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Facebook Ad Location Targeting – 5 Tips to Leverage Geotargeting

Facebook Ad location targeting allows advertisers to reach audiences in specific geographic locations. From countries and states to cities and even zip codes, you can tailor your ads to target the locations that matter most to your business. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of Facebook Ad location targeting, discuss Facebook ad geo-targeting, and address common issues like Facebook location targeting not working.

What Is Facebook Ad Location Targeting?

Facebook Ad Location Targeting is a feature that allows advertisers to display their ads to audiences based on their geographical locations. This tool allows for a high degree of specificity, enabling ads to be shown in areas ranging from broad regions like countries to more granular locations such as cities, zip codes, or even specific business addresses.

Facebook ad location targeting

Facebook also provides extensive targeting capabilities. In many instances, Broad Targeting implies the elimination of all potential targeting filters, such as custom audiences, lookalike audiences, or detailed targeting. Instead, the focus is solely on location, allowing the algorithm to handle the rest. Options include the “Worldwide” targeting feature, as well as targeting by broad regions, like Asia, and by Free Trade Area. A variety of options are accessible.

By leveraging this feature, businesses can ensure their ads reach the people in the locations most relevant to their products or services, thereby maximizing the effectiveness of their advertising efforts.

4 types of Facebook Ad Location Targeting

When targeting based on location, Facebook provides us with the four following options:

Facebook ad location targeting options

1. Everyone in this location

This option allows advertisers to target everyone physically present within a specified location.

Who should use this option: Useful for businesses with physical storefronts or events looking to attract foot traffic within a specific area, targeting both residents and visitors.

2. People who live in this location

Targets individuals whose city in their profiles in the specified location. This is beneficial for businesses focusing on local residents.

Who should use this option: Ideal for local businesses and service providers aiming to engage with the local community or offer services to residents.

3. People recently in this location

Targets people whose device information suggests they’re currently in your target area but may not necessarily live there. Useful for reaching individuals who have shown interest or engagement in a particular area.

Who should use this option: Effective for businesses looking to reach tourists, event attendees, or individuals who frequently visit a particular area.

4. People traveling in this location

This option allows advertisers to target people who are currently traveling or have recently checked in at the specified location. However, this only applies if they’re more than 125 miles (200 km) away from their home location.

Who should use this option: Useful for businesses targeting travelers, such as hotels, travel agencies, or local attractions.

How Location Targeting Works on Facebook Ads?

Facebook does use a combination of user data and device information to determine a person’s location. This data includes:

  • The city specified in a user’s profile
  • The user’s IP address
  • Information from mobile location services
  • Consolidated data regarding the locations of a user’s friends

Once Facebook has managed to determine a user’s location, it uses this information to show relevant ads based on the advertiser’s location targeting settings. When a user’s location aligns with the parameters set by the advertiser, they become part of the target audience for that specific ad campaign. This allows advertisers to show ads to people based on their geographic locations.

However, complete accuracy cannot be guaranteed. You may sometimes see a small number of ad impressions, or even receive a message or lead from people outside of your settings.

Benefits of using Location Targeting for Facebook Ad Campaigns

Benefits of using Location Targeting

Enhanced ad relevance at local levels

Location targeting in Facebook ad campaigns allows businesses to tailor their content to specific geographic areas, increasing local relevance. This targeted approach boosts engagement as users are more likely to interact with ads that resonate with their immediate surroundings.

Optimized ad spending and cost efficiency

Location targeting allows advertisers to allocate their ad budgets strategically by focusing on specific geographic areas. Instead of casting a wide net, businesses can direct resources to regions that are more likely to yield valuable leads or conversions.

Also, by excluding areas where the target audience is less likely to engage with the ad, businesses can avoid wasteful spending on audiences that are unlikely to convert. This ensures that the advertising budget is utilized effectively.

Increased personalized user experience

Location targeting can be particularly beneficial for local businesses, but its efficiency also helps global businesses thrive as well. Utilizing location targeting on Facebook allows businesses, regardless of size, to create a more personalized user experience by delivering content tailored to specific regions. For example, a global brand can customize its messaging to showcase different products or promotions based on the preferences of users in different locations. This approach enhances user satisfaction and strengthens the brand-user relationship.

Effective event and promotion targeting

Location targeting is especially powerful for promoting events, sales, or promotions tied to specific geographic areas. Businesses can reach users in proximity to an event or store, driving attendance and sales. For instance, a music festival can use location targeting to reach potential attendees in the event’s location, leading to increased ticket sales and event participation.

How to set up Facebook Ad Geotargeting?

First thing first, make sure you have a Facebook ad account ready to use. In case you are a newbie and need help on how to create a new Facebook Ad account, check out this article from Mega Digital.

Setting up Facebook Ad location targeting involves several steps. Here’s a detailed guide to follow:

Step 1: Set up a campaign

Before you begin, you need to set up a campaign. Open Meta Ads Manager, log in to your account, and select a campaign, or set up a new campaign if you don’t have one.

Set up Facebook Ad Geotargeting step 1

Step 2: Select your audience

Next, go to the ‘Audience’ section and select your source audience.

set up Facebook Ad Geotargeting step 2

Step 3: Choose location targeting options

Click on the “Edit” button next to the “Locations” field. Here, you should choose one option from all four location targeting we have mentioned above based on your marketing objectives.

