October 29, 2020

Five things to do to prep for holiday spending on social media

Katie Price Ross

Associate Media Director

The Curiosity Social Team

2020 has been a wild one for our media team. To us, the holiday season is more than mistletoe and holly—it means the home stretch! Between a volatile year in retail and high unemployment rates, COVID-19 has created an unprecedented environment for advertisers with more consumers turning to digital than ever before. While Forrester reports that overall holiday spending is going to be down, e-commerce is poised to grow 18.5%, following a 14.9% gain in 2019.


Nearly half of US adults said they were more interested in shopping online for the holidays compared to last year, according to eMarketer. What’s more: Almost every social platform out there has made drastic improvements to their in-app shopping experiences. Simply put, the 2020 holiday season is going to bring greater competition than ever before across social media.


So what does this mean for advertisers? Here are five things to keep in mind as we cross the finish line:


1. Get a jump on getting campaigns set up

Across the board, platforms are going to be slammed with new campaigns, support requests, and more. Facebook recently issued a warning that they’re anticipating 1-2 week delays in their creative review system in late November and December. This is due to the predicted amount of new ads being pushed to the platform. Normally, it takes a few hours, so this is a huge shift for how many advertisers and creative teams operate – something we will all have to navigate in the coming weeks. It is best to make sure you give your team ample time to get these ads approved to prevent any more holdup. 

2. Dive into audiences and messaging for a personalized experience

In a post-holiday survey by Harris Poll last year, over 70% of consumers reported a personalization gap. Advertisers aren't thinking critically about how creative is resonating with audiences, thus not meeting expectations for a personalized omnichannel experience. It’s critical that social advertisers use all the data at their disposal to not only inform creative but develop audiences that will be receptive to it. We recommend using a social listening tool to help you tap into conversations going on in the marketplace.

3. Embrace the spirit of the season

Historically, consumers on Pinterest begin planning for the holidays in September. This year, they started searching and saving for the holidays in April. On TikTok, holiday-themed accounts surged in August, according to the New York Times. This unprecedented interest is due to people simply looking forward to looking forward - consumers are craving the comfort of the holidays. They are looking to celebrate the small things in big ways, and according to Pinterest, they’re asking for brands to help them get there. For example, in past years, about 4 in 10 Pinners said they care about micro-holidays like Friendsgiving or New Year’s brunch. But this year, 7 in 10 say they’ll celebrate the smaller moments. Simply put, the holidays will mean more to consumers this year than ever before, and brands can be a partner in enhancing the holidays for them on social media. 

4. Address the elephant in the room loud and clear

Consumers are concerned about safety, shipping times, and inventory. Not to mention, pricing and sales are also top priorities. Logistics like shipping windows and non-contact gifting solutions are more top of mind than usual. Proactively address how your brand is handling these concerns in ad copy and visuals to face this head-on and attract consumers.

5. Use the platform capabilities to their full potential

Not only are consumers shopping online, but they’re also looking for inspiration. One Pinner surveyed said, “In previous years I would often go into shops for inspiration. We can't do that at the moment at all … inspiration-wise, you're stuck with whatever you can find online.” Looking at other platforms like Snapchat, 76% of Snapchatters plan their holiday gift-giving using the platform. Snapchatters are estimated to spend $643 in 2020 versus non-Snapchatters, who are only estimated to spend $413. Plus, 20% of Snapchatters think it’s even more important to give gifts and celebrate the people they love because of COVID-19. This presents the perfect opportunity for full-funnel social support:

  • Provide the inspiration to build awareness through video and vivid product imagery to replicate the in-store experience.
  • Retarget viewers and followers with engaging content that further utilizes the messaging mentioned in #4 above.
  • Retarget site visitors with shoppable ad units that close the sale.

When you stick to these strategies, chances are you’ll sleigh the holidays. Reach out to us with any success stories – we’d love to hear ‘em!



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