Facebook to target visitors worldwide hand reaching out (courtesy Marco Verch on Flickr Creative Commons)

Looking for ways to reach out to international visitors? Try a targeted Facebook Sponsored post or ad. (photo courtesy Marco Verch on Flickr Creative Commons)

There are over 2 billion monthly active users on Facebook. Most are not in the U.S.

The largest number of users is in India, then the U.S., then Brazil, then Indonesia, then Mexico. If you want to connect with international travelers, try using Facebook to target visitors worldwide.

We gave this some thought recently when our longtime supporter Valerie from a small DMO in coastal south Texas (Port Isabel near South Padre Island and Brownsville/Matamoros) sent us a question via Messenger on our Tourism Currents Facebook Page:

She said,

“I have a question about how to go about a social media outreach into a neighboring country, like for us that would be Mexico… how could that work?”

Valerie had a specific event she wanted to promote.

Our answer:

“We’d start with some small Facebook advertising campaigns, with Sponsored posts in Spanish targeted to the Mexican provinces that are your best markets; you can target provinces just like you can target U.S. states. Also consider occasional blog posts in Spanish that make it clear that you welcome Mexican visitors, and show them some favorite places to see/things to do in town.”


Here is what Valerie reported back to us and gave us permission to share:


“Just wanted to send you all a debriefing after the above mentioned event! Here’s some numbers:
**  FB ad budget [US$120].
**  English ad: (US$20) 8.2k reached, 412 responses, 52 went, 360 interested.
**  Spanish ad: (US$100) 103.2k reached, 976 responses, 100 went, 876 interested.
**  Page Likes on March 30 (when the campaign started) 15,380 – by April 20 it was 15,973. Page Followers: grew from 15,296 to 16,042.
**  Matamoros, Mexico is now #2 in cities who follow us, AND we had about 500 people show up to the event! So, geek out on that. 🙂 I thought you all would like to know the outcome of your advice! Thanks again!”

Great news!

Two Other Ideas

**  Consider running geographically targeted ad campaigns on Instagram, too. Make sure you research and include popular, relevant hashtags in the local language.

**  You can create organic, (free) regular posts on Facebook that are targeted to, and only seen in, certain geographic areas.

Look for the options under the Public dropdown, as shown in this mocked-up Facebook post:


Screenshot of how to target an organic Facebook Page post especially geographically

Screenshot of how to target an organic Facebook Page post especially geographically

Do you have questions, ideas, or tips about Facebook, Instagram, or social media in general to attract international visitors? Let us know down in the comments….

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