A Comprehensive Guide to Facebook Store Visits

January 20, 2017
By   Jim LaChapelle
Category   Social Media

As we’ve mentioned previously, Facebook continues to go all-in when it comes to local marketing. For franchises and multi-location businesses looking to focus their advertising on a local level, the social network has introduced a new ad campaign objective called Store Visits. The new objective, which only works for brands that are set up on the Facebook Locations framework (formerly known as Parent-Child), will allow for the creation of ads at the head office level that can be served from their local store’s Facebook pages.

For customers viewing the ad, the unit will appear to come from the store closest to them and will include information specific to that store (phone number, street address, etc.), leading to a greater chance of a conversion. For national franchise and multi-location companies, they can manage the advertising budget centrally while still driving marketing efforts to individual locations.

Creating a Store Visit ad is similar to the other ads that are built-in Facebook. Users click on the “Create Ad” button from their Ads Manager page or Power Editor and click on the ”Store Visits” option.

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The Store Visits option will prompt users to select the page they are running ads for and give the campaign a name. (Note: the page you select must be part of the Locations framework.)

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Users are then able to set the parameters for the ad unit by defining the target age, sex, language, interests or behavior. For users that have already created a custom audience during previous ad buys, they are still able to use that information instead of creating a new audience.

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The key addition to this type of ad unit is the locations section circled here.

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At this point, users can choose which of their local Facebook pages will serve the ad unit. In the “Your Locations” section, there is a drop-down menu that allows you to select local Facebook pages based on country, province/state, city, or street address. You can pick one or multiple locations to receive the ad.

There is also a “bulk add” option allowing users to pick local Facebook pages by store number or postal code.

The final option at this stage is to choose the radius size for people who will see the ad.  Users can choose either an automatic radius which is set based on how many people are near that location or users can set a specific radius in miles. Whatever choice is made regarding the radius is the same for all the individual location pages.

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Once the locations are decided, users can choose the placement and budget for the ad set, as per usual.

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The final steps involve creating the ad itself. As with typical Facebook ads, users can choose between the following formats: Carousel, Single Image, Single Video or Slideshow. They can then upload the ad creative.

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The last layer of the ad is the text. Users can decide between two “Ad voices” which are either Main Page or Local Page.

If Main Page is chosen, the ad will feature the name of the company on the parent page, any clicks on the ad will lead back to the company’s parent page, likes and comments will appear directly on the post itself, and information such as directions and phone number will be for the local page.

If Local Pages is chosen, the ad will feature the name of the specific local Facebook page at the top. Any clicks on the ad will lead to the local Facebook page, likes and comments will appear on the post, filtered by the closest page with directions and phone number for the local page.

Additional options for the ad include text above the image as well as the headline and news feed link description below the ad image. Each of these three options allow users to add custom local store information through dynamic text parameters such as name, phone number, street address, or opening hours. This information will be pulled in from each local Facebook page’s “about” section.

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Users then choose a call-to-action button: Like Page, Call Now, or Get Directions. Users can also choose a web URL for customers who click on the ad, the options are either a separate URL or a store locator page.

Whatever options are chosen here will be the same for all the ad units. There is no way to change it for different locations. Once the user is satisfied with the ad unit they’ve built, they place the order.

This new addition to Facebook’s ad functionality proves that multi-location businesses have increasing options on the social network to drive local store visits. For any business looking to take advantage of this new option, they need to be set up on Facebook’s Locations framework first. To learn more about Facebook locations or for help implementing it, please contact us.


Facebook facebook ads local marketing store visits


Jim LaChapelle

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