Facebook will soon give businesses the capability for geo-targeted mobile ads. Facebook announced the launch of “Friends Nearby” last week. A feature that allows you to display your location to friends and makes it easier to find people when you are out and about.
Facebook have announced that they are not making user location data available immediately but they will release it at some point. This signals that they will allow businesses to bid in real time on user location, matching a branded promotion to a potential customer.
This kind of technology has been available through mobile phone providers for some time, however they could only ever target users of their network. This obviously reduced the effectiveness of campaigns and the size of the potential audience.
The power of geo targeted mobile ads
I think this is a fantastic way of Facebook providing a powerful marketing tool to businesses of all sizes. Imagine how many people pass your bricks and mortar shop every day who have a Facebook account. Now imagine you could set a promotion that matches their likes and interests against your business and pings them a message with your offer and directions to your shop.
The data above shows 71% of smart phone users surveyed showed some interest in geo targeted mobile coupons. This move from Facebook will capitalise on this desire from consumers. Many of whom have apps that serve location based offers currently however the level of data Facebook possess on a user will be able to theoretically match users and promotions more accurately.
Having worked on marketing campaigns that included geo targeted mobile ads with major UK network providers in the past, it is clear that this approach does work. Although Facebook has come in for a bit of a bashing in recent months but this will be a step in the right direction for the relationship between the and business owners again.
How do you see this technology developing?