Facebook Tactics for Local Customer Acquisition

It’s no secret that Facebook has seen its fair share of backlash from the public over the past 12 months, given the growing concerns over the company’s data privacy issues and how it has mishandled user information. Yet amidst all of the turbulent news, Facebook actually announced a significant surge in advertising sales revenue when they released first quarter earnings on April 26th. Facebook reported $14.9 billion in ad revenue for Q1-2019 – a 26% increase year-over-year. The significant growth has been attributed to Stories Ads, where Facebook says more than 3 million advertisers are running ads across Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger and more than 500 million daily active users are engaging with the ads. This new data leaves little doubt that despite the varying levels of concern exhibited by Facebook users of late, many are still actively engaging with Facebook advertising at a high rate. So let’s examine how your franchise can leverage Facebook to drive more customers and revenue for your business.

Facebook Business Pages & The “Parent-Child” Hierarchy

In order to run any advertising on Facebook, you must have a business page/profile built and established on the platform. Setting up a Facebook Business Page literally takes minutes and is similar in nature to establishing your own personal profile; adding your business name, location information, profile photo, cover photo and more. From there, you can also add custom calls-to-action that you want users to take, such as clicking over to your website or calling your business. Once the basic profile has been created, you can set about customizing your Business Page by including things like your menu, displaying your services or showcasing your products in a shopping section. Having noted this basic setup process, it’s important to mention here that a critical best practice for franchisors and franchisees alike is to establish what is often referred to as the “Parent-Child” hierarchy for Facebook Business Pages. This hierarchy organizes all of the individual franchise location pages underneath a corporate/brand-owned master Business Page, and displays them in a “Locations” tab on the corporate page. This is incredibly important for a variety of reasons, one being that it makes local advertising more consistent and efficient, helping franchisees maximize their ROI for local Facebook campaigns. It’s also worth noting that the Parent-Child setup still allows franchisees to manage their own individual profiles and engage customers directly, so you won’t be giving away your page access. If your franchise is not set up this way, it’s best to contact your franchisor corporate team to get the ball rolling on Parent-Child implementation.

Facebook Advertising Options for Franchise Businesses

Most franchise businesses can benefit from Local Reach campaigns (previously referred to as Local Awareness ads), which allow you to engage potential customers on Facebook that are in proximity to your business location(s). With targeting options that include both demographic and geographic selections, you can ensure your advertising budget is spent on both the customers that fit your profile and, more specifically, those same customers that are a reasonable distance from your business. Leveraging Facebook tools like Canvas, you can also create highly visual ad content that will grab the attention of potential customers and set specific actions you’d like those customers to take such as find directions to your business, call your business or send people to a specific landing page on your website that may highlight a group of products or a particular promotion. Lastly, you can also set day-of-week and time-of-day parameters for your budget so that your ads are only live when your business is open, or to simply ensure you’re not running ads outside of your preferred timeframe. If you’ve never run advertising on Facebook before, Local Reach ads are the best place to start for franchises. Once these campaigns are producing a positive ROI, you can begin to leverage additional channels like Instagram for new ad placements and new tactics like the creation of Stories and Messenger advertising campaigns.

PSA: Stop Wasting Money On Facebook “Boosted Posts”

There now exists a wealth of data and case studies online that conclude spending money on Facebook Boosted Posts, rather than investing in local ad campaigns, is a waste of money. The reach of Boosted Posts has significantly declined over the past two years, reducing the chances your audience even sees the post you’ve spent money on to boost.  Because Boosted Posts are incredibly easy to execute, many businesses choose this path over Local Ads. Don’t make the same mistake! Take the time to understand and set up a Local Reach campaign instead and your Facebook ROI for advertising is sure to increase.

As Senior Director of Marketing, Josh Allen is responsible for planning, developing and managing Location3 and LOCALACT brand strategies, with a focus on establishing new business partnerships among franchise systems and multi-location brands. He also works with Location3 client partners to establish key initiatives for increased franchise engagement and growth. He is an active member of the International Franchise Association and has previously been featured by the American Marketing Association, Franchise Update Media, MediaPost and more discussing franchise digital marketing strategy.


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