How to Win with Your Brand Social Campaign on Black Friday

As social media marketers we spend a good amount of our time giving advice to our brands about how to be clever and engaging in order to seamlessly join the conversation on social. We steer away from “selling” outright in most cases even, while feverishly contemplating the best way to measure KPIs and goals that could indirectly drive to consumer purchases.

Black Friday Social Media CampaignsBut let’s face it. On Black Friday, folks want the wares brands are pushing. They want them now and they want a great deal for them. It’s the perfect time for you to use social to drive real-live measurable sales for your brands without seeming tacky or pushy.

So what are some of the best tactics to use around the shopping holiday where all social selling courtesy bets are off?

1. Start planning your Black Friday social strategy early.

  • Take a page from the users you’re trying to reach who stand in line in the wee hours of the morning for a chance at snagging a deal. The early bird gets the worm, and so it is with brands on social.
  • Use email and other social campaigns before Black Friday to get users to opt-in, follow, or like to get the deals first.
  • Get the hype around your campaign going as soon as possible. Every year stores have been creeping up on the time they open for Black Friday. This year is no different with more stores joining the Thursday evening bandwagon. Check out this chart illustrating this phenomenon. Social is following the early trend as well. More campaigns started earlier last year. Don’t let your brands miss the boat on this one.

2. Use social media content to give followers what they want.

  • Exclusive deals – Make deals available to your CRM lists, followers and fans.  Put those special offers right in their email messages and Facebook feeds. Hashtag the crap out of your coupon offerings and infiltrate the masses on Twitter. Make beautifully enticing coupon imagery and nestle it cozily between their Instagram posts. It really will be ok with your consumers during Black Friday.
  • Limited time deals – Create high demand for your brand’s products and services by offering those deals that are “too good to last” or make them want to “be the first 100 fans to . .  .“
  • Reward the users that activate your brand on social. Give your brand’s customers a chance to win it before they buy it in a simple giveaway.  They are buying these products and services anyway, so incentivize them to enter your sweepstakes for a chance to win that item instead.

The Good. Last year Michael’s Stores offered a coupon on Facebook to its fans. It was a limited time offer. The posted offer received 3,874 likes, 909 shares, 274 comments, 23,399 claimed.

3. Keep your Black Friday social campaign simple.

  • Black Friday really is about one thing, shopping. Trying to make it more than that can sometimes backfire. If your tactic involves getting users activated on social keep the “ask” easy. Of all the “asks” brands can use in a social campaign, videos should only be used when they are a good match to the audience and theme.

The Bad. Best Buy launched a campaign last year called #VineInLine. The idea was for shoppers to capture their experience standing in line waiting on the store to open. There was fear that this campaign was a bad idea because of Black Friday violence that had occurred in the past during these lines. But what they didn’t foresee was the Twitter fail that occurred. Users just didn’t do it. The pitiful :52 second video compilation is evidence of this. You can view it here:

Some users even took to Twitter and posted videos of what’s better than waiting in line.

Twitter Post Better than standing in line

4. Listen to your fans this holiday season.

  • Increase your effectiveness by making sure your brands offer the products and services this Black Friday that their customers actually want. Guess what? It’s easy to figure out. There’s this thing called social media where folks talk about the stuff they want all the time. No, for really real. Okay, I know you know this is going on so why not use it.

The Good. Last year Amazon did just that. The brand shared a post with a fill in the blank for the toy every child should have. Amazon used this to create a holiday toy list.”Brilliant!” (in my best Grinch impersonation-Jim Carrey’s version of course.)

Amazon Wish List Facebook Post

5. Use a cross-platform approach to activate your Black Friday campaign.

  • Don’t focus on one channel to get your message across. Your brand’s customers’ buying habits are diverse and so are their social media habits. Use Facebook posts, tweets, Pinterest boards, Snapchat limited time offers, Yo notifications for in-store activations, and email to support your campaign promotions.
  • Incorporate your social campaign into your TV spots. Merge social and traditional media into one. Make them seamless. For the consumer who is already watching the ads on television, make it a natural transition to social.

The Good. Kohl’s was one of the first brands to do this and its execution with Jennifer Lopez a.k.a. JLo (it doesn’t hurt to have a celebrity attached to your campaign either) worked out pretty well for the brand.

Bonus: Don’t miss the opportunity to keep people engaged until the holiday shopping season is over. 

It’s inevitable that not all consumers will be able to snag the deals offered during the Black Friday hype. Help them help you by offering those same items for the Black Friday price after all the sales are gone. Posts like: “Didn’t get it on Black Friday?” or “Missed out on Cyber Monday?” “You can still get it here before the holidays,” could make for some great engagement post game. By now, you have put in all the legwork anyway, so ride that train all the way through the holiday season.


Ignite Social Media