Black Friday is the day that millions of people venture out of their houses to find that perfect gift. The official holiday is Thanksgiving, but Black Friday marks the official start of the holiday shopping season.
Black Friday started as a day to find your deals but has transpired into a four-day shopping frenzy both in stores and online.
Before the countless people flock to stores, the promotion of those deals has to start. While searching for deals, shoppers check newspapers (people still get it!), social media posts, and the websites of their favorite retailers.
Before you think about promoting your Black Friday sale, you need to make sure your storefront (digital or e-commerce) is ready for an influx of holiday shoppers.
Does your store sell goods at a brick-and-mortar location, online, or both? If you only sell goods in-store, then that should be your plan for Black Friday! We do not recommend launching an e-commerce store in a rush for Black Friday. The biggest shopping day in the United States isn't a great day to be ironing out technical difficulties or learning a new system.
If you do have an online store, you will need to prepare it for the challenge of Black Friday. Test, test, test! We recommend using cloud testing to get your website ready for Black Friday.
Cloud testing allows your existing IT team to quickly replicate the strain higher traffic levels, simultaneous connections, and other factors will exert on your website. The accuracy of cloud testing is undeniable, but potentially its biggest advantage is the cost advantage compared to traditional testing.
Now that your website can handle additional web traffic, let's talk about how to promote your Black Friday deals on social media.
Let's start with the basics, then we will dive into the specifics of a Black Friday social media strategy.
This might sound obvious, but it’s vital you know what makes your target audience tick if you want to make the most out of Black Friday weekend. A common mistake many businesses make is to simply set up a sale, and assume their customers will jump at a deal.
You will want to tailor your social media campaigns to the audience on each social media channel. Create content that appeals to a younger audience on platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
FOMO (Fear of missing out) makes Black Friday what it is, one of the busiest shopping days of the year! Your Black Friday strategy should focus on FOMO. Use phrases like limited-time only, while supplies last, exclusive deals, don't miss out in your marketing copy. Additionally, you can use elements like a countdown timer on your website and hourly deals to increase FOMO.
There is no better place to build hype for an upcoming offer than on your social media pages. Schedule a post or two in the week leading up to Black Friday weekend with a few hints or teasers about the limited-time deals they can enjoy.
Create a sense of anticipation with some exciting imagery of popular products or services your audience is interested in. Each post is effectively a mini advert for a product, so follow the principles of a great image-based ad when you promote your Black Friday deal.
Communication is a two-way street! Make sure you’re around to answer questions because there will be a lot! People will be responding to your social media posts, looking for more information, so it’s important to set some time aside to keep track of that.
Social media is an essential part of your Black Friday marketing strategy. Loyal customers and inactive customers follow your brand on social media platforms. This is the perfect time to drive repeat purchases with the promise of holiday season deals.
Facebook's dead. It's not, but it is harder to reach people organically. Jab, jab, jab, right hook, and the 80-20 rule are two popular principles of social media that boil down to the majority of your posts shouldn't be blatantly promotional. Well, Black Friday is a chance for your brand to be unapologetically promotional.
Facebook events are a great way to promote your event. We suggest creating a custom graphic to promote your event (you don't have to be a designer) using Canva. You can start with a template and edit it to use your brand fonts and colors. Add the graphic and relevant event information (date, location, special offers, etc.) and hit publish. Once your event is published we recommend inviting relevant friends from your personal network to the event.
There are many different types of social media ads. Boosted posts, Instagram stories, Feed Ads (Video/Images), etc. Black Friday is a chance for a small/medium-sized business to make a SuperBowl ad type push to generate revenue. No. I'm not suggesting you spend $5 million on a TV spot or even 1% of that on social media ads.
We're suggesting that Thanksgiving weekend is a time where you need to spend money to compete on social media. Organic reach is way down in general and with an influx of promotional posts on the holiday weekend you will want to make sure you are reaching potential customers by putting money behind your posts.
The algorithms love when you go live, and so do social media users. According to Livestream, over 80% of people prefer live video from a brand over social media posts and blog posts.
Despite the numbers, we still have trouble pitching live video content to clients. Often times they would rather search for another solution because they have no desire to be on camera. If you're one of the brave marketers or business owners who dare to go live and consistently provide value in an engaging way you will be rewarded.
To promote your upcoming deals we recommend that you go live on Thanksgiving night. This is the perfect way to let your customers know about the next day's deals. Your live video doesn't have to be a highly produced production (but it should be technical difficulty-free, so test before Black Friday). The star of the show should introduce products that will be on sale and special deals to drive demand.
Social media is only one element of a Black Friday marketing campaign. Your website, customer service, and email marketing will also play a role in engaging your customer base. Your website, e-commerce store, and checkout process will need to be in the best shape they've ever been. You will also want to make sure your staff is prepared to manage an increased number of customer inquiries. Last but not least let your email list know about your exciting offers.
In the end, consumers will sit around their houses, reveling in their latest purchases, money saved or not saved, and discussing what they will be doing for the upcoming year. Don't sit on the sidelines this year! Your brand has every right to participate in this Retail Holiday as the big box stores!