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How to Set up Social Media Ads Before Christmas

It’s the final countdown: only 14 days left till Christmas day. Aitarget has gathered some tips on launching effective ads during the holiday season, when the auction is hot, and the competitors are fighting for each customer.

For some, Christmas means a few days of rest, but for retailers it is an opportunity to make profit. According to Facebook statistics, 22% of US users first start to think about holiday shopping in October or before. Aitarget, TSUM (luxury department store in Moscow) and 12storeez (Russian fashion brand) have highlighted some basic tips on how to make the most out of the holiday commotion through Facebook and Instagram ads.


Getting ready

Learn your audience in advance

What do they like more? What increases engagement? To answer such questions, use Facebook Attribution, which helps track your ad statistics on external websites.

Split-text is also a very useful tool: it will help you understand what kinds of ads your audience responds to better. According to Facebook statistics, learning your audience will help you increase your CPA by 71,9% on average.



Don’t forget that each new ad will require research time. In order for your campaigns to bring in more conversions at the right time, start in advance. Valeria Sosunova, Marketing Manager at 12storeez, claims that since Christmas’ content is relevant only for a limited period of time, the main goal is to get as much profit out of it as possible.


  • Valeria Sosunova, 12storeez Marketing Manager

There aren’t any difficulties per se. There’s a large amount of creative content that you want to capitalize on while it’s relevant. Each new announcement needs a learning phase, which takes hours away from possible sales.


It’s high time to begin getting your audience ready for Christmas. Artyom Nikolaev, Digital Marketing Specialist of the eCommerce Dept. of TSUM recommends not dragging your ad launches out, since users start planning their holiday shopping out in advance:


  • Artyom Nikolaev, TSUM eCommerce Department Digital Marketing Specialist

We begin getting ready for Christmas’ in mid-November. This is because the look is very important for the premium segment. The look is an integral part of corporate events, parties and holidays. Therefore, thoroughly preparing the look for the evening requires time to make a decision. This is why we begin warming our audience up 1,5 months before the clock strikes on Christmas Eve, giving everyone time to make it to the store a couple of times and try on some new looks.


Warming up the interest is one of the main methods of working with your audience in fashion e-commerce. Piquing the buyer’s interest in advance guarantees a high level of user activity on the very first day of launching capsules and Christmas’ special editions – says Svetlana Vartsaba, Digital Marketing Manager at 12storeez:


  • Svetlana Vartsaba, 12storeez Digital Marketing Manager

We start getting ready for the holiday season in the first half of November. Campaigns aimed at increasing interest for the new collection are launched, resulting in fairly high activity right off the bat. The period from mid-November to mid-December is completely devoted to the Christmas’ capsule.


Choosing the ad format: image or video?

Static images are a classic, you can’t go wrong with them, but video is getting more and more effective. However, it’s important not to go overboard. According to statistics, users’ attention dissipates quite quickly, which is why the video has to be clear and to the point, and should last on average no more than 10 seconds.

Since clients almost always interact with your brand on the go (which is all the more true in the holiday season), use suitable formats. Dynamic Ads, Carousel, Collections and Instant Experience all perfectly suit users interacting with your brand on mobile. In comparison to other formats, they bring in better e-commerce results in the holiday season. You can show your whole wide range of products and offers. For example, Artyom Nikolaev recommends Carousel.


  • Artyom Nikolaev, TSUM eCommerce Department Digital Marketing Specialist

To create a personalized offer for our target audience, we use various selections of looks in carousel format, where every item matches every product in the product description. The main thing is that the user has to be able to find the exact product that is available, and the exact product they saw in the Facebook or Instagram ad. This increases conversion much more than links leading to catalogues.


Valeria Sosunova recommends using feeds, since they increase conversion better than other formats:


  • Valeria Sosunova, 12storeez Marketing Manager

The main source of conversion is the feed, which means promotional posts. Next is the compilation format, using the product feed, an announcement with one picture.


Tell a story

Adapt your ads not only to the feed, but also to the Stories format. You can, by the way, use interactive stickers on the latter, since they arouse the users’ interest — arrows and calls to action (purchase).

Many check social networks to find ideas, and ads in Stories can lead them to purchase something either immediately, or after some time. According to Facebook statistics, every second user visits the product page after seeing Stories ads.


Let’s get to work!

Have an offline store? Lead the customers there.

The percentage of online shoppers in US grows each year. For example, the amount of holiday purchases in 2018 increased by 33% in comparison with the previous year. However, many still value the ability to «go» shopping, especially before holidays, since you can find a gift for your friends, as well as yourself.

To draw customers to the store, Facebook suggests the Store Traffic objective. In order to activate this function, add the store address into the profile info and… open up your store 🙂

P.S. Lately, there’s been a shortage of delivery people during the holiday season, as well as traffic jams, which increases the time one has to wait for delivery. The customers will be thankful to know where the store is, where they can get the product themselves.



How about a party? Caring about your customers increases their brand loyalty.
And what can be better than inviting a regular (or potential) customer to a cool event? It’ll help you, as well: You will finally be able to see your target audience, and be able to work with them better in the new year.


Let’s get back to online customers. Help those who are looking for gifts.

Christmas is a family holiday, meaning that the whole family needs gifts. Try to predict who your target audience will want to give gifts to: young men and women usually try to find something for their partners and parents, users over 40 — for their kids. For example, create a product guide — a list of gift ideas for all family members: from razors to stuffed animals. The audience will appreciate your help.



The percentage of users looking for products on the internet in 2018 has increased by 19% in comparison with the last year. This is why you should only show the offer your audience needs in your ad. Target your campaigns towards specific groups which will take interest in your product. In case of a specific (unusual) offer, Valeria Sosunova suggests targeting a narrower audience:


  • Valeria Sosunova, 12storeez Marketing Manager

In the holiday period, we target the same audiences as usual. But throughout the year, depending on the style of the collection, we can give preference to a certain group. For example, in early fall we can target office workers more.


Don’t forget chatbots. Help not only your customers, but also yourself.

In the holiday season, retailers work themselves to the ground — it is difficult to expertly serve every customer in time. And if at an offline store this problem can only be solved by increasing the number of shop assistants, online you can rely on the Messenger chatbot. It can answer the most popular user requests and only switch the customer to you in special cases. By the way, many US users prefercommunicating with the brand and asking questions directly to the brand.


And one last thing

To hook the potential customer even more, offer special sales to those looking for Christmas gifts. For example, make delivery free — this is the best surprise for those who, while adding products to the shopping cart, forget that delivery isn’t included in the price. By the way, 84% of US customers claim thatfree delivery leads to them making purchases more freely.

Merry Christmas!



Natalia Mkrtchyan
December 11, 2019

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