This year, Black Friday on November 27 kickstarts the shoppers’ favourite season, which includes Cyber Monday, Christmas and Boxing Day. Brands embrace it by turning to social media more and more every year for building hype around their star products and fueling the shoppers’ desire to score the best deals. Last year the actual Black Friday day saw an unparalleled number of 2.7 million social mentions.
While during the rest of the year the shoppers’ favourite social platform is Pinterest where they can search for desirable items to purchase, the actual star of the Black Friday is Facebook. This may be due to the ease with which sales and deals can be promoted on Facebook. Pinterest, with its elegant and visual interface does not lend itself as well to shouting out price reductions. Thus on Black Friday 2014, both Adobe and IBM reported Facebook as having the highest order value.
With a few easy guidelines, all businesses can use social media to boost their sales. You do not need to be a giant store chain to:
- Use the power of the hashtag and post often. Hashtags make it easy for customers to search for deals on Twitter and Instagram, so why not harness that power.
- Monitor your brand’s engagement. Check to see what customers expect from your business by checking every time your name was dropped in social media. When possible, follow up with relevant and helpful replies.
- Embrace user-generated content. This is the time when there is an abundance of photos and tweets as consumers take selfies and brag about their finds. This non-branded content is authentic and more likely to influence other shoppers. You can go a step further and reward this type of engagement through contests and additional offers.
- Post your opening and closing times on your social media channels. This makes it easy for shoppers to find the information with a minimum of effort. It is also a good idea to have a person monitor these channels outside working hours to respond quickly to any problems or questions that may arise.
Some brands go a step further than just regular posting and monitoring, and use Black Friday to drive even more traffic to their website and social media. For example, last year Target and T.J. Maxx organized contests with specific hashtags, and Kohl used trivia questions to drive engagement. What creative ways to use social media will we see for Black Friday 2015? We can’t hardly wait to discover in a few short weeks.