How to Target your Facebook Ads
Updated: Oct 29, 2022
Ad Targeting... what does that word mean and how do you use it for your restaurants?
In this blog post, I'm going to tell you how to reach the right customers for your restaurant to make sure you get more fans for your brand and bills in your till - instead of just wasting money on Facebook!
Now, if you're not sure what "targeted" means, or not really sure how to target your ideal customer on Facebook or Instagram, this post is going to help you out!
And if you keep reading (or skip) to the end, I've got a special link to get access to my top shelf Facebook page checklist! That way you can make sure that your Facebook page is in Tip-Top shape before you start running any ads.
So let's look at a few factors that go into where to target your ads on Facebook for your restaurant.
Now if you're a local, mom and pop, one location restaurant, then you're going to want to set your address as your location. Don't just put the city you want to be really specific and put your address and then choose a radius around that address. It's really important that you start with the demographic area that's literally going to be able to drive to your restaurant.
I see all the time in my newsfeed, where I see people targeting me, and I'm 2 hours away from them! I'm like, "that sounds great maybe I'll go to that restaurant once when I'm in LA or something." I'm not going to drive 2 hours to LA regularly to go eat at a restaurant.
What you are trying to find with your Facebook ads is your ideal customer. You want to find people who are going to be able to come weekly or monthly to your restaurant. I have some clients who have regulars that come three times a week. So make sure that you start with a physical radius around your actual restaurant address.
The specific radius is going to depend on your location. If you're in an area like one of my clients is in Culver City, they're a Poke restaurant and there are actually three other poke restaurants within a 5-mile radius. It doesn't make sense to do 5 miles. People aren't going to need to drive that far to get Poke. So they're going to target a 1 or 2-mile radius because there's a lot of population density. There are tons of people there, tons of traffic. It was even close to 1 million people in that audience when I set it up for 2 miles.
Or if you're in a rural area like one of my clients out in Texas, his town is around 10,000 people. So it's a really small town. Even though we targeted a 5-mile radius from his restaurant that covered the entire town and a few outside of that in the country. Where people's houses are, you know, two Giant football fields apart from each other. When we set up the 5-mile radius for his restaurant that was an audience size of about 14,000 people!
So compare that to LA where that one or two-mile radius was a million people.
So we're targeting a really small radius or a larger radius but were not really going to go much outside of five miles because that's what we found in our experience people are willing to drive to go eat at a restaurant pretty regularly.
So let's now talk about an age range.
2. Age Range
When you're setting up your ads you can set them up for any age range you like. Now if you're a restaurant that has alcohol, just set the age at 21 and up. I mean there are people under 21 that might want to come to a restaurant, but it's just easier and Facebook loves it if you stick to 21 and up. Outside of that, I would keep it wide open when you first start running your ads if you've never run your ads before. I would keep it really wide open because you might be surprised as to who is going to be engaging with those ads. Now if you've been in business for a long time and you know for sure who your ideal customer is and what age they are then go ahead and choose that age range.
For our Poke chain, I was talking about earlier, their audience is typically younger. But then I have my barbecue client where their ideal customer is in their fifties and they know that because we've been running their ads for over a year. We started out wide open. We wanted to see how the market worked. The majority of people that engaged with the ads and actually got the offer, came in and used it, were over fifty. So why continue targeting people in their twenties and thirties when maybe they're just not going to go spend $25 on a dinner for themselves, right? It's typically people that are a little bit older have a little bit more money to spend on kind of a nice barbecue-style restaurant. So you've got to think about your ideal customer.
I know this is hard because you want to be like, "well everyone can eat at my restaurant!"
It's something I hear all the time. But, if you're speaking to everyone, you're really speaking to no one. So it's really helpful if you can speak to a direct audience.
The next type of targeting that you can look at is interest targeting. These are people that are interested in certain types of food, activities or they have certain behaviors. They do certain things that are very specific to the type of person that is more likely to eat at your restaurant.
Now one thing that I looked at with this Poke example is that it's fresh and healthy food. So what we did is we looked at the radius around the restaurant. You have to look at the map. I recommend looking at Google maps. So go ahead and pull up your location. You probably already know these things but look at Google maps and look at what is in a 3-mile radius from your restaurant: look at the gyms, look at the other restaurants, the stores. Look at even big Corporations.
So one of our clients has a really big Kaiser hospital near them. So, what I did is I used interest targeting and chose Kaiser as their employer. I wanted to make sure that all the Kaiser employees and medical staff, got a chance to see these ads, because they're there all throughout the week, depending on what job they do at the hospital. So, it's likely that those are the kinds of people that are most likely to come to that restaurant over and over, maybe before their shift or after.
Also going back to look at the example of this restaurant with healthy food, we also looked at people who work out at certain gyms. So people who are going to Orangetheory and 24-hr fitness, you know LA Fitness those kinds of places. This is where people might be like "oh, the ad says healthy." So that makes sense for them because of the type of person that's going to that particular gym and it's close by. So you can actually target people who go to those gyms, or if you have a grocery store nearby which tends to be a lot of my clients because they tend to be in shopping centers in the grocery store is kind of an anchor store.
You could choose that anchor store as their employer as well because again they're there regularly, they're going to work there, and they're going to want to get food before or after their shift.
Besides that location type interest targeting, you can even just target people who are interested in certain things. We might target people who are into bodybuilding or in the keto or into fish. People who are interested in sushi. You could get really specific
and I recommend testing these different audiences.
So in Facebook ads manager when you're setting up these ads, you can have different types of ads sets. I would test one ad set with interests and one ad set that is for behaviors like where they work. You want to be able to test and see which audiences are performing the best.
Find Out More
Now I know I haven't talked about the cost or how much you should spend on your ads.
If you are wondering about that, go ahead and click this blog post to read more.
Because in this post, I talk all about how much you should spend on your ads, all the different metrics you need to understand before you start running ads or while you're already running ads. And I'm totally willing to help you out with that.
So, make sure to watch that video and if you'd like to get my Facebook page checklist that can help you get your FB page ready before you start running ads to make sure your page is top shelf! So when people click on your profile and they see who you are, that your page looks professional and is exciting for them. Go ahead and click this link and you can grab that Top Shelf Facebook Page checklist.
If you like this post make sure to share it with your friends, let me know in the comments what was your favorite part, what questions you have and I will personally jump in and answer those questions for you.
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To your Victory!