Social Advertising Plans for the Holidays: Are You Ready to Deck the Walls?

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Editor’s Note: The holidays are upon us. CommPRO reached out to our community seeking insight about your social advertising plan.  Are you ready? Now more than ever, companies are relying on social advertising as a key component of their marketing efforts. How can they can stand out from a crowded field, get the most bang for their buck and measure effectiveness?  We welcome your commentary.  To submit a post, please email editor@commpro.biz.

Social Advertising Plans for the Holidays-Are You Ready to Deck the WallsBy Margot da Cunha, Content Marketing Specialist, WordStream

The countdown to the holidays is on, and has been on for weeks now according to the trillions of storefronts flaunting their holiday themed decor. But are you ready? For most businesses, the fourth quarter represents the time of highest profitability, and one key strategy to make sure you’re capturing as much revenue as you can during the season is to incorporate a solid social advertising plan into your overall marketing blueprint.

Dedicating the appropriate amount of attention to social, and strategizing for the busiest time of the year, is what will propel you ahead of your competition. For many marketers (especially those in retail), this includes make or break days such as Small Business Saturday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but these seasonal spikes can begin as early as October. One of the first things you need to consider is upping your budget for these high traffic times.  This allows you to expand your audience and reach the folks who are already in shopping-mode and ready to convert.

One of the most important places to start is Facebook. Sadly, while 92 percent of social advertising is occurring on Facebook, only 9 percent of digital spend is happening on the platform. That seems like a huge missed opportunity, considering the largest social audience resides on Facebook, with the average person spending more than two hours per day there.  Focusing on Facebook should be a huge part of your social advertising budget.

So once you’re there, what do you do? Make sure you’re making use of Facebook’s targeting options.  With a larger user base than China’s population it’s critical to narrow down your own audience to make sure you’re reaching the right people. Because of Facebook’s partnerships with third-party data brokers such as Epsilon, Axciom, and Datalogic, it’s incredibly easy to focus even the smallest budget on reaching the people who are your potential customers. The targeting capacities of Facebook are incredible, even down to the smallest details and if you’re not utilizing these features to your benefit, you’re wasting money.

Another trick is to use Facebook’s custom audiences feature. This foolproof strategy allows you to upload a list of emails or place a pixel on your website to re-connect with shoppers you’ve worked with previously who you’d like to upsell, or just people who have shown interest in your brand in the past. These are warmer leads and much more likely to convert than a fictional “buyer persona” you’ve been tracking.

Your Relevance Score is also an important metric to measure and include in your strategy. It’s essentially Facebook’s equivalent to AdWords’ Quality Score.  In short, the higher your Relevance Score, the more visibility you get for a lower cost. If your Relevance Score is low, all is not lost, but you need to make adjustments such as more specific targeting, varying ad text, new images, etc.

There are a few ways to improve your ads in general, and the first is making sure your images are the proper size. Facebook, for example, recommends 1200 X 627 (also only 20 percent of text is allowed) so make sure you’re putting your best (sized) image forward. Even the right sized image can’t save you if it’s a boring stock photo that has nothing to do with your brand, so get creative! The best social ads use conversational language, so it is a place that allows you to be more relatable with both what you’re putting out there for images as well as copy.

By marrying these key elements of social advertising – proper targeting, great ads, and a strong call-to-action, social ads are a key way to bring the consumer home for the holidays.

About the Author:  Margot is a Content Marketing Specialist at WordStream with a background in PPC, SEM, content and digital marketing. Margot is passionate about writing and is also a regular contributor to Search Engine Journal and Social Media Today. Margot was recently named the 25th Most Influential PPC Expert in 2015 by PPC Hero. She enjoys running, sleeping on the beach, and eating ice cream during her free time. Follow her on: Twitter: @ChappyMargot, Google+: +Margot da Cunha

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