Tis the Season for New Ads: Social Media Advertising for the Holidays

Written by: Marissa Bruette

We’ve all seen ads on our own social media channels go from Halloween Extravaganza to Winter Wonderland in the matter of a few days. It’s actually reported that one of the many things 2020 brought on was an earlier than usual holiday market. And, just as physical retail stores are planning to get the most out of their holiday sales, digital marketers are too. Facebook is already preparing for the 71% of US adults who plan to only shop online this year, by creating tools like the socially distanced Facebook Shops

Preparing Your Ads for the Holidays

Tis’ the season to strategize your social media advertising holiday ad plans, and we’re offering 5 ways to deck the halls, and your ads, with some holiday cheer.

1.  Make your platforms list… and check it twice.

As a social media manager, I remind my clients everyday that we don’t need to be everywhere. The “but what about TikTok” phase still haunts me. 

Choose the platforms that your target audience engages on. Looking for ways to identify where your target is? Here are the social media demographic bullet points: 

  • Facebook: While Facebook has the largest and most varied audience, keep in mind there is plenty of competition here. Use it to showcase various types of content and reach large amounts of people. Facebook is also great for advertising as you can create really granular audiences. In 2020, Facebook audiences are reported to be 75% women and 63% men. 84% of 25-30 year olds use Facebook, as well as 79% of 30-49 year olds. 
  • LinkedIn: Mainly for B2B businesses. Ideal for attracting new talent, showcasing company culture and great for lead generation opportunities. 44% of people aged 25-30 utilize this platform. 
  • Instagram: 75% of users are between 18-24 years old, and 43% identify as female, vs 31% as male. Ideal for companies with the bandwidth to create engaging video/photo content. Can create reels, guides, stories and highlights. 
  • Twitter: 22% of adults use Twitter. Pretty even mix of men and women users as well as rural and urban users. Text based content is best used on Twitter. 
  • Snapchat: 210 million daily active users with an even split of a male and female demographic. The majority of users are 18-30 years old. 
  • Youtube: 73% of adults use this platform. 68% female and 78% male. 90% of people aged 18-24 use Youtube. 
  • TikTok: 42% of users in the US are between 18-24 years old. The app is great for in-stream video ads and majority of women utilize the platform. 
  • Pinterest: Perfect for retail companies and businesses that can generate blog content. With an audience of 300 million people worldwide, Pinterest should be in your marketing strategy especially if your audience is female as the site’s key demographic is females ages 18-65. 

For further details, visit Sprout Social.

  2.   Experiment with placements

When advertising on social media, each channel has unique ad placements. On Facebook, you can place your ads on in-stream video, feed posts, stories, messenger, audience network and more. When creating an ad, most channels have it set to automatic placements. But, I like taking control of where my clients’ ads go by letting the data drive the decision. Experiment with different placements, see which ones are driving the highest ROI, and change your strategy from there. Keep in mind that when advertising on multiple placements, design the ad for the specific purpose of that placement. For instance, your ad shouldn’t look the same when being served to Instagram feed and Instagram stories. 

3.     Don’t be too cliché

You may be drawn to tell your consumers that “it’s cold outside, warm the spirits of your family with gifts from us”. But, it is unlikely that cliché copy will stand out from the rest of your competitor’s who are using variations of the same language. It’s okay to use holiday cheer in your copy, but don’t overdo it. As we say at Slice Communications, different is better than better. 

4.     Expect results to vary

Depending on the objective of your ads, expect your ad metrics to be a little different than usual. This is the time of the year where lots of online advertisers increase their spending and the market becomes saturated. To ensure your ad doesn’t get lost in the mix, increase your ad spending if you can, or target a very granular audience to ensure you’re reaching the people who are most likely to engage with your brand. Most importantly, test your audiences and retarget when you can. Want to learn more about how retargeting can help your holiday campaigns? Check out our work with Delaware River Water Company. 

5.      Bring Holiday Cheer to your page

 During the holiday season, people like to be reminded that we are all in this together. Update your pages with holiday related cover photos. Additionally, use holiday related graphics in your social media advertising efforts with a strategic mix of holiday content in your organic content. Creating a strategy to have your paid and organic social media efforts work together is what Slice calls surround sound strategy. 

Get Help With Your Social Media Advertising

When you find yourself relating to Cindy Lou Who and her yuletide doubts just remember- your audience is out there and there are ways to find them. Not sure how? Our Back to Basics blog series can help, or contact our team to get help with your social strategy!

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