The Problem with Facebook’s Zip Code Ads

Use Zip Code

A little background:

Recently Facebook implemented a new way to target ads on their network. With the enabling of zip code specific ads, Facebook promised to allow a more specific way to distribute your ads. I wrote with enthusiasm about the prospects such a new ability would give those advertising to Facebook’s mammoth user base HERE.

So What’s The Problem with Facebook Zip Code Targeting?

A feature with so much promise has a very poor implementation, I recently tried to run ads for my restaurant, Evenfall,  and wanted to select the cluster of zip codes around its location. Pretty straight forward right? Well I was unable to run the ads as this is what I got:

Screen shot 2011-09-06 at 9.07.41 PM
Basically facebook was telling me that I could not run an ad, because in the 5 zip codes I was targeting they had fewer than 20 people over 21 years old to show it to. That, of course, is complete bullshit. Whether they have a glitch or it is intentional it is wrong. I employ more than 20 people who are on facebook for gods sake.

So how did I run the ad? Well I explored the old 1o miles of a town method, but that includes areas I know customers are not coming from, and they suggested I bid $3,45 for a click which is absurd, so I decided not to run the add on Facebook.

In case you wondered here are two of the towns census numbers in 2000:

Screen shot 2011-09-06 at 9.07.06 PM


Screen shot 2011-09-06 at 9.06.51 PM


So of the 30,000+ less than 20 people are on Facebook? I don’t know, but with the Mafia wars invites, the ‘poking’, the virtual farms, the annoying club promoter invites, the horrible changes to photos, and more Facebook is really starting to feel clunky.

Have you had luck using the zip code features? If so let me know, I want to know the trick.


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Thanks -Spiro