Google started the trend when it launched a very similar program nearly two years ago to track Store Visits after a user saw or clicked a business’ ad. However, this is still something that requires a very large threshold of clicks and quite frankly geographical footprint. It’s not accurate enough yet for small business owners to take advantage of. It looks like Facebook may be identifying an opportunity to strike while the iron is hot.
Ask any digital marketer working with a brick-and-mortar business what the biggest challenge is and they will tell you attribution. I hear it all the time from clients that understand they need to run digital and social campaigns and may even acknowledge they are performing well, but what does that really mean to them? Without any real data on how much foot traffic these campaigns are driving there will always be that question mark. Unless of course you have a client where you can tie in with their in-house Point-Of-Sales (POS) system to track purchases, but that’s not always available.
So over the next few months Facebook will begin rolling out its own Store Visits tracking, which makes a ton of sense considering that its Local Awareness Ads are designed to drive this exact action. I think we saw the early glimpses of this with Local Insights, which can be found in your Facebook business page’s Insights and then under Local. An incredibly effective tool that can tell you loads of information about which kind of people your ads are reaching nearby your location, what their demographics are, what times are most popular etc. to help optimize your local ads. You can actually narrow the radius down to as tight as 165 feet around the location!
If you tell a client that his Local Awareness ad got 850 Clicks and drove 100 Calls he may say that’s great, but if you’re able to tell a client this campaign specifically drove 250 people directly into their store? Now that is valuable data.
Facebook will also be rolling out the ability to connect Ads Reporting with a location’s POS system to track sales via the Offline Conversions API.
Facebook says these functionalities will be rolling out to all advertisers globally in the coming months so start getting your clients prepared now.