Can you geo-fence on social media? Yes – And a lot more!

Most marketers are familiar with geo-fencing, having been around for several years now. In fact, back in 2019 we published The Local Business Guide To Geo-Fencing. However, the question we would often get is “How can I do this on social media?” That is, how can I use location based data on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and other social media platforms? Sure, you can use rudimentary location targeting, such as zip code, city, state and county information on most social media ad platforms. But what about geo-fencing buildings, neighborhoods, stores and local attractions?

Well, the truth of the matter is that, up until recently, this just wasn’t possible. What’s worse is that social media platforms, particularly Facebook/ Meta, have been reducing the granularity of demographic targeting and even zip code targeting for certain industries. There are varying, politically charged reasons for these changes. However, as marketers we’re still charged with delivering excellent and ever improving results for our clients.

Using Location Data – Device ID Targeting

So, how can we leverage the location data that is available with the reach and power of social media? Enter Device ID Targeting. In a nutshell, every mobile device has it’s own unique ID and that ID is registered on cellphone data networks as a unique “place” when the device is using the network. Because of GPS and cell phone triangulation the location data derived from that device is accurate within 1-3 meters. So, armed with the device ID and location history data it’s possible to identify what devices have been in or around specific locations over a certain period of time. This is essentially how “traditional” geo-fencing works.

However, by actually extracting the device ID and creating a custom audience in the platform of our choice we can target the device and actually match the device across nearly all platforms, including social media.

Device ID targeting Benefits

  • Reach the personal device of the person that has visited the relevant location
  • Target on every platform, including social media
  • Match the devices back and get a true picture of campaign ROI

Watch the short video in this post for a quick visualization of this tactic.

Want to talk to us and learn how this tactic can help your business? Click below!

Let's talk!