In the past I’ve blogged about Facebook’s mobile discovery tool, Nearby Places, which is a means to ensuring your business is as visible as possible on Facebook’s app. It’s a useful tool for hotels in that it allows potential guests to organically discover your property and your outlets by proximity, relevance and rating. As Facebook continues to grow its mobile user base and mobile ad revenue by extension, it was only a matter of time before businesses would be able to take advantage of the real-time location features Facebook has brought to market.

The new Local Awareness Ads are a natural extension of Facebook’s Nearby Friends feature. As its name indicates, Nearby Friends allows you to see how close you are to your Facebook friends (within a 1-mile radius). It’s a nifty tool for impromptu meet-ups with friends, but its real value comes from the additional information being made available to the advertiser.

Enter Local Awareness Ads.

For many hotels, sometimes it’s the people that are nearest you that can be the most advantageous to your business. Whether driving incremental revenue through your F&B outlets or creating that local neighborhood feel that some travelers seek, being able to find the right users in the area can be central to your success. If someone is in the neighborhood, either looking for a great place to have a cocktail or a good night’s sleep, you now have the ability to catch their eye with a targeted ad.

It’s important to note Facebook continues to stress privacy and is vocal about which users can be targeted by these ads. “Brands can only select locations and not specific individuals, and users will only see ads based on their locations if they choose to enable location services on their mobile devices,” according to Facebook.

Like traditional Facebook ads, you select the age and gender of your target audience and set a budget and duration. Facebook then calculates an estimated reach based on your predetermined radius.

Unlike traditional Facebook ads, however, Local Awareness Ads leverage convenience to drive business. Currently users who receive these ads can take actions such as liking the page or can “get directions” from their real-time location.

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