How to Break Through the Holiday Clutter with Facebook Ads

December 6, 2016
By   Jim LaChapelle
Category   Social Media

During the holiday season, a flood of competition for consumer dollars not only takes place in shopping malls but also in advertising spaces on social networks such as Facebook. The businesses that fully understand how the bidding process works for Facebook ads will get the best bang for their advertising bucks this December.

Facebook becomes an incredibly competitive and crowded marketplace in December, and it can become difficult to cut through the clutter. Because of Facebook’s increased ad volume during the holidays, the daily spend levels you typically use during other times of the year may not be high enough for your ads to reach as many people as they normally would.

First, you must decide if you want to bid higher than usual on Facebook ads in order to compete in this crowded marketplace. If you are running general brand awareness ads, it might make more sense to pause your current campaigns and resume them in the new year. If you are running ads for a timely holiday or Boxing Day promotion, ensure you are using the ad units, images, copy and offer to rise above the noise.

The key to understanding the bidding process on Facebook is to remember that there isn’t unlimited space on the platform for advertisements to appear. Facebook limits the number of ads their users will see in their newsfeed, so there is a finite number of ad placements available.

Bidding for ad space on Facebook is similar to an auction: the more businesses are willing to spend to have their ad shown, the better the chance it will be seen. Underbid and there may be less views for their ad. Overbid and they may spend more than they need to reach their target audience.

When it comes to ad bidding, Facebook offers two options within Ad Manager: automatic (the default option) or manual.


For businesses that favour the automatic bidding option, Facebook will calculate your bid with the goal of spending your pre-set budget and getting you the most results. However, because of the increased competition for ad space during the holidays, your bid may be increased to higher levels than other times of the year. However, Facebook says this will result in your ads reaching users with a higher intent to purchase.

For businesses that prefer the control of the manual bidding option, Facebook will suggest a bid amount for that ad based on the targeting you have set. Users can then choose that suggested bid or offer another amount. Because of the increased competition for ad space during the holidays, the best chance for success is to set your bid at the maximum amount you are willing to pay per result.


Whether using automatic or manual bidding, be laser-focused on what audience segment you want to reach. Make full use of your businesses’ audience insights information on Facebook to learn more about who most commonly interacts with your page or website. Take advantage of this inside information when you set the targets for your ad to eliminate wasted advertising dollars during the holiday rush.



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Jim LaChapelle

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