Snap is their #1 platform to share real-life experiences. Plus 60% of users are more likely to make impulse purchases.    

42% of eCommerce is mcommerce (mobile-commerce) and Snap is positioned as a mobile-first shopping experience platform. 

The rules to succeed on Snap are similar to Meta. Make killer creatives. Use localization to personalize your ads.

The best part? You don’t have to navigate Snap’s platform to launch these ads if you use Hunch. You can just pick up where you left off from your Facebook campaigns.

Hunch supports all standard DPA verticals on Snap like eCommerce, Travel, and Automotive but also custom catalogs like sports data for betting, and course information for educational institutions. Explore other verticals in our creative showcase – see firsthand how Hunch turns vanilla DPAs into ads that sell.

Plus, all your campaigns can be controlled from a centralized place - a data source - and any changes you make there instantly reflect on your live campaigns. 

With Hunch, you can put creative production, campaign creation, launch, and management on auto-pilot while you focus on the more important aspects of growth. And you get access to experts who understand what it takes to succeed with localization to help you succeed.

Want to discuss a plan that will help you hit your goals and get you promoted? Talk to our resident experts today