With the holiday season quickly approaching, it’s important to optimize your Facebook campaigns accordingly. A comScore report released earlier this year revealed that online retail sales reached a record high of more than $37 billion during the 2011 holiday season.

 

What played a part in the 15% increase from 2010, you ask? None other than Facebook, of course. Check out Facebook’s CPCs during the 2011 holiday season:

 

Facebook holiday CPCs

 

Don’t let those high CPCs deter you from increasing your Facebook ad spend. You can certainly count on similar trends taking place this holiday season. That being said, here are some recommendations on optimizing your holiday Facebook campaigns:

 

Capitalize on holiday buzz.

If you’re anticipating higher sales and revenue during the holiday season, it’s imperative to tie a sense of importance around holidays into your campaigns. Take a look at some successful marketing campaigns you’ve had in the past. See which ones have worked and find ways you can incorporate them into your holiday strategy. For example, if a particular call to action worked well last season, consider adapting it for this season’s ads. Also launch campaigns that include holiday-related keywords and creatives that will quickly catch users’ eyes.

 

 

facebook holiday ad

Holiday colors and holiday keywords will help ads stand out.

 

 

Optimize for days and dates.

This recommendation is short, sweet, and to the point. Take last season’s data and map out which days you expect to have high volume and low volume. If you know when your high-volume days usually occur, take advantage of that information and schedule your ads ahead of time (make sure to align this with days of the week, of course, since we know users behave differently on different days). It’s important not to waste dollars on low-volume days and miss out on big conversion opportunities during the holiday season. Time is money!

 

Generate a sense of urgency or incentivize.

People generally place a higher value on things that are limited. I’m sure all of us have fallen victim to an ad that stated, “Hurry! Only 5 left in stock!” or “Sign up now and enter for a chance to win $1000!” Whether or not we want to admit it, this strategy works. Holidays provide great leverage here, e.g. “Only {x} shopping days left!”

 

You can go about implementing this strategy through Facebook’s ad manager or through Facebook Offers.

 

With Facebook’s ad manager, it’s important to target the right audience for your seasonal campaigns. Analyze some seasonal data to find out which demographic you should target. If you find that the majority of your revenues last season came from college students, use it to your advantage:

 

college ad facebook

If you’re a college student who shops, save 10% off now!

 

Try Facebook Offers.

 

Facebook Offers is a little new and different than the ad manager, but it can be extremely effective.  This feature allows users to claim offers from their News Feed and redeem them online or in-store for discounts. It also allows you to effectively receive direct responses to your offers.

 

fb offers

 

Not only does Facebook Offers allow you to directly advertise an exclusive offer, but it allows you to create a sense of urgency within users by including an expiration date and limiting the number of offers they can claim.

 

urgency facebook ad

 

Up until recently, Facebook Offers was free, but don’t let its new fees keep you from using it. Facebook Offers increases the likelihood that people will read what you’re promoting. Unlike the ad manager, people will see promoted posts in their News Feed, allowing them to become aware of your business and respond to your sales promotion. Another perk is that once people redeem offers, like, share, or comment on these posts, their friends will see it too, increasing your reach.

 

So while you make travel plans and preparations for the holidays, don’t forget to tweak your Facebook campaigns for the upcoming holiday season! You’d be crazy not to take advantage of the billions of active Facebook users during this time of year – or for any other seasonal spike in volume you may have throughout the year, for that matter.

 

Good luck!

 

– Audrey Cueto

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Audrey Cueto
Audrey Cueto is a marketing specialist at SearchForce, a leading provider of online search and social media technology. She writes about the fundamentals of Facebook PPC.