Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently posted a captivating update: new-and-improved Facebook stores launched on Facebook, Instagram and soon Messenger and WhatsApp. "Wait, we don't already…
Targeting your location on Facebook can be a powerful feature. However, there are challenges in understanding exactly how Facebook uses different information available to determine a user's location.
I wrote details about location targeting before. However, as with many topics, there is always room to explore in more detail. The target function "Recently in" by Facebook is one such area that deserves a little more attention.
"Recent" target function
First, a quick update. Facebook has four primary location goals available. Facebook Help article defines them as follows:
- Everyone in this location (default): This option allows you to reach people whose home or latest location is in the selected area. You may want to advertise at large fairs or high quality sports events, for example, to everyone in a location.
- People living in this place: This includes people whose home is in the selected area. You may want to advertise a local retail store, for example, to people living in a location.
- People who have been to this place recently: With this option, you reach people whose most recent location is in the selected area. You may want to advertise time-sensitive sales, for example, to people who have recently appeared in the location you choose.
- People traveling to this place: This includes people traveling to the selected area, as determined by the device and the login information that Facebook collects that is more than 125 miles from their location. You may want to advertise your rental cars, for example, people traveling to a location.
The option for "People who are recently in this location" may seem quite simple. We are targeting those users who had this location as the latest location – well.
However, there are several questions in this regard. Specific….
How is the location determined?
When I published Article Detailed guidance on location targeting, Facebook had a dedicated help page, with additional location targeting information. Now, it seems that the help page has changed and has no reference. Fortunately, we have already captured the information in the article. Here's what I had:
- Everyone in this location: People whose The current city on their Facebook profile is that location, as well as anyone who is determined to be in that location through the mobile device.
- People living in this location: People whose the current city from their Facebook profile is in that location. This is also validated by IP address and theirs Facebook friends' declared locations.
- Recently in this location: People whose most recent location is the selected area, ca. determined only by mobile device. This includes people who live there or who can travel there.
- People traveling to this location: People whose most recent location is the selected area, ca. determined by mobile device. and are more than 100 miles from stated the location of the house in their Facebook profiles.
Other articles on the internet had captured this information also. I'm not sure why Facebook deleted these details, but we still have an additional reference through Facebook's Blueprint training program.
Facebook Blueprint Location Training Module: Confusion
the original help page from where we removed the device targeting information, it is now redirected to a variety of general ad targeting resources. One of these is Facebook Module for the formation of the model regarding the main targeting of the public.
To add confusion, this module has a specific section on location-based audiences. This section seems to change the definitions or details of targeting options:
It is not like that? This is very confusing. According to how this is expressed, it seems that we should interpret "People who are recently in this place" to compare New residents. That is, "People recently in this location" refers more to people who have recently arrived at a location that is apparently differentiated from "People living in this location" only on the basis of recession.
A potential explanation? This can simply be a mistake in preparing Facebook. This is why I think this: the above definition is not reflected anywhere in the Facebook documentation on this topic.
As I described earlier in this article, the main help page dedicated to Location Direction defines "Recently Accessed" as "People whose the most recent the location was in the area. "This does not imply anything about the newly arrived residents. This seems like a mistake in Blueprint. If you read this, Facebook, we would love an updated model preparation, which has more details on this topic!
How could advertisers work "recently" in reality?
I think we can think the most easily through the various targeting options, analyzing some scenarios.
Scenario 1: A resident is traveling on vacation.
Let's say we have someone (I will call her Cassandra) who normally lives in New York and currently travels to Miami.
What targets would Cassandra include?
- Everyone from this location: New York City
- Everyone from this location: Miami
- People living in this location: New York
- People traveling to this location: Miami
- People who have been to this place recently: Miami
Possibly unclear area is for "recent". The way I interpret the Facebook documentation about this is that if Facebook may determine that Cassandra's current location is Miami (based on her mobile device), so she will NOT be targeted with ads associated with "People recently in this location: New York."
That being said, I can only think of one scenario may be Facebook may still include it in this target.
Here: Maybe Cassandra last opened the Facebook app on her New York phone. It enabled the location services for the application in the privacy settings of the smartphone, but only when the application is open. He's coming to Miami, though don't open Facebook on her phone. Instead, she reaches her hotel and opens Facebook on her laptop.
In this situation, at least theoretically, ads targeting people recently in New York may appear on her desktop, as the documentation we have seen in the past indicated that Facebook is based on the location of the mobile device no more for the newly introduced target. Since Facebook would not have its current location, it would be the latest in New York.
However, these types of scenarios are probably not the norm. Let's address how your campaigns might be affected by the various features of the target location.
Implications for ad campaigns: the "newly introduced" option
There are potential implications for how people might assume that this target functionality works. Based on the way I saw and heard Facebook advertisers discuss the target function "Recently entered", it seems that sometimes they use the option almost as a physical redirect capability.
As an example, you might have an event in Atlanta and would like to reorient everyone who was recently in Atlanta later – hoping to capture those who attended the event. Since Facebook would constantly update people's "Recent In" location, based on the latest mobile data, our ad would most often reach people who are currently in Atlanta.
It's different from what we might have thought. This means The "Recent Location" goal should NOT actually be used to redirect your physical location, such as after an event organized in an area.
This may raise the question: Why is Facebook's "recent target" even there?
For an answer, we can review the first breakdown of definitions from the beginning of this article (in "Recent" target function section). As we saw there, the default goal "Everyone in this location" will include both people living in that location and people whose most recent location was in the area. Since this includes people who live there (but who can travel), this could mean that we actually have people who see our ad that is not even in the location specified by us.
This thinking aligns with a scenario that Facebook has mentioned where the "Recently entered" target can be applied. As he states: "YYou may want to advertise time sensitive sales, for example, to people who are recently appearing in the location you choose. " Knowing that using "Recent In" is the closest alignment we have for people currently in a location, this makes sense.
What to expect when using the "newly introduced" target
This can still be confusing for Facebook advertisers. To simplify, we divide your campaign planning into two categories for your campaigns using the "Recent" target.
Category 1) Ads appearing in the mobile application. In this scenario, you should especially expect to reach people who are currently in the location you list. If it is on their mobile app, Facebook will continually update their location based on the latest data. The latest data should reflect their current location.
Category 2) Ads appearing on the desktop. You should expect to reach people based on where they were last seen while using your mobile device, when Facebook had access to mobile device location information.
Given the different ways in which mobile app use can impact how your ads are targeted, it may be cleaner to just focus on using mobile app placements for any campaigns that use the "Recently In" target. Experiment, see what you have and do not hesitate to share with us in the comments below.
What we know: "recent in" targeting
This was a fun time in the rabbit hole!
Here is the summary of the ones we covered:
- "Recent In" can be easily interpreted as being At the moment a location based on mobile device data.
- The "Recent In" option should not be considered an effective way of physical reorientation people based on a location they have visited in the past.
- Different location targeting options use different data to determine location information.
- Preparing Blueprint for Facebook the location module seems to have made a mistakeor is outdated.
A quick shout out to Trey Edwards at getnerdywithme.com. After we published our own Detailed guide at the location directorate, made a very interesting progress on using exclusion targeting to get a much narrower location for a specific target – even up to a single building!
How do you use location targeting? What creative methods do you have?
Let me know in the comments below!