Birthdays are a key shopping event, for both the celebrating individual and their friends. As such, it makes sense to try and target your campaigns based on birthdays, which is why Facebook introduced birthday targeting.
You can use birthday targeting within the 'Detailed Targeting' element of your ads creation process - using the term 'Birthday' will bring up specific month options.
But you can break them down further with additional qualifiers - here's the listing of available options for 'Upcoming birthday'.
As you can see, you can not only target the individuals celebrating, but their friends.
But when's the best time to reach these people to tap into birthday shopping behaviors? Facebook has released a new research report which looks at the detail as part of their 'Moments that Matter' series.
First, Facebook looked at planning around birthdays - according to Facebook's research , birthday event creation starts around 14 days out from a person's birthday with the peak happening four or five days before the actual day.
Facebook also found that people are 1.84x more likely to celebrate a milestone birthday over several days, and that those who do extend their birthday are more likely to plan it further in advance - they're 3.5x more likely to say they selected the date of their celebration more than six months in advance, compared to those who don't extend their birthday.
Facebook also found that people are significantly more likely to self-gift on their birthday, with 61% of people indicating that they treat themselves. This is a key element of birthday targeting which some may overlook - while reaching their friends is a good way to promote relevant gift ideas, advertising to the people themselves could also be a clever tactic to maximize this targeting option.
Facebook also notes that there's been a significant increase in video messages being sent for birthdays.
While Facebook also found that most people now prefer to receive their birthday wishes through Facebook, as it enables them to react instantly.
"On their birthdays, people turn to Facebook to express their gratitude, posting that they feel "blessed," "loved" and "happy" for the "birthday wishes" and "lovely messages." There are around 150k birthday thank you posts every day across the UK, France, the Netherlands, Poland and the United Arab Emirates."
In terms of marketing notes, Facebook says that, based on this research, marketers should consider how people are spending their money - which is not always online, though there is still opportunity.
"Discounts on shipping and speedy delivery could make the difference for the last-minute party planner."
Facebook also advises that marketers should 'embrace the birth week' by providing gift options which they can share with loved ones, and which can help them stretch the celebration over a couple of days.