Set up Facebook Ad Geotargeting step 3

Step 4: Choose your locations

Navigate to ‘Locations’ and follow the prompts. You can target by country, state (or region, depending on the country), city, zip/postal code, and business address. In the United States, you can also target DMA, which is a media market as defined by Nielsen. To select a specific location,  there are two primary methods you can follow:

  • Type the location: As you type the location, various options will populate. Make sure to select the accurate geolocation.
  • Perform a “Drop Pin” on a map: Navigate on the map using the +/- options, and also by dragging the map, to where you’d like to drop a location pin. Once you’ve found your location, click the “Drop Pin” button.
Set up Facebook Ad Geotargeting step 4

After finishing this step, the Facebook Ad geotargeting setup process is completed!

You should bear in mind that Facebook also offers very broad targeting capabilities, including the “Worldwide” targeting option. You can also target broad regions, such as Asia, and by Free Trade Area. Here is the list of available options you can refer to.

Why does Facebook Location Targeting not work and how to fix them?

There are some reasons that lead to Facebook location targeting might not work as expected.

  • Inappropriate audience selection: Choosing the wrong audience or misconfiguring location settings can lead to targeting inaccuracies, ultimately making the ad not deliver. In this case, you should double-check your selected locations in the ad set to make sure that you have chosen the appropriate ones.
  • Mismatched location and language settings: If your location and language settings are not identical, you may run into issues with Facebook location targeting that might affect your campaigns. To fix this, you can edit your ad set audience to update your location and language settings.
  • Changes in congressional district targeting options: From May 2, 2023 onwards, congressional district targeting options based on the 2010 US Census are not available for use anymore in new campaigns. Existing campaigns and saved audiences that aren’t updated by May 2, 2023 will be paused. So if your campaign is using this option, be sure to modify now based on the 2020 US Census.

Strategies to Leverage Facebook Ad Location Targeting

Define your target audience with detail and precision

Knowing where your potential customers are located is the first thing that any business should do. You can use Facebook Insights to gather data about your audience’s geographic distribution.

Define your target audience with detail and precision

Alongside location, you should consider other criteria that shape your business’s target audience, such as demographics, behavioral and psychological traits. Utilize Facebook’s detailed targeting options to narrow your audience based on age, gender, interests, and more. The more precisely you define your audience, the more relevant your ads will be to users in specific locations.

Take advantage of radius targeting

Radius targeting is a location-based advertising tactic available on Facebook Ads, whereas a radius is placed around a place’s address, targeting mobile users within that radius. This strategy enables advertisers to reach individuals within that specified radius, ensuring that their ads are shown to users who are physically located or have recently been in the targeted area. It is considered the most basic yet precise, method of real-time location targeting.

Take advantage of radius targeting

If you’re a local business with physical storefronts, local services, or those hosting events, start using radius targeting now to reach people within a certain distance from your business location.

Combine location with other targeting options

You can enhance the precision of your location targeting by combining it with other demographic and interest-based filters. By layering additional targeting parameters, you can ensure that your ads reach users who match your location criteria and share other characteristics relevant to your business.

Combine location with other targeting options

Utilize exclusion targeting wisely

While focusing on specific locations is crucial, exclusion targeting is equally important. Exclude areas where your business is not relevant or where you don’t want to allocate advertising resources. This ensures that your budget is allocated efficiently to areas with the highest potential for engagement and conversions.

Utilize exclusion targeting wisely

Use Facebook Agency ad account

This one last tip is for any advertisers out there whose regular Facebook Ad account fails to deliver the desired results. Any individual or business can create their own normal Facebook ad account to run ad campaigns on Facebook. However, it does have several clear limitations that hinder the campaign running process, like restricted spending caps and ad creation limits, to name a few.

To fix these handicap things, advertisers should use Facebook Agency ad accounts. This account is set up and managed by professional marketing agencies. It brings extra privileges that a standard Facebook Ad Account lacks, including:

  • A higher daily spend cap allows you to spend as much as it takes to achieve your marketing objectives.
  • Higher probability of account recovery in case an ad account faces a ban by Facebook due to policy violations or misjudgments.
  • Direct access to Facebook representatives to help resolve issues more quickly.
Use Facebook Agency ad account

This type of account is exclusively allocated to Facebook partners or trusted agencies, like Mega Digital, with a proven track record in advertising on the platform. With a Facebook Agency ad account, advertisers gain the capability to manage advertisements for multiple clients, along with access to advanced features and collaborative tools. Therefore, we advise advertisers to switch to this account type for unrestricted access to a plethora of features on Facebook.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my ad campaign target as many locations as I want?

It’s possible to target several locations within a single group, but there are restrictions on the number of specific targeting parameters you can include. For instance, a single group can contain up to 25 individual countries or up to 250 individual cities.

Can I exclude certain locations from my Facebook Ad targeting?

Yes, advertisers have the option to exclude specific locations from their targeting. This is useful when businesses want to refine their audience by excluding areas where their products or services may not be relevant.

Can I change my location targeting settings after launching a Facebook Ad campaign?

Yes, advertisers can modify location targeting settings even after launching a campaign. Facebook allows for adjustments to targeted locations, giving advertisers the flexibility to refine their strategy based on campaign performance.

How precise is Facebook Ad location targeting?

Although Facebook employs various indicators to display ads to the audience who are included in your location targeting settings, absolute accuracy cannot be guaranteed due to the fluctuating nature of these indicators.


In conclusion, Facebook Ad location targeting helps businesses reach the right audience in the locations that matter the most. By tailoring your ads to specific geographic locations, your campaigns will likely perform better in terms of relevance, cost, and other parameters. Whether you have a local business or are aiming at a global presence, mastering location targeting in Facebook Ads can greatly impact the success of your campaigns.

Ready to take your business to the next horizon, literally?

Harness the power of Facebook Advertising with our Mega Digital. We specialize in creating targeted ad campaigns that reach your ideal audience, driving engagement and conversions. Contact us today, and let’s start your journey to success with Facebook Advertising!

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