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How to leverage social media to target local users and build brand awareness

It’s no secret that social media’s strength lies in the user data that it offers to marketers looking to better target their campaigns. 

Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are goldmines of user data! Demographics and psychographics are just a few that you can use to better target local audiences and specific job titles.

When it comes to targeting, the more user information you have the better. If you are one of the stragglers who has fallen behind the 8-ball and needs to catch up on how to leverage social media better, this post is for you. 

We search marketers need to leverage social media to better target local users. We can also use social media to build brand awareness in the right niche markets. The more user information you have, the tighter your “fishing net” will be woven. And the better you know how to leverage social media’s reach, the wider your net will be cast. 

Start casting a tightly woven social net on local markets to real in all those fish that have been slipping by your one man fishing lure.

FACEBOOK : Lookalike Audiences

If you want to use Facebook to improve your local targeting/outreach, start using the lookalike audience builder.

The lookalike audience builder is a great way to scale up your audience based on your ideal user. Check out this MOZ post by Directive Consulting‘s VP of Sales Andrew Choco to learn “How to Combine Facebook and Email for a Killer eCommerce Campaign.”

The lookalike audience builder matches uploaded email lists to actual user profiles. It then identifies the job titles, demographics, and psychographics of those users and scales up your audience to match your list.

Here’s a quick how to step-by-step for building a lookalike audience in Facebook:

  1. Upload custom email CSV. These lists can come from receipt catalogues, successful email subscriptions, &c.
  1. Lookalike audience builder matches emails to user profiles
  1. Select your ideal audience size. The audience builder will scale up your list based on user profile and behavior data.

4 Targeting on a larger scale. Launching segmented campaigns with unique offers and CTAs will also increase your success. This way your tracking will also be 1-1 which will help with attribution.

TWITTER – Local Proximity Blasts

Facebook isn’t the only social platform that can enhance how you target users.

Twitter is a great tool for marketers looking to promote their unique brand of expertise. What’s great about Twitter is that you can filter your Twitter stream by location and set a custom radius for your specific posts.

This is a great way to engage the local markets that you target your specific content promotion campaigns towards.

Considering the strengths of different platforms is important if you want to use each profile to its potential.

While Facebook is great for targeting job titles and personal data, Twitter’s strength lies in mobile promotion.

Twitter users rely more heavily on mobile usage than Facebook. Most of the time we are whipping out our phones because we received a push notification from Twitter about a recent tweet or update. You can use these push notifications to your advantage. Relying on Twitter as a mobile-heavy platform can determine what posts you promote.

Usually a content strategy isn’t defined by geographic location.

But, you can nuance your general content strategy for more local niches. Try segmenting  different content promotions between local small businesses and larger international chains with franchises near you. You should see an increase in local engagements by nuancing what you call “local.”


SNAPCHAT – Geo-Filters for Conferences

Snapchat may be one of the more rapidly growing social platforms.  But, we usually don’t turn to Snapchat for actual advertising or promotion. And that’s where you’re missing the boat.

If you know how to use it, Snapchat can be a great tool to promote speaking events and conferences.

Better yet, you can start increasing your engagement with attendees at the conference by creating a custom geo-filter for the event. Don’t bother paying thousands of dollars to get your logo put on a billboard with the event sponsors. Target the actual attendees of the conference. Even more, target what brands they associate with the learnings they gained.

Creating a custom geo-filter and promoting it the day before the conference starts can get users associating you were brand with their actual memories of the conference, instead of just the name.

Snapchat has some guidelines for creating customized, branded geo-filters. But the rules are pretty straight forward:

  • no branding (they will insert your company name at the bottom so don’t worry)
  • spacing rules – make sure you aren’t monopolizing the screen
  • 3 day wait period for Snapchat approval

You will want to set the radius for the geo-filter to include a block or so of the area surrounding the conference.

This way, local attendees can start using the geo-filter as they enter/exit the conference. You get the before, and the after. Ideally, users will be playing with the geo-filter during actual workshops as well. This is where truly valuable engagements occur.

If you can associate your brand with the takeaways of the conference instead of the name, you’ve won.



Lastly, regardless of which social platform you are currently using, you need to take advantage of direct response ads.

Direct response ads see most success with online retail, as they encourage in-app purchases or conversion. This is because it’s easier to entice conversions out of users if you are selling an actual product.

But, direct response as can still be great for scheduling demos and service calls. Make sure that you align your ad copy,  creative, and CTA to a single conversion goal. And keep your CTA very explicit.

If you are looking to increase phone meetings, you can even put a phone number as your CTA that will automatically dial to your sales department from the display ad itself.

That should make for a huge boost in convenience for scheduling a call! And you should see an equal jump in conversions and clicks from more directed CTAs like it.



The  insights we can gain from social media are countless. And the reasons to leverage social media better are obvious:

You are floating in a sea of social media “localites.” Make sure you are casting a tightly woven net to start catching all those fish. And, in the sense that even social media is becoming more omni-channel and search integrated, make sure you are integrating all your new data with your cross-channel campaigns.

The new demarcator of success isn’t so much your ranking, but your SERP market share. So start eating up more local SERP market share by integrating your different channels and social campaigns.

Check out this post by Directive‘s CEO Garrett Mehrguth to learn “How to Eat Up More Local SERP Market Share.”

Happy fishing!

Sean Thomas Martin is the Marketing Marketer at Directive Consulting, a firm that specializes in comprehensive search marketing campaigns for industry leading B2B brands. For a detailed consultation free of charge, click here!

(photo credit)

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