The holidays are only a few weeks away. And consumers are already talking about their wish lists and shopping conquests with their friends on Facebook.

Needless to say, having a good Facebook holiday marketing plan in place is important for online retailers. The fact that Facebook drives the most referral traffic than its rival platforms is another reason to start planning your social strategy.

Whether your goal is to drive more in-store or online sales, here are a few tips to help drive traffic to your business:

Show the human side of your business

Social media should be more about building relationships with your fans than advertising your products. It’s understandable that you want to take advantage of the holiday shopping season to promote your business, but no one wants to have their News Feed flooded with ads.

This holiday season, think like a person rather than a marketer. Add a personal touch to your Page by showing your holiday spirit. For instance, you can change your cover image daily with fun, Christmas-themed ones. You can also offer some home decorating tips, dinner party hacks or other tricks that will make people’s Christmas preparations a whole lot easier. You can also share a list of must-watch holiday films, post holiday-themed trivia or encourage your followers to share their holiday photos.

When people are in a good or festive mood, they will be more likely to spend. They will also likely associate your brand with a positive social experience. So, be sure to make your content entertaining and lighthearted.

Optimise your creative

Use bright colours and visually appealing graphics to make your posts eye catching and interesting. Make sure to also use clear, concise and engaging text to get your message across in the most entertaining way possible.

Make sure to always share fresh content every day to keep your followers tuned in. Facebook has recently tweaked its News Feed to show fresher, trending content. Take note of this when making your creative.

Take advantage of Facebook’s advertising tools

Maximise your Facebook holiday marketing efforts by using the platform’s advertising tools.

For instance, you can use the Local Awareness feature to target ads to audiences when they are near your establishment. Local Awareness will even let you give nearby shoppers directions to your location right on their mobile devices.

In addition, Custom Audiences lets you find your best customers on Facebook, while Lookalike Audiences lets you find similar people. There are also tools that allow you to target your ads based on gender, age, interest, behaviour and other filters.

Hold holiday contests

Contests are a fantastic way to increase your brand awareness and engagement, as well as to gather new customer data for your email list to use all year. The good thing is that Christmas is that time of the year when people appreciate a good competition or challenge.

Facebook offers a guide to running contests and sweepstakes, but there are aslo third-party apps that help you do this. You can also take inspiration from some of the best Facebook contests ever run.

Post time-sensitive offers

Because holiday shoppers are going to want to snag the best deal they can fiund, this is the best time to offer time-sensitive promos. At this time of the year, it’s a good idea to give shoppers a little something extra, such as a free item, a discount coupon for a future purchase or free delivery.

These gestures, no matter how small, will leave a positive impression on your customers. And chances are, they would post about their great experience with you on Facebook – those are already some great referrals for their family and friends.

Lastly, make sure to track all your Facebook holiday marketing activities and measure relevant interactions. This way, you can identify and change what isn’t working and, in turn, tailor your plan for success.