Facebook continues to hone in on new and more concentrated advertising techniques, now allowing advertisers to target users using Facebook’s Power Editor and Ads Manager self-service tools. Zip code targeting, is now available stateside.
The tool first launched several weeks ago and is opening doors for both Facebook and its advertisers. Small businesses will be the first to rejoice. Sponsor Politico also believes that politicians will take advantage in upcoming 2012 campaigns.
“Over the past few months Facebook has been showing sidebar modules asking users to confirm which of several zip codes they are closest to or live within,” Facebook reports. “In an election cycle when social networking is expected to play such a big role, Facebook’s new program signals its intention to be a major player in the sprawling, and lucrative, market of local campaigns.”
Although the introduction was met with fanfare, test drives and early analysis have shown that zip code targeting isn’t performing at its peak just yet. At an SES session in San Francisco last week, the ad testing system optim.al foreshadowed accuracy problems as census data didn’t not match up for audiences in the Fremont, CA and Pleasanton, CA zip codes. Facebook’s numbers were grossly overblown as it pegged the area’s users at 808,000 while census data puts the population at 41,000.
Technology execs at Facebook have noted that the problem is not exclusive to Facebook only, blaming geographic and IP data. Even with data miscalculations, click-through rates have been nearly double that of city-targeted ads and have a higher frequency use per cap. With correct promotion and testing, zip code targeting may become a vital revenue source for Facebook.