Many small businesses have an intensely loyal customer base. The Internet is often seen as a great tool for global sales, and it’s easy to forget that it can be used on a neighborhood scale too.

Take, for example, the cinemas who engage with their customers on Twitter, announcing forthcoming movies and warning regulars when booking may be necessary. Then there are the cafes, reminding customers of their presence by announcing the day’s specials on Facebook… just around lunchtime when stomachs are rumbling. Councils announce new policies; pubs put out their list of upcoming gigs; bus companies warn of delays or changed routes. The list is endless, and for many of us grateful subscribers to local twitter streams and Facebook feeds, the benefits have made a small but palpable improvement in daily life.

Facebook recognizes this local trend even if we users are less aware of it. It now allows you to advertise within a very tight regional area. So, for example, if you are located in Nottingham, you can choose for your ads to only appear to that city’s residents. Got a branch in Sheffield too? No problem – you can pick and add as many cities as you wish. What’s more, you can choose to advertise within a 10, 25, or 50-mile radius, thus reaching as many outliers as is practical for your own individual business.

Check which cities are available on the Create a Facebook Ad page: it may be time to seriously consider investing in this area of marketing now, even if it never seemed worthwhile before.