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Facebook xmasTrying to compare year-over-year Facebook ad performance is tricky business: thanks to all of the platform’s advancements (the News Feed, lots of new ad types, Custom Audiences, Partner Categories), marketers have a whole lot more at their disposal than they did last year.

But measuring 2013 holiday performance against recent performance? That tells  a good story.

We’re running a campaign for a high-end retailer of gifts for young children. Performance was starting to tick up in November, and we added some aggressive ad messaging (discounts, limited time frames) on link post and unpublished posts over four days from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. When comparing performance with the same Friday-Monday span from the week before, we saw the following:

– Cost per acquisition dropped 251% (from $42.81 to $12.18)

– Click-through rate improved by 257% (from 0.51% to 1.82%)

– Cost per click dropped 111% (from 1.86% to 0.88%)

– Conversion rate improved by 66% (from 4.35% to 7.24%)

Now, there are caveats that help explain the jumps: the aggressive messaging, for one, and the fact that this client could not be more ideally positioned to capitalize on holiday shopping fervor. But the data does show that direct response-focused businesses would be wise to get a Facebook plan in place for the holidays – if not this year, definitely for 2014. And if your business makes its hay in other seasons (Valentine’s Day? Mother’s Day? Outdoor gear for summer?), you should plan around the idea that Facebook has proven capable of capitalizing when the shopping mentality is in high gear.

How are your holiday campaigns performing?