Valentine’s Day: Does Facebook Ad Spend Mirror Gift Purchases?

Valentine’s Day falls on Feb. 14, but Feb. 11 is the key day for advertisers on Facebook, according to a new study from Nanigans.

Valentine’s Day falls on Feb. 14, but Feb. 11 is the key day for advertisers on Facebook, according to a new study from Nanigans.

The digital advertising automation software provider and Facebook Marketing Partner found that the number of daily Valentine’s Day purchases begins to rise significantly early in the week before the holiday, but ad spend doesn’t follow suit until Feb. 11.

Nanigans found that substantial increases in purchases occur Feb. 10 and, not surprisingly, Feb. 13, but advertisers seem to focus on the time in between. Also, despite a spike in purchases Feb. 9, ad spend did not go up accordingly.

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In a blog post revealing its findings, Nanigans said:

If there is a day outside of Christmas where a sizable percentage of Americans are expecting gifts, it’s Valentine’s Day. But unlike the holiday season, where most Americans make their purchases weeks or months in advance, U.S. purchase and ad spend data indicate that advertisers are most focused on—and see the best results from—last-minute Valentine’s Day shoppers.

You may be wondering who exactly is driving this increase in relatively last-minute purchases. While females are responsible for the lion’s share of purchases throughout the year, looking at the increase in daily purchases largely confirms a long-held stereotype–males are indeed much more likely to shop last minute for Valentine’s Day as compared to females (hello, expedited shipping!)

For advertisers who have either shied away from spending on Valentine’s Day or haven’t looked to increase their spend over the holiday, the data underscores a tremendous opportunity in the e-commerce space. Consumers are decidedly in “purchasing mode” the week leading up to Feb. 14. Provided your offering could be construed as a Valentine’s Day gift (i.e., maybe not the time for a weight-loss product), it’s a great time to promote a targeted, seasonal message to spur conversions.

Readers: Are you a last-minute Valentine’s Day shopper?

Image of man with Valentine’s Day gift courtesy of Shutterstock. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.