The numbers are in and this year was crowned the most social Black Friday to date. Social media engagement was up and retailers, small businesses and consumers alike showed their enthusiasm across all of the different platforms.
In fact, it’s been determined that this year’s campaigns have already broken several seasonal social media records. Data confirmed that there were over 1.4 million tweets referencing Black Friday in the seven weeks leading up to it, up from last year’s total of approximately 1.2 million. Hashtags, deals, brand names and eye-catching campaigns dominated the days leading up to the biggest shopping day of the year. See what strategies won over this year’s social media platforms and had people talking for days.
Most Used Hashtags
The following four terms were the most used hashtags associated with Black Friday. The power lies in the hands of the consumers, but it’s up to the brands and marketers to catch their attention and keep it.
The Opt Outside campaign is one of the best examples of how a brand stuck to their values and won on social media without even opening a physical store. REI closed shop in order to encourage employees and customers to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.
Stats reflect that the Opt Outside campaign resulted in over 300,000 tweets over the past week for REI, doubling last year’s mentions during the same period of time. REI took a risk using an untraditional campaign strategy, but came out ahead because they kept true to their core beliefs and remained loyal to their fans, customers and employees.
Using Social to Update Consumers
If consumers are confused about a store’s holiday hours then it’s likely those shops will lose those sales. Many brands took to social media to make sure this didn’t happen. Posting store hours on your website is a given, but letting your fans know store hours on social media is an extra step worth taking.
The brands who let their online communities know when their stores would be opening and closing on Black Friday have an opportunity to drive more sales. It’s also a good idea to have a member of the team monitoring social media accounts throughout the holiday so they can respond to customer inquiries as needed.
Using Social for Exclusive Deals & Discounts
Kohl’s nailed this strategy by sticking to traditional marketing tactics and winning over customers online. Their sweepstakes messaging resulted in about 10 percent of the entire Black Friday conversation. They were one of the most mentioned brands on social media and made sure their social presence was loud and proud during the holidays. Consumers save up and wait all year for their Black Friday deals and discounts. Brands should take this opportunity to not only deliver, but communicate special offers to their most beloved shoppers.
Using Social to Engage and Connect with Consumers
Brands who broke through the Black Friday noise did so because they weren’t solely running promotional ads and flooding feeds with sales pitches. Companies who increased engagement listened to what customers were saying about Black Friday on social media (particularly their own brand) and participated in the real-time conversations. They also asked engaging questions about family traditions, holiday favorites and memories to get people sharing and conversing on social.
User-Generated Content (UGC)
UGC is gold for marketers. Facebook posts, Vine videos, and selfies took over social media feeds everywhere as people shared their love for a brand, product or experience they had. Brands ingested themselves in the conversations to see what their fans were saying about them.
The most successful UGC exchanges were with brands who took advantage of influencer marketing software. They retweeted, shared and posted some of the funniest and most inspiring images and messages about them. You build brand advocacy by showing your customers you value their loyalty and authenticity. Don’t be afraid to incentivize your most engaged brand advocates and work with them to grow your followers and expand your reach.
Black Friday 2015 is proof that social media use among consumers is rapidly growing. The brands who were able to maximize the space did so with tact and creativity, and saw positive results. Those who missed social media opportunities on this Black Friday don’t have to worry, because we can guarantee next year will be even more social.